Students from the University of Richmond Department of Music are welcoming musicians from Cartagena, Colombia to Richmond beginning March 31 for two weeks of cultural exchange. The six visiting musicians perform as a sextet consisting of two violins, viola, cello, clarinet, and flute. For five of the six, it will be their first trip to the United States.
Nine UR student musicians traveled to Cartagena in October 2013, and were warmly welcomed by their Colombian musical counterparts. The students spent a week playing chamber music, working with a youth orchestra, and performing in concerts with the Cartagena Symphony.
Once they returned, the students were so inspired by their experience, they sought ways to continue the cultural exchange. Through an online fundraising campaign and two fundraising concerts, they raised enough money to allow the Colombian musicians to visit Richmond. The project's organizer, Cristina Meehan, '14, received the Office of International Education’s 2014 International Education Award for her efforts.
While they are on campus, the Colombian musicians will perform several times in collaboration with students from the music department. They also plan to visit Spanish classes to share their language skills and work with the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement to perform outreach concerts in the city of Richmond.
The ongoing cultural exchange between Cartagena’s music community and the University of Richmond has been facilitated by Richmond resident Evelia Gonzalez Porto and her nonprofit Fundación Tocando Puertas para Abrir Futuros (Knocking on Doors to Open Futures Foundation), which aims to rebuild the social fabric of Cartagena by fostering the talent of young local musicians.
The highlights of the visit will be a concert with the UR Symphony Orchestra on April 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Camp Concert Hall, where the Colombian musicians will join the orchestra to perform a mixture of classical repertoire and traditional Colombian music, and a chamber music performance with UR musicians in Perkinson Recital Hall on April 12 at 1 p.m. Both performances are free and open to the public.
For more information, contact the Department of Music at (804) 289-8277.