Music is an integral part of Haitian culture. Recently, Castillo Saint Amant, our director of the SCEH-supported Deschapelles Band Academy, attended a weeklong instrument repair seminar in Gonaives, Haiti. Castillo and 17 other musicians, learned about instrument characteristics, instrument construction, parts that often need repairs, identifying what needs repairing, which tools should be used for the repairs, and preventive measures that may help avoid damage. Did you know that mouthpieces need the most care? Castillo’s participation in these seminars will help keep the instruments of the Deschapelles Band Academy in good condition and enhance our music program that is enjoyed by the community.
Worth noting is that the instrument repair classes were recently created by Janet Anthony, a retired university music director, who has augmented the joy of music for many in Haiti and who saw a need for musicians to repair instruments in their own local community. Working on her own, as well as with the École de Musique centered in Port-au-Prince, she helped summer music camps in different areas of the country continue for promising students. Her efforts have opened the door to many musicians interested in the skills of repairing instruments.