A dozen Augsburg student-musicians traveled this year to Peru, where they performed alongside Peruvian musicians in two concerts, sharing their knowledge with and learning from their fellow musicians.
Rafael Rodriguez, Augsburg’s orchestra conductor and jazz program director, and Emma Moonier, music therapy instructor, led the May trip, which included students in the university’s music programs as well as non-music majors. All the students were instrumentalists in Augsburg’s orchestra or concert band.
First, the group participated in three rehearsals and a concert with youth who are involved in Orquestando, a program of Peru’s Ministry of Education that pursues social justice through music by offering schools of music in under-resourced areas.
The performance was held in the Ministry of Culture’s Auditorio Los Incas. “That’s a big deal,” Rodriguez said. He compared the opportunity for the Orquestando members, accompanied by Augsburg students, to having a youth orchestra from Minneapolis perform for the U.S. Secretary of Education.
The Augsburg musicians also participated in a concert band workshop with students from three Peruvian private schools, which culminated in a performance on the same day as the Orquestando concert.
Rodriguez noted that although the Orquestando youth participants and the private school students differed in their access to resources, the Augsburg students found that these two groups had more in common than they expected. Both experiences put their participants in an environment where they had to depend on each other to meet high expectations.
The trip was not only for students to perform music. Moonier and a music therapy student spent part of the trip working with the Psychology Department at the University of Piura, where Moonier has an agreement to present and perform outreach related to music therapy.
While in Peru, the students also had the opportunity to visit Cusco and Machu Picchu.
Rodriguez travels with Augsburg student musicians annually, providing them with a new frame of reference and perspective on their world. “The purpose of these trips is service,” Rodriguez said, “and to have students participate as a part of local groups.”
Top image: Augsburg music students pose in Lima, Peru (Courtesy photo)