Music Festivals

Music Camp International conducts one Festival each year in each country. Our annual Easter Festival, Paștele cu maeștri, (Easter with the Masters) is held in Romania. At the end of each Music Camp throughout the year, students are auditioned to participate in the Easter Festival. Students come from all over the country. The concerts are performed in some of the great cathedrals throughout the country. Repertoire is from the master choral works of the season from the great masters—Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Christmas in Ukraine has historically been in Kyiv—up until 2016, when we went to Voznesensk. Because of the considerations of the winter season plus both New Years and Christmas being strong family holidays, participation has been by students from the local area.

Choral masterpieces of the season along with international carols are performed, including selections from the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah. Family concerts are becoming a strong tradition of the season.

Christmas in Kyiv

January 2020

A dream-come-true for Katya––our new Director in Ukraine. Katya wanted to reestablish our Christmas Festival in Kyiv—which had been moved to other cities because of the war. The Camp was a huge success—with the modern Likko School—serving as the Camp location. The concert was held at the magnificent National Philharmonic—rated the number one stage in the country. Music Camp graduate, Andrey Chmut, one of the most outstanding saxophonists in all of Europe, made a guest appearance. The date has already been set for January 2021!

Kyiv_January2020_ChristmasCamp

Kherson, Ukraine

January 2018

Our annual Christmas concert in Ukraine was so beautiful! We had three blind children included in our camp this week, and they all did a phenomenal job learning the music and performing with the other children. In Ukraine, the idea of “inclusion” has become part of Parliament’s national agenda, but most of society does not yet know how to include children with special needs. At Music Camp International we are focused on changing this aspect of culture. We are becoming an international leader in training teachers, parents and societies in how to include all types of children in mainstream education.

In August 2018, we will conduct a National Teacher Training seminar to equip teachers with the latest research and methodologies in teaching both children with special needs and children that are “traditional” learners in an inclusion setting. Many special needs children spend their entire lives in one room with little or no opportunity to integrate into normal society. Their talent goes unrecognized and undeveloped, while children who are traditional learners lose the opportunity to become responsible, compassionate citizens who can work well with all types of people. We are excited by the changes we have seen in this area, and by those we will continue to see as we break down barriers, and include all children in the learning experience of our camps.

RECORDER-CLASSES-AT-THE-CHRISTMAS-CONCERT-IN-KHERSON

Easter with the Masters, Romania

April 2017

This was our second year to host a Music Camp in this city. 180 children returned from last year’s camp, and were thrilled to have us back! Our partners from Community Foundation recruited an extraordinary team of volunteers to help in all aspects of the camp. We were so thankful for their help and look forward to returning next year!

EWTM-2017-Rehearsal-Sibiu

Chervonograd, Ukraine

January 2017

Our special Christmas Camp was held in Chervonograd this year. This is primarily a coal-mining city where the children have very little opportunity. This camp brought an exciting opportunity for 175 children to learn instruments and international choral music of the Christmas season. They sang music they had never before heard, but memorized and performed it with excitement. Every seat for the final performance in the civic auditorium was filled. Parents cried, dignitaries sat in disbelief—“how is this possible in just 5 days?” It proves again and again that children are powerful communicators and when done with excellence—music can change their world!

Connie Leading the Christmas Concert

Students learning the violin from one of our amazing teachers

Easter with the Masters – Sibiu, Romania

May, 2016

This was our 6th annual Easter with the Masters Festival. Teenagers who have been a part of Music Camps in the past rehearse diligently for five days to memorize everything for the concert. This year the concert was performed at the historic Catholic Cathedral in Sibiu, Romania. It was beautiful to hear them sing songs like “Worthy is the Lamb” and “Hallelujah”. Music has changed the lives of the young children forever – thank you to all who give to make this possible.

Voznesensk, Ukraine

January 2016

This was our second year to hold a Christmas festival in this city. Many of the children who attended this camp are orphans and have never touched an instrument before. The daily classes and rehearsals were held in the orphanage, but on the sixth day a concert was held in the beautiful House of Culture. At the end of the six day camp, many children were in tears, not wanting the week to be over and wondering when we might return.

The video here is from a local nightly news station in Voznesensk. The news anchor is speaking in Ukrainian, but you can get the ‘feel’ of the concert. The boy being interviewed has no parents. The man being interviewed is the manager of the chamber Orchestra of Mikolaiv. He says he finds it almost incomprehensible that these children are able to do this. The Music Camp is consistently referred to as a “Master Class”—because I use it as an opportunity to inspire the audience by how much can be learned in such a short time when a positive and dynamic environment is established. Enjoy the video and get the “feel’ for the impact made by our concerts!

Voznesensk, Ukraine

January 11 – 16, 2015

After ten years of Christmas Festivals in Kyiv and Kyiv Region, Music Camp International took the beautiful music of this season to a new city, Voznesensk. With the partnership of the Community Fundation and support from the Mayor’s office, we went to the south-central area of Ukraine, just north of Mikolaiv, (Our plan to go to Sloviansk had to be changed because of the war.)

