One of our greatest achievements this past year has been that, throughout the coronavirus pandemic—thanks to the resourcefulness, flexibility, and dedication of the Festival’s staff, education partners, music students, and supporters—we’ve been able to continue to offer our vital music education programs to northern New Mexico schoolchildren in pre-K and grades K–12. While we offered our programs virtually during the 2020–21 school year, for the current school year, which began in August, we’re back to offering them in person.
The Festival’s in-school music education programs include the long-running Strings in Our Schools and Music in Our Schools as well as the newer Guitar in Our Schools and Dream Big Private Lesson Program.Dream Big has grown substantially since we first offered it in 2019. Currently, we have 31 new and returning students taking private violin, viola, cello, double bass, oboe, bassoon, flute, French horn, percussion, and voice lessons at Ortiz Middle School, Capital High School, and, as of this school year, El Camino Real Academy. Among other tasks, students are working closely with their instructors to prepare for upcoming All-State auditions.
Another exciting development is that we recently welcomed Edgard Rivera as the new instructor for Guitar in Our Schools, which we offer at Santa Clara Pueblo’s Kha’p’o Community School. Edgard has taught guitar at two schools on Santa Fe’s southside for the past 10 years, and he’s known for working collaboratively and professionally with children and their families. Edgard also owns and works as a recording engineer at Stepbridge Studios in Santa Fe.For an intimate look at how local schoolchildren and music educators adapted to the many challenges of the pandemic and maintained their devotion to teaching and studying music throughout, click here to read an article in Tumbleweeds Magazine by the Festival’s Director of Education and Outreach, Leanne DeVane.