I have just returned from our third research trip to the lovely city of Tbilisi where we are holding our community music activity seminar this year. I am getting to know the geography of the city, the musical, educational, political and social context and I am also making a good set of friends and contacts. It is a fascinating place to be coming to and the local context will pose many questions and challenges to our international participants.
There is an interesting balance to be made between wanting to leave a legacy in the country and wanting to make sure that the international travellers have time to address their own issues not within the context of Georgia. I believe the success of the CMA will be if we get this balance right. We are discussing this as a group of commissioners in a series of skype meetings connecting Te Oti in Auckland, Gillian in Melbourne, Lee in Waterloo, Ontario, Flavia in Salvador, my co-chair Mary in Iowa City and myself here in the lovely seaside town of Morecambe.
At this stage we are excited that we have 51 confirmed international registrations as well as potentially 20 local delegates so the discussions around our theme of Inspiring Curiosity: Celebrating Diverse Voices of Community Music should be deep and meaningful.
On this trip the key discussions were with our hosts, Marika and Rusudan at the National Centre for Teachers Professional Development as we finalised details of the schedule, the venue, the printing, the bus transfers, translation and food. Through their local networking they have attracted performances from 5 groups including a children’s orchestra, a University choir, a puppet theatre, a harpist and submissions on subjects around wellbeing, traditional music making and conservatoire developments.
I also went to a lovely rehearsal from a women’s choir called Ialoni , met the director of a recording studio set up, negotiated prices for guests at the CMA hotel, the Hostel Fabrika, attended an Orff training workshop and met two vocal leaders who will be running sessions for us in the beautiful Georgian folk tradition.
With our international delegates bringing their experience from all points of the globe we hope to facilitate an exciting week of presentation, discussion, debate, sharing and of course, singing. We will try and make an online space to share this with you, other ISME members and of course we will bring our learning and discovery from Georgia to the Baku gathering. If it goes right we will also leave a legacy of connection in this beautiful rich cultural context.
For more information about the CMA Pre Conference Seminar and to register go the dedicated website. Registrations are open.