Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Merci Beaucoup à Lycée Molière

We have just received a large donation from local French school Lycée Molière!

In November the children at the school did a fun-run at the American school in Rio's Gávea neighbourhood, to raise money for Favela Brass and the NGO Onda Solidaria. In the end they raised R$3,308.50 for each project, and we were invited to receive the cheques at the school on Thursday.

We are very grateful to the children, parents and teachers of the Lycée for this kind and generous act. The Lycée is situated right at the entrance to our favela, and it was great to discover that this desire to help and integrate with our children exists.

We too really want to get to know and integrate more with our neighbours, and on Thursday we had a very interesting conversation around the possibilities of future partnerships between the Lycée and Favela Brass - watch this space!

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Hopeful Olympic News!!

We entered a selection process by Rio city hall to choose acts to play on the cultural stages around the city during the Olympics, and today they released the results of the first round of classification. Not only is Favela Brass through to the next round, but our point score on the first round put us in 46-50th place for that round (140 projects will be chosen in the end).

Fingers crossed!!!

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Goodbye, Sigrún!

It has been a week of goodbyes. On Monday we said goodbye to UK trumpet player Chris Caulfield and yesterday we said goodbye to Icelandic trombonist and violinist Sigrún K. Jónstdóttir.

Sigrún is now a familiar face at the project, having already spent 3 months here in 2015. This time she was here for just over a month. On her last day of lessons she made food for the children and we had a little leaving party.

What's great is that the students that Sigrún inspired back in 2015 are pretty much all still at the project so they really appreciated it when she came back to the project this time.

Even while Sigrún wasn't in Brazil, she was still busy helping us by picking up important musical accessories, a set of melodicas and even a tablet computer for the project, as she toured the world with Icelandic pop band Of Monsters and Men.

I think it's fair to say that it was pretty tough for everyone saying goodbye yesterday. We will all miss you Sigrún and are extremely grateful for all of the help that you continue to give us!

Até a próxima!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Thank you, Chris Caulfield!

For the last two months, London-based (originally from Yorkshire) professional trumpet player Chris Caulfield has been giving lessons on a voluntary basis at the project.

The language barrier didn't stop Chris from getting on great with the kids and his lessons were a huge help to us. To get children off on the right foot with learning a musical instrument, individual attention is extremely important, so to have a world-class trumpet-player like Chris helping the kids take their first steps was a great luxury for us!

As well as giving lessons at the project Chris also got involved in the music scene in Rio and played New Orleans Second Line music with the São Jorge Brass Band at Lavradio Jazz Festival, as part of Rio Carnival.

Not only were Chris' musical talents put to good use during his stay at the project, but he also helped to paint the school and even did a spot of rewiring for us!

I think it's fair to say that Chris enjoyed his time in Rio, and is at least thinking about coming back next year. If that happened it would be great news for us - but in any case we are very grateful indeed to Chris for donating his time and talents so generously to the project over the last couple of months.

Thanks ever so much Chris and happy gigging back in London!