These are unprecedented and sensitive times in our lives. A pandemic has spread across a world where severe inequality and global warming already existed. In this scenario, it is in the interest of all of us that the Santa Catarina Music Festival takes place “online”, following international health standards and trends.
One of the cornerstones of FEMUSC is the fight against inequality through access to information and the exchange of experiences. For this, we carefully select our teachers and participants, create programs of study, program repertoire and activities, and increase the density of the schedules of all musicians, thus offering a lasting and stimulating experience for the individual development of every one. FEMUSC 2021, even if it occurs only through the internet, will follow this path, with almost 300 hours of instrumental classes, lectures and activities in order to disseminate knowledge and reduce the distances that separate us – not only geographical distances, but also opportunities, teaching, and musical experience.
Crises are nothing new for FEMUSC. Since its creation in 2006, we have endeavored to break barriers, embrace difficult issues, and offer unusual opportunities. That’s how we acquired 17 harps and 22 pianos, launched the String Quartet Program, Leon Spierer’s Conductorless Orchestra, Richard Young’s Serioso Project – now involving Richard Roberts as well, and an opera program that brings great titles to the stage in record time giving young singers the golden opportunity to work with national and international masters. FEMUSC also faced crises and adversities on other fronts, successfully responding to financial and funding limitations, audits, changes to culture incentive laws, all while maintaining its administrative principles unchanged: a small, well-tuned, dedicated, experienced and efficient team, placing our main focus of activities on that central issue of the event: that spark of knowledge that occurs when a person of knowledge finds the talent of young people eager to face a successful future. It is based on this past of achievements that we see FEMUSC 2021 as another example of the best we have to offer, the tranquility and certainty that this path is worthy, that education is our weapon, and that a future of understanding, unity, respect and cooperation is in the interest of all of us.
Between January 11 and 31, FEMUSC 2021 will bring you 46 faculty members who don’t see FEMUSC as a mere professional step in their careers. They will be with us because they also believe in the social principles of FEMUSC, of opportunity, of equality, and of the struggle to reach our goals even in the face of challenging situations. Forty teachers will be involved in instrumental classes, each presenting three master classes of two hours each. Each class can have up to four active participants who will interact with the teachers. But there is more to offer with Prof. Clara Takarabe’s lectures, the continuation of the detailed teaching in the Serioso Project and the String Quartets, and a novelty: the pioneering presentation of the “Violin / Viola Boot Camp”, an exhaustive and intense training created by professors Rachel and Charles Stegeman in the United States, and which is now manifested at FEMUSC. This intensive training will transform the instrumental technique of dozens of violinists and violists participants.
However, FEMUSC 2021 will leave its greatest mark in the history of this festival through the participation of auditors. With their own link, hundreds or even thousands of participants will be able to observe the classes of these masters, take notes, return to the class later to reinforce the content learned, and be present in activities where previously only a small group of young instrumentalists could participate, such as the Serioso Project and the String Quartets. Furthermore, the master classes were organized in such a way that there are no time conflicts between instruments and activities where there is mutual interest, such as all strings, or all teachers and activities involving the same instrument. These master class schedules will also allow the observation of classes in different musical styles, as is the case with voice (classical) and popular singing (Brazilian popular music) – the same benefit will be available to saxophone, double bass, piano, percussion players and guitar. Finally, this opening to auditors also invites a group of devout workers in the cultural sector who are no longer seen at music festivals as they are created with their students in mind: yes, the home teachers of FEMUSC participants, who will be able to attend these classes in their homes wherever they are. It is important to elaborate on this issue. The Latin American continent has immense geographical areas that lack regular visits by major orchestras and musical attractions such as operas and chamber music. Even so, in these regions there are teachers, true explorers who carry out instrumental teaching despite immense difficulties. These teachers are heroes, because through this dedication countless talents are recognized that make our cultures shine.
And these teachers also need information, recycling, seeing new teaching concepts, and thus raising the quality of their teaching. Through the FEMUSC 2021 auditor classes, these teachers will receive this support, as well as our thanks for all they do for our young talents.
The FEMUSC 2021 concert schedule will be another milestone in the history of this event. We will review remarkable performances from the FEMUSC historical archive, watch as great artists received the warm applause of the population of the dear city of Jaraguá do Sul, SC, which welcomes us so generously. There will be Carmina Burana conducted by Catherine Larsen-McGuire, as well as the opera La Boheme, and works of chamber music that so impressed our students – remembering here that all presentations by teachers at FEMUSC are a gift from them, a gift their artistic performance that our participants thus teach by example.
For these and so many other reasons, FEMUSC 2021 is a challenge and already a success since its early planning. It is a testament to our decision to face social and educational differences with strength and determination, and our bet that the best is yet to come, because in the hands of a new generation of great talents we are depositing the cultural gold that has been given to us.
I wish you all an excellent festival. Welcome to FEMUSC 2021!