More on CECAM + Beethoven's 5th
Good Sunday to you all! Buen Domingo todos! We are 60 plus percent of the way towards our goal to release the first Music Mission EP and "Making Of" documentary film. Thanks for making it happen and your confidence as we go from ground up. We are all getting used to where to click and how Patreon works. Here is where you'll get a weekly update from me, in the "activity" feed. When Episode 1 comes, supporters will be able to download the music and film in the "Creations" feed. If you're not yet signed up as a patron, its from 5 dollars at I want to share a bit more about the school, and community, we are working with for Episode One. Lost in all the talk of help, and the music we make together, is how hard these young musicians work at achieving an extraordinarily high level of musicianship. CECAM (Centro de Capacitación Musical y Desarrollo de la Cultura Mixe) is a school in the sierra region of the Mexican state of Oaxaca growing in national acclaim. Check CECAM's "banda principal" out here on a documentary outtake rehearsing Beethoven's 5th. CECAM, in Tlahuitoltepec, Oaxaca, has three full philharmonic bands, each upwards of 40 pieces, and teaches over 200 students in all. The majority of students are from Oaxaca and surrounding towns, but as the school's reputation has grown, students are coming from Mexico City, Huatulco, Puerto Escondido, and beyond to study. While there are no age limitations - I love that - the majority of the "principal band/banda principal" players are between 15 and 30. There are kids at the school I met as young as 10 years old. Despite the acclaim and success, the school still needs help. Life is simple here in terms of possessions. A new instrument, books, scores, or visiting workshops have an immediate impact. These young musicians are very eager to learn, teach, listen, read, anything music they jump at. The week I spent at the school, the band's rehearsals began at 5 a.m. This is no exaggeration, nor is it uncommon here. Thats what they do, play music, study, get better, grow. The education at CECAM is complete, with kids taking classes history and English and so on, but it is clear when visiting that everyone is there for the music. No students complain. I didnt see that once. The students eat at school and wash their own dishes. Students serve food to each other and help in cooking. People are nice, and dedicated, and grateful to be playing. Our documentary will share my experience at the school, and let the students tell, show, and play you what they are about. I'm very grateful the musicians, and band director Vladimir Medina, gave time to the music I wrote. I think I took more home than I gave, which is much of why we are here. The first of many unforgettable moments in this project for came hearing the band play "This Means Love" at our first rehearsal. I had sent the charts beforehand, and they had it together, perfected, before Id arrived. An approach of gratitude, dedication, and humility has this school connected deeply to the reason I come to music; to communicate hope in transcending our perceived limitations. Miracles.
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