Our International Sponsorship Fund supports music education projects around the wold. Each organisation we support is a source of so many individual success stories. Here we find out about BLUME Haiti and one of the musicians they’re supporting. BLUME (Building Leaders Using Music Education) Haiti, works with Haitian and international partners to develop leadership skills, awaken individual potential, and create opportunities for civic collaboration and economic development through the shared pursuit of musical excellence.
This year, the ISF provided a grant for the organisation’s Haitian Orchestra Institute, a collaboration with the Musicians of the Utah Symphony. HOI gives over 100 of Haiti’s most accomplished musicians and teachers an opportunity to come together and benefit from intensive orchestral and instrumental training from Musicians of the Utah Symphony and Utah Symphony’s Music Director, Theirry Fischer. For the Haitian participants, their fellow compatriots and the world at large, it is a reminder that Haiti has much to offer that is positive, hopeful and optimistic.
Sadly, due to political unrest and the Covid pandemic, HOI has been cancelled for the last three years. However, our funding will help to ensure that next year’s event goes ahead as planned and provides a fantastic opportunity for Haitian musicians.
Emantero Valbrun is a 21-year-old cellist who will be participating in the next HOI. Emantero was born in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, but after the horrific 2010 earthquake, he and his family moved to the north of the country. It was there, in Port-de-Paix, that he began his life in music. First learning the trombone, Emantero has only played the cello since 2017 but, because of his determination, discipline and love for the instrument, he has made extraordinary progress. As well as gaining a place at the next HOI, he was one of only 60 musicians, out of over 2000 applicants, to spend spring 2021 as a Fellow in the Orchestra of the Americas Virtual OAcademy - a fantastic experience for him.
Here Emantero talks about music and what it means to him: “For me, I can say that music has saved my life, it has changed my life, it has given me another way to live, and it has made me who I am today. My instrument is like a second mother to me. Because of music I have more options and more opportunities. Really, it is hard to find the words to say what music means to me. Music and my instrument have made me, have helped me grow, have helped me complete myself.”
In Haiti, music provides transformative experiences for so many, giving people opportunities that simply would not be possible otherwise.
The HOI session for March 2022 promises to be bigger and better than ever and we look forward to hearing more from Emantero!
Could the ABRSM International Sponsorship Fund (ISF) support your music project?
We are now accepting applications for the ISF 2022. You can apply until 9 November 2021.