Music Camp International is able to accommodate special projects for special occasions. Each project takes on its own identity—a Music Camp and concert in Odessa, Ukraine for 1,000 orphans; 45 children from extreme situations to sing for The Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France; a Music Camp for refugees and children of Maidan Heroes in war torn Ukraine; and the piloting of an historic project for children whose families that live on a landfill in Romania.
Wherever there is a need to bring healing and hope, Music Camp International stands ready to work with local organizations, foundations, municipal and national governments to in addressing the needs of children. The unlimited possibilities and the global need, keep Music Camp International on the “cutting edge” of bringing peace and reconciliation and social responsibility and care to children throughout Eastern Europe.

Children of East and West Together – Bucha, Ukraine

October 27 – November 1, 2014

Oksana Bilozir, National Recording Artist

Choir Rehearsal

Pata Rat Dump

Guitar Friends Make Great Friends

Meal Time Together

Recorder Class

Satisfaction for a Job Well Done

This special Music Camp just outside of Kyiv, was a special week to focus on Peace And Reconciliation. In a country that is being torn apart by war, it is the children who can pave the way for reconcilition between the regions. With special provisions for the children who had lost a parent as a Maidan martyr, this Music Camp worked hard to help them rebuild their dreams and their hopes. A resident child psychologist was available at all times and met with the children every evening. Her reports of their feelings about how Music Camp was helping them cope and rebuild their lives, reminded us that hope, and self-confidence are needed more than ever at this time. One young man from Kyiv, in talking to his mom, said, „I have made a friend from East Ukraine. It’s wonderful! I didn’t know this was possible.”

Pata Rât Project – Cluj, Romania

August 23 – 29, 2014

Choir, Pata Rat

Learning to Play Cello

Young Assistants

Team and Kids

Pata Rat Concert

Pata Rat Dump

After months of preparation, gifts from generous donors, a Rotary District Grant from several clubs in California, strong support from the Cetațuie Rotary Cub of Cluj, volunteers from two Rotary Cubs, and the launching of the Young Assistants Program from Music Camp International, a Music Camp bringing together the four sub-communities from the landfill area on the outskirts of Cluj, Romania, known a Pata Rât, became a reality. The opportunity to build peace and understanding, and work together to achieve a common goal through music brought a new experience to these four communities that together comprise about 300 families and several hundred children.

The amazing team of teachers taught with so much care and compassion. The young assistants built bridges that no one could have imagined. And children that had barely sat in chairs were learning to work together to play musical instruments, read musical scores, sing in a choir, and prepare a concert for a community that witnessed their success with stunned disbelief.

For more information,follow this link to see and hear the children

The Pata Rât Camp ignited a commitment to return in 2015, not only to conduct its second Music Camp, but to launch a daily after school program that will assist the children with their school work, help them with literacy skills, encourage families to support the childrențs education, and inspire them through instrument instruction and ensemble participation. Be sure to follow our progress on FaceBook and watch here for information on the launch of this historic program.

Music Camp in Rural Romania – Savarșin, Romania

July 7 – July 11, 2014

Monica & Cristina get great homemade soup
Monica & Cristina get great homemade soup

Another aspect of Music Camp International’s commitment to the children of Eastern Europe is to bring the gift of music to children who live in the rural countryside and do not have opportunities for social, educational, and cultural interaction. Savarșin is located 100 kilometers east of Arad in a beautiful valley. Much of the surrounding countryside has seen very little change in the last fifty years.

Most of these young people work extremely hard to support the family existence by caring for livestock, gardening, harvesting honey, and making everything from their own natural resources. Many families are poor. Some use horse carts for transportation as well as farming. Bicycles are a frequent form of transportation.

Music Camp has not only given them a opportunity to discover music and the joy it brings, many have being inspired to attend university and bring the benefits of their education back to their villages. Music Camp in Savarșin is conducted in collaboration with Domus Caritas, a Romanian charity that provides special opportunities for children who could not otherwise afford them. The Mayor of Savarșin has also supported the Camp by providing the school for classes and rehearsals and the Culture Hall for the performance. MCI provided bus transportation so that parents and family could attend the concert.

Music Camp for Refugees – Kiev, Ukraine

June 8 – 13, 2014

The Ambassador from Malaysia & Viktoria Lisnycha, Vice President of European Economic Chamber of Trade, Commerce and Industry attended the concert

Ruslan takes a moment to encourage a violin student while sharing some of his techniques

Natalie Kolisnichenko, President of the Kondakov Foundation, one of our partners, greets the audience

Families living with other families out of necessity is redefining what it means to be a “blended family.”

With war raging in east Ukraine, Kiev has become a “safe haven” for thousands of refugees. They live in schools, churches, camping facilities, with friends and families—anywhere they can get minimal shelter. With their homes and history destroyed, theirpresent in crisis, and their future uncertain—it is the children that are frequently forgotten. They live in fear with their future threatened.

Music Camp’s desire was to bring hope in place of despair, dignity in place of captivity, and courage in place of fear, to the children of a country in turmoil. The week was filled with miracles. The boarding school in nearby Pusha Vodyca hosted theclasses and rehearsals. A strong partnership with the Mystetskiy Arsenal Foundation opened this incredible facility for the concert and a commitment for future projects. At one time a manufacturing center for weapons, it is now the “state of the art” museum for Ukraine. The sponsorship of the Kondakov Foundation provided T-shirts for children from all Ukraine Camps, invitations, and printed materials.

