Sunday, July 14, 2013

Oakland Public Conservatory of Music to represent the United States in Peru at the 5th Encuentro Internacional de Musica y Danza Afrodescendiente.

Press Release July 13, 2013

Oakland Public Conservatory of Music 
Youth to Represent U. S. in Lima, Peru 

Paul Adan, piano student, was not included in original email. 
That correction has been made. 

OAKLAND, CA July 12, 2013 - Young musicians of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music have been chosen to represent the United States at the 5th Encuentro Internacional de Musica y Danza Afrodescendiente. 

The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music (OPC) has been invited to Peru as the official representative from the U.S. in a very important cultural exchange that highlights the music and dance of Africans in the Diaspora, August 5 -11, 2013.  
The city of Lima will hold the Seminar for Afrodescendants and Cultural Paradigms and the 1st Festival of Music and Dance of Afro-descendants. With the help of Cotitonach Productions and the Center of Ethnic Studies (CEDET) in Lima, the U. S. Embassy in Peru is supporting OPC's trip to Peru. This action taken by the U.S. Embassy in Lima is unprecedented. In the past the embassy has covered costs for one person, but to cover all expenses for four persons breaks the paradigm. 

The journey is the outcome of a growing relationship between OPC and world-renowned Afro-Peruvian musician, Juan Medrano Cotito. Cotito was artist-in-residence at OPC's Summer Music Academy in 2011 and 2012. He and his wife, Nachi Bustamante, spent 4 weeks OPC last summer and upon their return to Lima in August they quickly got busy working on garnering support from the American Embassy in Lima to bring OPC students Amina Scott, Paul Adan, Ayinde Webb, Vinkya Hunter, Carolina Gonzalez, Tracy Fitzsimmons, Victor McElhaney, Adam Lankford and Founding Director, Angela Wellman, to share the vibrant story of the Public Conservatory. Cotito's desire is to share the story of OPC with the Afro-Peruvians and especially with the Afro-Peruvian youth. He says, "We want our youth to learn from OPC youth and see what they, too, can accomplish."  OPC's activities will include concerts and workshops in Lima, Chincha and the José María Arguedas National School of Folklore.   

Ms. Wellman will also present a scholarly paper at the Fifth Seminario Internacional: Paradigmas Culturales de los Afrodescendientes. Her paper, Music of the People, for the People, by the People: The Birth of the Public Conservatory Movement. Musica de la Gente, para la Gente, por la Gente: El Nacimiento del Movimiento del Conservatorio Publico, introduces the Public Conservatory Movement and focuses on the creation of the first Public Conservatory of Music, she established in 2005 in Oakland, CA.  Ms. Wellman hopes to open other Public Conservatories of Music in other cities. About the Public Conservatory Movement, Wellman explains, "It is a movement that seeks to illuminate, through intensive music education, the musical contributions of African descendants in the Americas. I hope to open other Public Conservatories in other cities. OPC is the first." 

To raise funds for their travel expenses, OPC has mounted a campaign on Indiegogo. To donate go to:

Angela Wellman and the youth musicians are available for interviews. 
To schedule, call Laurie Cahn: (415) 608-4092

The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music opens the world of music to all through access to quality instruction in a nurturing environment.  OPC provides economical study in a variety of musical arts. OPC values rigor, innovation and scholarship in its quest to preserve the musical traditions of Oakland. Its music and educational process resonates with the aspirations of the community and its native artists by reclaiming spirit and culture, illuminating ancestral authenticity. 

Contact OPC
On the web: http://www.opcmusic 
Phone: (510) 836-4649

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