Friday, July 15, 2005

Project Background

The Project
In 2003 the Muscatine Children’s and Youth Choirs initiated an exchange program between the Muscatine Children’s and Youth Choirs and youth in Kosovo. The Kosovar youth are participants in the Kosovo Children’s Music Initiative (KCMI),which is sponsored by the Shropshire Music Foundation. These young people have been caught in the crossfire, in many cases literally, during the years of war that have ravaged their homeland.

Phase One
The first stage was completed this past summer (2004) as thirteen young Kosovar musicians spent two weeks in Muscatine living, rehearsing, and performing with the Muscatine Children’s and Youth Choirs.

It was a miraculous time as the young people overcame enormous differences of language and culture to form close and life-long friendships, and to give their very best blended musical gift to extraordinarily responsive audiences in Muscatine, Nauvoo, Illinois,Dubuque, and Des Moines.

Phase Two
On July 25, 2005, a number of our young people with adult advisors will travel to Kosovo for a reciprocal experience. We will operate out of a school and offer classes in English, chorus, folk music, and art to KCMI participants. Special medical and eye clinics and construction projects are also planned. We will rehearse with the Shropshire Foundation’s group and perform in Gjakovë and in other locations in Kosovo.