Projects : Triangle Brazil Choral Exchange

The Triangle Brazil Choral Exchange (TBCX) traveled to Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, Brazil from July 24-August 3, 2007. Forty-six singers and non-singers participated in a very significant project, visiting Salvador, Rio, Cidade de Deus (City of God), and Petropolis.

We rehearsed and sang 4 formal concerts and 2 informally with Brazilian singers and drumming bands and in the economically and socially challenged community, Cidade de Deus, outside Rio. As part of our commitment to including native music for our repertoire now and during a possible exchange visit, Dr. Rodney Wynkoop spent significant time preparing songs he had received during a summer conducting a professional chorus in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. One of the 5 songs was known by every Brazilian, young and old, and enthusiastically received by the local community audiences who were invited to sing along with us. Other specific engaging experiences included the Casa de Santa Ana Project in Cidade de Deus where we combined sharing a lunch meal and then an afternoon of singing and dancing in a local Catholic parish; and shared singing and drumming in Salvador at the Olodum Project’s internationally renowned music and leadership school which serves to prevent children of all ages through young adult from living on the streets. These opportunities made clear the universality, vision and power of music. All donations from our post-tour concert on August 8, 2007 in Chapel Hill, NC (see attached) went to the Casa de Santa Ana Project.

In addition, Dr. Wynkoop and Nancy Clapp-Channing, the TBCX leadership, met on July 26, 2007 with Professor Horst Schwebel, Dean of Music at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), as part of our visit and concerts in Salvador to discuss the feasibility of a choral exchange. While recognizing significant Brazilian funding and cultural choral issues to make possible travel by UFBA musicians, there was interest of continuing dialogue to deepen linkages and foster cultural understanding among North Carolinians and Brazilians of our common cultural ties represented by sharing musical traditions.

These repertoire and preliminary planning activities and conversations and musical sharing were made possible in part by the generous Mary Duke Biddle Foundation grant which directly funded the TBCX leadership to travel and engage with UFBA and community leadership to scout the prospect of hosting an exchange. A copy of this report has been submitted to the Educational Media Foundation, Inc.