Featured article Cap Cana The Magazine
Author: Anita Gonzalez Sigler
The main objective of the Punta Cana Music and Arts Foundation is to promote and encourage music in the eastern region of the Dominican Republic. The funds it receives are used to pay tuition fees [or children from low-income families, offering them the opportunity of receiving a musical education at the Punta Cana Academy for Music and Art.
The Foundation is flagship community initiative is the Camerata of the East, a chamber orchestra made up of school children from Veron, Juanillo, Bavaro and Punta Cana. “For the past two years, seven talented children and young people from Veron have been learning to play the violin and the viola in our academy. They’ve been joined by 33 children from Juanillo who have already received basic musical training.” says center founder Carolina Llobregat. Students from low-income families are developing their musical skills together with children and young people from Bavaro Bilingual School, Cap Cana Heritage School and Punta Cana International School.
Many of them are still awaiting sponsorship and their own musical instrument. The academy coordinators are hoping that people will approach the project and lend a helping hand. “An octet played its first concert in November 2016 and since then we have seen a clear show of support for our work,” says academy director Dante Cucurullo. The academy is committed to a disciplined musical education. The community no longer needs to rely on irregular private lessons. “We have a registration date, a schedule to be followed, regular assessments, a calendar, monthly grades and auditions.”
Anyone wishing to directly support the academy is encouraged to make a donation. The academy also welcomes donations in kind, in the shape of instruments and gives donors the option of delivering them personally to the children in greatest need. According to Carolina, “In terms of sponsorship, we are asking for donations of US $150.00 per month. The sponsor will be sent a progress report every two months – including grades, attendance records and videos – so they may follow the sponsored students progress.”
The academy founder and its coordinators – Dante Cucurullo (director) and Maria lrene Blanco Dominguez (sub-director) publicly expressed their thanks to musician Sergio Vargas for his generous donation of instruments, as well as to the parents who have donated violins and to Ricardo Hazoury and the Cap Cana Group for providing the academy premises free of charge.