Whirlwind Summer

7 Aug

Spring and summer have been an exciting whirlwind of activity. My role in Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach took me to London, England and Toronto, Canada. I also led the Voice and Vocal Health Workshop at WUMB’s 17th Annual Summer Acoustic Music Week (a.k.a. “SAMW”) and I went on a side trip to Dayton Ohio to see Mom. She’s 93-years old and still ruling the roost!

Aside from seeing my Mom, the highlight of my summer was the two sessions, (July 8-14 and July 23 – 29), I spent teaching as guest artist in residence at Legacy International’s Global Youth Village in Bedford, Virginia. Global Youth Village is a non-governmental member of U.N. founded by my friend J.E. Rash in 1979.

I’m no stranger to Global Youth Village. In the 1980s, I was Co-Director of Performing Arts there until I was called away by other professional obligations. When I tell you about the wonderful program they run, you’ll understand why I’m overjoyed to be teaching there once more!

Every teacher wants to feel that he’s made a difference in the lives of his students. The programs at Global Youth Village give me the opportunity to transform the lives of young people from around the globe.

This program takes youths ages 14-18 from the world’s most troubled regions and gives them the opportunity to learn in a peaceful, nurturing environment side-by-side with children from other cultures. Often, these children are traditional enemies. At the Village, they participate in workshops for peace building, cross cultural awareness, global arts, and music. The training fosters tolerance and confidence that real change can be accomplished.

The children I taught this year were primarily from Iraq and Nigeria. There were also kids from the Crow Nation in Montana, U.S., Kurds, and Irish Catholic and Protestant kids. I led music, voice and hambone workshops including a basic singing workshop called “Finding Your Voice,” an international folksong workshop and a special class on the Freedom Riders which combined songs of the Freedom Riders with the poetry of Langston Hughes.

At the end of the each session there’s a recital and the kids surprised me with raps in Arabic and English.

To learn more about my exciting events that you can attend, visit my web site.

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