The workshop at UNASP was a fantastic closing workshop! This is the University of several other exchange students, Jéssica and Rennen. The workshops began in the beautiful chapel where Dr. Moorman-Stahlman gave an organ master class and the girls performed many handbell pieces. The afternoon I presented boomwhackers and bucket drums but we also started off with a crowd favorite, “Two by Two” No matter where we went everyone caught onto the English words to this song rather easily and it was a lot of fun watching all ages from children to college students creating motions.
The students in this workshop embraced everything that we taught them and they were so talented. At the very end of the workshop, they worked together on a group percussion piece and it was indeed the highlight of the day for me! The images and video below share some additional highlights and a little glimpse of this gorgeous chapel.
UNICAMP in Campinas. Our workshop at the University of Campinas was very special as it is the school where Rafael, one of the Brazilian exchange students attends. Rafael and his brother Rennan, traveled to LVC last year as part of the cultural exchange group. Fun fact, Rafael, and Rennan are from a large family and are also part of quadruplets! We gave handbell, boomwhacker and drumming workshops here. Bruna (another exchange student) also joined us here and helped so much by bringing her handbell tables and covers.
In the afternoon we visited an after-school music program, funded as a government project in partnership with a professor we met at UNICAMP. This music program buses in kids from different area schools for the afternoon, which is unheard of because they don’t typically do school buses in any district. We lead two different music classes of 6-7-year-olds, combining elements of both our handbell and boomwhackers/bucket drums workshops. The children were delightful and we had a lot of fun teaching handbells and singing games.
From Porto Velho, we traveled to Jundiaí where we stayed with the beautiful Gonzales family. Dr. Moorman-Stahlman became friends with Helena Gonzales through one of her concerts in the city and since that time Helena and her family have opened their home to LVC students traveling and giving workshops in the cultural exchange program. As you can see from these photos, we had a little play time in the morning before our workshop. We visited the botanical gardens nearby and had a lot of fun along the way.
In the evening we went to the Jundiaí, Christian School of Music (Casa Deus) where we gave workshops in handbells, tone chimes, bucket drumming and boomwhackers. We were very moved when the children all reached out their hands and prayed for us at the end of the service and then graced us with several beautiful songs. We then had a great question and answer period where they asked us all sorts of questions from our birthdays to what kind of food we liked most in Brazil. By the time we left that school, we felt very connected to these Brazilian students. Music makes community!
Today we were treated to the sights of São Paulo! We visited the Cathedral and the oldest church in São Paulo the Basilica José de Anchieta. This church was built in 1554. We then visited the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) which displayed beautiful works of art from International artists such as Renoir, Gauguin, and Gainesborough alongside masterpieces by Latin American greats like Diego Rivera, Candido Portinari, and Anita Malfatti. These wonderful works of art were displayed by hanging on large crystal likes frames. It was really spectacular. Afterward, we went to the market where we enjoyed some of the most fantastic combinations of fruit such as luscious figs with ripe strawberries on top! Yum.
Tonight Dr. Moorman-Stahlman performed a selection of recital pieces at the Teatro Estadul Palácio das Artes Rondônia in Porto Velho Brazil. Her handbell students, Abby Stoner, Robin McAnally and Rachel Schulz performed beautiful pieces demonstrating many handbell techniques and artistry. At the conclusion of the concert the entire audience stood in line to greet them and take pictures with them. They are true rock stars and madeLebanon Valley College very proud tonight! #LVC.
Yesterday we finished a two-day workshop at the Primeira Igreja Batista De Rondônia (PIBRO). The mornings started with a piano master class given by Dr. Moorman-Stahlman with assistance by Robin. This was followed by a handbell/tone chimes workshop where the participants really learned the techniques of handbell playing and performed some compositions that they will continue with tomorrow. Rachel Schultz was busy teaching a string workshop and Abby was working with a percussion workshop. At the conclusion of each workshop, all participants received a beautiful certificate which we presented along with a photo with each one. What a beautiful way to conclude two days of sharing music together.
After our celebrity whirlwind yesterday we settled into a schedule of rehearsals and activities. Dr. Moorman-Stahlman is performing with several orchestras while she is here in Brazil. The Primeira Igreja Batista De Rondônia (PIBRO) is the rehearsal home and workshop venue while we are in Porto Velho. Each day Dr. Moorman-Stahlman rehearses with the Villa Lobos Orchestra. She will be performing the Beethoven Concerto #3 and the Rachmaninoff Concerto #2 and also Rachel is sitting in and playing violin with orchestra. It has been thrilling to watch and listen to these fine musicians rehearse each day.
Tonight we attended a bilingual church service at the PIBRO where our students performed with the handbells. At the greeting time in the service, I think every person came up to us and shook our hand and gave us a hug. The Brazilian people are so giving, kind and warm. This was a touching service as we sang both in Portuguese and English. There seemed to be no communication barriers in this church service and you could feel the love all around. There was so much music and people drew closer with each tune, perhaps this is what we need more of in our world.
Here is a little video of the handbell performance.