Six student musicians from Cartagena, Colombia, are visiting the University of Richmond for two weeks of cultural and musical exchange, including performing in two concerts this week.

The visit resulted from a trip to Cartagena by nine Richmond students in October, where they played chamber music with Colombian student musicians, tutored a youth orchestra and played with the Cartagena Symphony.

The musicians will perform April 9, 7:30 p.m., with the University of Richmond Symphony Orchestra in Camp Concert Hall. They will play Colombian pieces and classical repertoire. The musicians will also perform chamber music with Richmond musicians on April 12, 1 p.m., in North Court, Perkinson Recital Hall. Both concerts are free and open to the public.

The trip was organized in part by the Knocking on Doors to Open Futures Foundation, an organization founded by Richmond resident Evelia Gonzalez Porto to rebuild the social fabric of Cartagena by helping its children learn music.

Since their trip to Cartagena, several Richmond students, led by senior violinist Cristina Meehan, raised money through an online campaign and two fundraising concerts to help bring six of their Colombian colleagues to the United States. “When we were there,” Meehan told The Collegian, “they were talking about how they dreamed of this trip to go to America. I had this genuine, deep-seated drive to make it happen.” For her efforts, she received the Office of International Education’s 2014 International Education Award.

In addition to performing with Richmond students, the Colombian students will visit Spanish classes and perform outreach concerts in the community with Richmond’s Bonner Center for Civic Engagement.

For more information, contact Linda Smalley at 804-289-8277.

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