With the growing ravages of war, Music Camp International is committed to returning to Ukraine in October to conduct a second Music Camp for 500-1,000 refugee children.

Savarșin, Romania

July 8-12, 2013

Bell Class

Countryside of the Sub-Carpathians

Marion learns the cello

Team dinner on the patio

Music Camp International and Domus Caritas (Home of Caring)—another Romanian foundation devoted to caring for children who are underserved, joined together to conduct a Music Camp for children in the rural villages outside Arad. The village of Savarsin is well known because it is the home of one of the residences of the royal family and former monarch of Romania, King Michael. Children came by bus and train from many villages in the surrounding area. Almost all of them touched an instrument for the first time. Music Camp International is committed to taking the gift of music to children in villages where they might never get an opportunity unless we provide it for them. Our relationship with Domus Caritas was a great collaboration and we anticipate doing more projects together.

Children sing at Ukrainian Forum on Philanthropy

February 21, 2013

Children sing at Ukranian Forum on Philanthropy
Children sing at Ukranian Forum on Philanthropy

Children from the Bucha School, most of whom had traveled to Strasbourg to sing for The Council of Europe in October 2011, performed for the Fifth Conference of The Ukrainian Forum on Philanthropy, held Feburary 21, 2013 at the President Hotel in downtown Kiev. The children performed for the closing of the conference by singing four songs, which encouraged the audience to continue to provide hope and dignity for children in need.

The Council of Europe, Strasbourg, France

October 2, 2011

45 children gather in front of The Council of Europe where they performed a concert on October 3, 2011.

45 children from Bucha, Ukraine sing on the grand staircase of The Council of Europe.

Connie greets Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on the grand staircase.

The Council of Europe is the most important political forum in all of Europe. One of their highest priorities is the protection of children. This year the President of The Committee of Ministers, Kostyantyn Gryshchenko is The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Music Camp International collaborated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Permanent Representation of Ukraine to The Council of Europe, and the Kiev Region Administration to bring 45 children from Bucha, a small town on the outskirts of Kiev, to sing a concert dedicated to the needy children of Europe and the world. The children prepared for 17 days. Prior to this project, the children had never sung together or played musical instruments. The audience was speechless to witness what these children had learned in such a short time–6 songs; four languages; and an instrumentarium on Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

Music Camps for the Orphans

June 5-10, 2011

Shirley teaches percussion instruments to the children at Vilnyansk

Music Camp teachers Jane and Oxana take time for a hug

The orphanage at Vilnyansk

The Culture Palace in Matvievka

Music Camp International conducted Music Camp in two orphanages just outside Zaporizhzhye, Ukraine. Matvievskiy Internat is home for 180 children between the ages of 11-15. Music Camp held classes and rehearsals here each morning. 70 more children from nearby Village Vilnyanska Internat had their first exposure to Music Camp in the afternoons. These special children who were labeled “mentally disabled” responded so positively to their involvement in music. The concert was at the culture palace, an almost “forgotten facility” until these children brought it “back to life.” They were accompanied by a small chamber ensemble of players from the Zaporizhzhye Philharmonic.

Odessa Opera Theater Hosts Nearly 1,000 Orphans from Moloda Gvardia Camp

June 7-15, 2008

After a 10-year renovation, the Opera House in Odessa is now rated the “most beautiful opera theater in all Europe.”

The 1,000 orphans—460 on the stage, 440 in the parterre—came from every region in Ukraine.

The magnificent Opera Theater in Odessa, Ukraine, hosted an historic concert on June 15, 2008. The newly rennovated Opera Theater, which re-opened last October, was the site of a concert for 960 social children from the nearby children’s center, Moloda Gvardia. The children, who came from every region of Ukraine, were sponsored by the Ministry of Youth, Family, and Sport, and Minister Yuriy Pavlienko. Music Camp International collaborated with Pryyateli Ditey in bringing the concert to Odessa Region.

Special greetings were read from President Yushenko, the First Lady and Ukraine 3000, as well as the Odessa Region Governor’s Office, and the Odessa City Mayor’s Office, who made the arrangements for the Opera Theater and orchestra. A motorcade of 23 buses was escorted by Odessa police as the children were transported to the theater. The stage only held 540 children. The other 420 occupied the partierre. The children sang to a full house. As one dignitary said, “The music of these children, and the spirit of today will live in this Opera Theater forever!”

Music Camp International Sets Ukrainian Book of Records at Artek

May 8, 2008

Music Camp staff hold the banners – Ditey za mir, “Children for Peace”, was the theme of the concert

860 children perform at the beautiful Fire Square and set a new record for the Ukrainian Book of Records.

In April 2008, Music Camp International was invited to return to Artek International Children’s Center, located on the Crimean Peninsula, on the Black Sea. And on May 8, 830 children performed a concert at the Fire Square overlooking the beautiful Black Sea. The theme of the concert was “Children for Peace.” The concert established a new record for the Ukrainian Book of Records, and was televised throughout the country. The Orchestra of Chamber Musical Theater of Simferopol accompanied the children. An international team of teachers from the United States, Romania, and Ukraine taught the instrument classes.

Artek is owned by the Ukrainian government, and is the largest childrens and youth camp facility in the world. During its first Music Camp at Artek in 2007, Music Camp International’s founder and director, Connie Fortunato had met Ukraine’s former First Lady, Mrs. Katerina Yuschenko, and many dignitaries who were attending a pedagogical conference, including the head of UNICEF. The concert was filmed for television, and aired on June 1, 2007, which is Children’s Day—a national holiday in Ukraine.