Voznesensk proved to be a powerful partner. Classes and rehearsals were held in a large orphanage—bringing together for the first time the children from the orphanage and the children from the town. New friendships and bonds were formed, as the children became “one big family.” The concert at the Culture Palace didn’t even have standing room as the children sang selections from the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah. This music had never been performed in this region. The orchestra had never played Messiah. But the power of the performance transformed children, families, city officials, teachers and administrators who had historically segregated orphans from children from “traditional” families.

At the reception following the concert, the invitation was extended, and we have promised to return.

The Choir is ready

An Ensemble Performs Handel's Messiah

The Mayor Greets the Audience

Instrumentarium

Easter With the Masters – Sinaia, Romania

April 13 – 18, 2014

Our fifth annual Easter with the Masters Festival was in the small mountain town of Sinaia. This town is an international tourist attraction because of Peleș Castle—the residence of Romania’s last reigning monarch, King Caroll. The team of 15 teachers and the150 students stayed in Cantacuzino High School, a nearby boarding school. We ate at the cafeteria and had daily classes and rehearsals in the school. The performance was at the International Event Center, Hall of Mirrors.

This festival is gaining a national reputation as we draw students from all over the country. We chartered five buses to come from every region where we hold Music Camps.The town of Sinaia plans to “adopt” Easter with the Masters as it’s “official” annual Easter celebration. This collaboration will give us an international audience, and tie us even more closely to the heart of their national celebration.

Get Aquainted Game Night

Orff Class

The Hall of Mirrors, International Event Center

Brother & Sister Stefan and Codruta

Cantacuzino High School

Cantacuzino High School

Ready to board the bus

Christmas in Kiev – our 10th year

December 28-January 7, 2014

Even in a time of political turmoil, Music Camp International held its 10th annual Christmas Festival in Kiev. Because the National Philharmonic is located very close to Maidan, this year’s concert was held on the other side of the Dniper River in the beautiful Greek Catholic Cathedral.

The concert was featured on a special newscast as one of the most important events of the week.

Olga teaching how to bow

Children learn Handel’s “Messiah”

Ignato plays the bells

Children Sing With Orchestra

Easter with the Masters – Brasov, Romania

April 7-12, 2013

This year’s Easter with the Masters Festival was held in the medieval city of Brasov. Classes were held at the Honterus School—the school that has partnered with us for 9 years. Choir rehearsals were in the City’s Municipal Auditorium, and the concert was at Biserica Neagra (“The Black Church”) Romania’s largest cathedral. Children performed magnificent music by Mozart and Handel. City “awareness” exploded when the bell ringers created a flash mob on the city square. Young people came from all over Romania—Iasi, Cluj, Sibiu, Bucharest, Arad, and Brasov. These students, who have attended Music Camp for several years, are eager to rehearse, work hard, and deliver an outstanding performance. They are making history in their country!

For information on how you can get a DVD of the concert, write to connie@musiccampinternational.org

Flash Mob at the town square

Biserica Neagra – Outside

Biserica Neagra – Outside

Christmas in Kiev

December 28, 2012 -January 6, 2013

Christmas in Kiev celebrated its 9th year of Christmas Music Camp and concert in Kiev, Ukraine. Classes were held in the town of Vyshgarod at the middle school, “Intellect.” The concert was at the magnificent National Philharmonic Concert Hall in downtown Kiev.

The children performed the instrumentarium of Pachelbel’s Canon in D and The First Noel in the lobby as the guests arrived. Choral selections included Ukrainian carols, international carols, and selections from the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah.

Anfisa with a cello student

Christmas in Kiev Concert

Hand Bells class

Easter with the Masters in Bucharest Romania

April 8-13, 2012

Young people from all over the Romania who had participated in Music Camp and had been preselected, arrived in Bucharest on April 8. The students and staff lived in the dormitory and ate at the cafeteria at Dinu Lipatti, the music high school. The Festival included middle school and high school students. Repertoire included the great classical music of the season–an opening bell processional of the universally known Romanian hymn Hristos ă inviat din morți (“Christ is risen from the dead”); then the choral opener, Veniți să ne inchinam (“Come, let us worship” by Romanian composer, Valentin Timaru). Then the children performed Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus (in Latin) and selections from the Easter portion of Handel’s Messiah (in English). The children were accompanied by the principle players of the Georg Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Romania’s most distinguished orchestra. The concert was at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in the city center. This was the third year for this annual event which is quickly becoming Romania’s premiere Festival for children during the Easter season.

