Instruments for Central America All They Want to Do is Play!

The orchestra can use the donation to purchase urgently needed instruments
The orchestra can use the donation to purchase urgently needed instruments | Photo: Alexander Carbajal

The Central American and Caribbean Youth Orchestra was founded in 2010 on the initiative of the Goethe-Institut. This year the talented young musicians gathered in Honduras where they received a priceless birthday present. And it wasn’t even the orchestra’s birthday.

What’s an orchestra without instruments? Well, the Orquesta Juvenil Centroamericana y del Caribe (OJCA) is not entirely without equipment, of course. But new purchases are urgently needed to cover the demands of the orchestra’s young musicians. The orchestra made up of young musicians from eight countries of Central America and the Caribbean was established five years ago on the initiative of the Goethe-Institut. From the very beginning it was the pet project of Klaus-Dieter Lehmann, the president of the institute, who followed the progress of the orchestra with great enthusiasm.

In February, when Lehmann turned 75 and was honoured at a ceremony, instead of gifts, he asked the guests for donations for the orchestra to help them purchase a few new instruments. The congratulators happily complied and in the end the request for donations brought in the proud total of 16,023.14 euros. “I am thrilled by the generosity of my birthday guests,” said Lehmann. “It not only ensures musical training and a motivating personal experience, but the young musicians also become ambassadors who convey fragmented Central America as a common cultural area – a subtle blueprint for the future!”

The donations were now delivered to the OJCA in Tegucigalpa, Honduras by Isabel Kielian, the deputy director of the Goethe-Institut Mexico. Orchestral conductor Alejo Campos will be in charge of purchasing the instruments.

The meeting in Tegucigalpa is also very special for the orchestra for another reason. The orchestra is now touring Honduras, the last country of the six founding members, performing the final concerts for the local music camp. They will also perform there along with eight musicians from National Youth Orchestra of Germany. The Central American and Caribbean Youth Orchestra is also supported by conductor Nicolás Pasquet from the Franz Liszt University of Music and many other teachers from Germany.

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