The Commonwealth Resounds! in Uganda October 2017

In October, ten students from Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and staff members Nick and Sarah Oliver will travel out to Kampala, Uganda to run a ten day musical outreach project for The Commonwealth Resounds! This is a return visit for TCR and we hope to build on the musical relationships established on our first trip to Kampala back in 2007.

21 – 31 October 2017

Our aim is to provide our students from the UK with a unique educational experience where they will visit a part of the world previously unknown to most of them, learn about the different life and culture and master skills of leading and collaborating with other young people in musical projects. We also aim to give the people we will meet the chance to expand their musical experiences and education with practical and hands-on activities. Our musical skills can also be utilised to entertain in the form of concerts, both formal and informal.

Our principal contact is with Kampala Music School. We are in discussions with them and proposals include individual instrument workshops, public masterclasses and performances which will include collaborative chamber music groups with UK and Ugandan students working together, a chamber ensembles concert and an orchestral project culminating in a final concert.

We are also embarking on the process of contacting schools, hospitals, orphanages and other community organisations in and around Kampala. Our template for these is to offer the services of ourselves and our students free of charge (we only ask the venue we are visiting for suitable refreshments). We adapt the programme to the needs and wishes of each individual venue and organisation but activities would typically include playing an informal concert, offering coaching and collaborative playing to any instrumentalists/singers we meet and giving youngsters in schools and elsewhere the opportunity to see, handle and try instruments they may never have seen before, let alone played. Confirmed partners include the Kampala Singers, the MLISADA brass band and the Bayimba foundation.

We will be seeking opportunities for our students to learn more about Uganda, both before we go and whilst we are there. This may include workshops with local musicians and/or academics who can explain about and demonstrate traditional instruments and talks given by people with medical and charitable experience of working in Uganda.