Members of the Georg Enescu Philharmonic accompanied the children as they performed

Hand Bells class

Children learn their hand bell parts during Music Camp so they can perform during the Easter with the Masters Concert

Vyshgarod, Ukraine

December 28, 2011-January 8, 2012

Christmas in Kiev celebrated its 8th festival in this great city. This year daily classes and rehearsals were held in Vyshgarod, a town on the northern edge of the Kiev. Many new children participated. The beautiful National Philharmonic Concert Hall was filled to capacity. The instrumentarium, which was performed in the lobby, welcomed parents, dignitaries, and a host of media. Music Camp International collaborated with Source of Hope, a children’s charity in the Kiev Region. The Vice Governor of Kiev Region and President of Source of Hope spoke at the concert.

The children of Kiev Region sang to a full house at the National Philharmonic.

A great honor to have the Vice Governor of Kiev Region speak at the concert.

Vyshgarod, Ukraine

December 28, 2011-January 8, 2012

Christmas in Kiev celebrated its 8th festival in this great city. This year daily classes and rehearsals were held in Vyshgarod, a town on the northern edge of the Kiev. Many new children participated. The beautiful National Philharmonic Concert Hall was filled to capacity. The instrumentarium, which was performed in the lobby, welcomed parents, dignitaries, and a host of media. Music Camp International collaborated with Source of Hope, a children’s charity in the Kiev Region. The Vice Governor of Kiev Region and President of Source of Hope spoke at the concert.

Students perform for each other in rehearsal at School 130
Students perform for each other in rehearsal at School 130

Easter with the Masters Returned to Cluj, Romania

April 3-10, 2010

Easter with the Masters celebrated its second year. This special Festival included children from other parts of Romania. The opening choir piece was written by Romanian composer Valentin Timaru, Veniti sa ne inchinam “Come let us worship and bow down.” Additional music featured selections from the Easter portion of Handel’s Messiah. The choir was comprised of middle school and high school students. The concert began with a procession of the beautiful English handbells and orchestra playing Hristos a inviat din morti–“Christ is Risen from the Dead!” Members from the Transylvania Philharmonic Orchestra accompanied the 100 voice choir.

Musicians from the Transylvania Philharmonic Orchestra.

Cluj, Romania

Cathedral in Cluj, Romania

Musicians from the Transylvania Philharmonic Orchestra.

Christmas in Kiev celebrates its 6th season

December 28, 2009-January 8, 2010

Music Camp International conducted its 6th annual Christmas in Kiev from December 28, 2009-January 8, 2010. This year’s Camp combined some of the blind children who had participated in their own Music Camp in May, with children who had the gift of sight. It was the first time these children have joined together for a concert of Christmas masterpieces. This year’s concert was held at the beautiful Philharmonic Concert Hall in Kiev. Watch video of the choir performing both Hallelujah! and Magnificat.

Anya, one of the blind students, plays in the tenor recorder class.
Anya, one of the blind students, plays in the tenor recorder class.

Easter With the Masters, Cluj, Romania

April 12-18, 2009

Music Camp International launched a new festival in Cluj, Romania, from April 12-18. Easter With the Masters is designed to feature the choral masterworks that celebrate the Easter season. This year the children sang selections from Handel’s Messiah. The concert was at the beautiful Biserica Reformata, which is known for its exceptional acoustics. This festival, which was endorsed by the Ministry of Education, is projected to become a regional and eventually a national festival, drawing participants and audiences from the entire country, and eventually the continent.

A generous gift provided the beautiful English handbells which opened the concert with a dramatic processional.

The beautiful acoustics of Biserica Reformata provided such a great venue for our first Easter with the Masters festival.

The trees exploded with blossoms outside the Biserica Reformata – our 15th century cathedral festival venue.

Kiev Christmas Camp Holds Concert at House of Organ Music

December 28, 2008-January 7, 2009

December 28, 2008-January 7, 2009 Music Camp International held its annual Christmas Camp, with its concert on Orthodox Christmas Day, January 7. The beautiful Polish Cathedral, Dom Organi Muziki, was the site of the concert. The magnificent acoustics made the children’s voices sound like angels. The smiles on their faces made them look like angels. The magnificent carols of Christmas enraptured both the performers and the audience in magical moments of music.

The House of Organ Music features beautiful pipes which provide a stunning backdrop for the concert.

The beautiful spires of the Polish Cathedral can once again be seen from a great distance without scaffolding.

“Christmas in Kiev” has become a regular tradition for many of Kiev’s children and their families.

Kiev, Ukraine—Christmas Camp Peforms to Packed Opera House

January 6, 2007

A choir of 150 children sang to a packed house at the National Opera Theater on Orthodox Christmas Eve, January 6, 2007. Music Camp International’s third Christmas Camp brought rave reviews from local newspapers and national television. The evening brought several new features to this family celebration.

The tableau of the Holy Family was presented to accompany the “Hallelujah” Chorus.

Dancers from the National Ballet danced the story of Handel’s “Messiah” as the children sang.

Rebecca Jackson, a graduate of New York’s Juilliard School, plays violin while the children accompany her with handbells.