The interventions framed in the IV version of 'Active Musicians Uniting Traditions', contemplated workshops and consultancies for brass instruments, as well as educational and gala concerts.
For six days, the trombone player and director of the Music Department of the University of La Serena, Martín Herrera Mauad, and the musician and teacher of that unit, Alejandro Meléndez Pino, visited the Rapa Nui territory with the aim of offering a series of activities to the inhabitants of the island and share, in addition, their musical and pedagogical experiences with teachers and students of the Toki Music School.
The cultural exchange included counseling for brass instruments, educational concerts and gala presentations, with a high pedagogical and formative character, which were framed in the IV version of 'Active Musicians Uniting Traditions', a project devised and headed by the former academic from the house of higher education, Valeria Prado Zárate, who has lived in the island territory for more than six years and who currently teaches the new trumpet chair at the establishment founded by the concertist Mahani Teave, where only the 2016 classes existed of piano, violin, cello, in addition to ukulele and ancestral song.
Regarding the realization and scope of this new musical event on the island, Prado said, by phone, be very happy and grateful for those who allowed this success: "For me it was very nice and a pleasant surprise to get this fourth version since the first and the second musical call had the support of the Music Fund of the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage, while this year we only have the support of private, the community and the Cultural Corporation of the Municipality of Rapa Nui ".
However, despite the efforts to maintain and be able to make these cycles of learned music, Valeria feels a social responsibility with the community with which she shares daily: "It has been very nice to be able to perform 'Active Musicians Uniting Traditions' because the people of the island awaits them anxiously and they always ask me when more musicians will come or when the next concerts will be, and I notice that there is a captive audience that goes a lot to these events and that is pending to participate, "said the musician from Hanga Roa.
Musical trip to the Navel of the World
For the outstanding Serenaist, this was his second trip to Rapa Nui. The first was held in the year 2016, where he offered a series of educational and gala concerts with Valeria in different venues of the territory. On this occasion, he was accompanied by the Director of the Music Department of the ULS, Martín Herrera, with the aim of promoting recitals and musical workshops for brass instruments, forging ties and future collaborations.
"From the 2016, this project has had very good arrival in the people of Rapa Nui so it has continued to be independent of the applications for funds. This year I suggested to Valeria to invite Martín Herrera, in his capacity as Director of the Music Department of the University of La Serena and trombonist, to perform recitals and workshops of horn and trombone, but mainly to start establishing ties with the same Corporation Municipal de Rapa Nui and the Toki Music School (...). The idea is to form a support and provide advice to those who hold these chairs, such as Valeria, who is currently in charge of teaching these classes. She is a pianist and has dabbled in the trumpet for some years; however, as the human resource is not on the island, she had to take over these chairs and we went to advise her, and also to support the possibility of opening to other instruments within the bronze area, "commented Alejandro Meléndez.
In the case of the Director of the ULS Music Department, his first cultural exchange with the island meant a very special moment: "it was magical, as were its people who were willing to receive new musical knowledge. The workshop we did at the Toki School of Music was a success, together with Alejandro we covered everything from elongation and breathing exercises, to sound emission and interpretation (...). In addition, during our stay we held two recitals with Valeria Prado, one at the Toki Music School and another at the Tongariki Cultural Center, both with a good audience and with a varied program, from Baroque music to 21st century music. At the end of each recital, the attendees approached us to discuss and internalize our work and our instruments that have not yet developed on the island, so it was very comforting the interest shown by the audience ", delved Martin Herrera.
In the words of Valeria Prado, "it was super nice that Martin and Alejandro came because at this moment, in a somewhat fortuitous way, there are enough people on the island who play wind instruments and bronze specifically. For now, at the Toki Music School there is only one student taking trumpet lessons, but there are several people or musicians who have come from Santiago who have their bands and who play in a self-taught way. Then the advice given by my colleagues was key; In addition, they allowed me to extend the invitation to the whole island and not only to the Toki students, where a lot of people were; there were guys who played sax, traverse flute, trombone and trumpet, so it was super good for them to have a more professional opinion and be able to clarify several of their doubts ".
After this enriching cultural exchange, serenenses musicians have visualized in a medium term work on new projects of connection with the environment that allows to favor and increase the musical world of the students of both territories: "I feel the responsibility of planting a seed in Rapa Nui so that through time a tree rich in fruits grows. Our next challenge is to visit the island with an ensemble of students of brass instruments with the objective of performing recitals; In addition, with the support of our university authorities, donate bronze instruments to the Toki Music School: a trombone, a trumpet, a French horn, and prepare three instructors in our stay and implement the teaching of these instruments on the island. " , specified the Director of the ULS Music Department.
Finally, Alejandro Meléndez added that they are working on "how to continue to encourage the bronze chair in Rapa Nui, and for that we need to generate a second link; At least that is my idea, so that children from the Toki Music School come to play on the continent, at the University of La Serena, and students from our house of higher education or the Jorge Peña Hen School of Music also have the possibility to travel and offer recitals on the island. "