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Xiquitsi - Classical Music in Maputo

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Since 2005 Kulungwana has organised eight editions of the Maputo International Music Festival, with classical music and acoustic jazz being the preferred musical genres. From 2005 to 2012, the festival brought together Mozambican musicians and foreign musicians of international renown, which allowed significant cultural exchange and created the opportunity for a young audience in particular to become familiar with musical genres and instruments that are not well-known in Mozambique.

The public, and students in particular, have given the festival a very warm welcome, with the result that there is a growing number of requests to promote events of this type throughout the year.

Taking note of this growing interest and the fresh expectations, Kulungwana intends to pursue the XIQUITSI (www.xiquitsi.org.mz) project to promote two main activities simultaneously, but in a complementary manner:

THE MAPUTO CLASSICAL MUSIC CYCLE, which will be organised in three performance cycles in three separate months, May, August and October, occupying various venues in and around Maputo city. In this way, music lovers, enthusiasts and the simply curious will have an opportunity to enjoy classical music more often at different times of year.

And the MOZAMBIQUE TRAINING PROJECT FOR ORCHESTRAS AND CHOIRS which is aimed at social integration and inclusion, as well as vocational training through group tuition in music, thus taking the first steps towards the formation of what will become the first Classical Youth Orchestra in Mozambique.

This initiative will give children and young people the chance to change their lives through group music practise, which will equip them with the essential skills for the full development of their capacities. The formation of this orchestra will be based on proven experience, such as :

-“El sistema” in Venezuela, where the project has been running for the past 38 years and today has over 350 thousand youths and children in some 290 orchestras throughout the country.

-“Neojibá” in Brazil, where the project started five years ago. It has trained more than 210 children and young people aged from nine to 29 years, and has created three orchestras that have already given 240 performances.

In order to ensure good quality training, with continuous monitoring of a high standard, Maputo will receive two teachers who are trained, skilled and experienced in group teaching. These musicians and teachers will give daily lessons to children and young people aged from seven to 25 years, who will have and remain in direct contact with the musicians invited to take part in the Maputo Classical Music Season, through workshops, rehearsals and concerts.

Eldevina (Kika) Materula, a Mozambican oboist, is the Artistic Director of the Xiquitsi Project.