Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Thank you Paul!

Yesterday the children said goodbye to Paul-Edouard Gardelle, French singer and guitarist and Favela Brass teacher since 2014. Paul lived down the road in the favela and is now moving back to his home town of Toulouse.

As well as giving singing and percussion lessons with the kids, Paul helped us out lots at the Curry Clube and other fundraising events, playing guitar, singing and also making large amounts of caipirinhas!

Needless to say Paul will be missed very much by everyone at the project and also in the community, where he was very popular and ran his own samba events in partnership with the locals.

Thanks so much Paul for helping us get the project off the ground. Your contribution will always be remembered and we wish you best of luck back in Toulouse.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

New T-Shirts!

All of the children involved in the Queen's Birthday Party organised by the British Consulate-General received a T-shirt with the logos of The British School, Rio de Janeiro, the Love GREAT Britain campaign and Favela Brass. Kindly, Andy Casterton, director of music at The British School, had enough T-Shirts made for the rest of the children at the project that didn't get to play on Thursday to have one as well. They received them in the lesson yesterday. Thank you Andy Casterton and The British School!

Friday, 22 May 2015

The Queens Birthday Party (2)

Yesterday the children played alongside children from The British School at the celebrations for the Queen's Birthday put on by the British Consulate-general in Rio de Janeiro. They absolutely loved the experience of being whisked off in an air-conditioned bus to the prestigious Clube dos Caiçaras and performing alongside and getting to know the children from the British School (the night ended with them singing together on the bus back). Despite the pressure, the children held their nerve and played and sang beautifully:

Being invited to play the national anthem at the Queen's Birthday has given the project a huge boost in terms of the children's motivation to practice, in terms of publicizing our project and in terms of giving us a concrete musical challenge to really get our teeth into over the last few weeks. So thank you ever so much to the British Consulate-general for the invite, to the British Ambassador, Alex Ellis, and to the British Consul, Jonathan Dunn, for his very kind words about the project in his speech. A big thank you also to Naira De Almeida Prado and Caroline Luymar for coming to our community and making the link with our project, and to Ana Beatriz Moller for looking after us on the day.

As they say in Brazil "Deu tudo certo" (it all worked out great).

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Queen's Birthday Party

Our students have been invited by the British Consulate-general in Rio de Janeiro to play the British national anthem at their party to celebrate the Queen's birthday tomorrow, together with a choir from The British School Rio de Janeiro.

Yesterday we had a final joint rehearsal with the students from the British School at their Botafogo campus. It was a great opportunity for the children and staff of the schools to get to know each other before the show and a fantastic day out for the FB kids. Unfortunately (and understandably) we can't publish images of the children from The British School, but we did get this video of the Favela Brass students playing our 4-part arrangement of God Save the Queen from memory:

Our kids have raised their game for this show. They have practiced day and night and developed the kind of ensemble sound that you would expect from much more experienced musicians. Tomorrow we'll have the unpredictable element of nerves to contend with, but whatever happens I'm immensely proud of these young musicians and as far as I'm concerned they have already done themselves, their project and their community proud.

Many thanks to the British Consulate for the invitation and to Andy Casterton, director of music at the British School, for making us feel so very welcome yesterday.