The Lebanese Band Association for the Promotion of Music

1The 2014 International Summer Band Camp (ISBC) was successfully organized by the Lebanese Band Association for the Promotion of Music (LeBAM) for 9 full days from Saturday, July 26, 2014 through Sunday August 3, 2014.2

Such success is all the more remarquable, taking into consideration the unstable political and security situation prevailing in Lebanon during this period, in addition to the complications related to its coinciding with the month of Ramadan.

It must also be emphasized that such musical and cultural event is unique in Lebanon and the whole of the Arab region.

The ISBC was a unique time in the life of all its about 250 participants, coming mainly from underprivileged communities from all over Lebanon, where the teaching of quality band music to youth was used as a conduit for cultural openness, dialogue, creativity, conflict resolution and citizenship.3

This success owes a lot to the sponsorship generously offered by your good selves in partial support of the 2014 ISBC budget. It is worthy to remind that the same sponsorship amount has also supported the special concert to honor the legacy of Zaki Nassif, performed on the main stage of the Beiteddine Festival on Saturday 19 (subject of a separate report already e-mailed to your goodselves).

LeBAM and its ISBC partners (mainly Notre Dame University and the National Conservatoire), look forward to repeating this partnership with your good selves.4

Relevance of the ISBC in the current Lebanese context:

The implemented ISBC is part of an effort, uniquely spearheaded by LeBAM that uses music teaching and Harmonic Band music, as a vehicle for social and economic development, but also as a vehicle of dialogue and understanding between the many participants coming from a variety of regions and religions of Lebanon. Such interaction, dialogue and exchange of know-how also lead to the improvement of the quality of music teaching and music performance in Lebanon.6

The intrinsic value of music as a tool for communication and conflict resolution, was reinforced during the 2014 ISBC through the delivery of a daily communication and conflict resolution skills workshop, by expert trainers organized by the Lebanese specialized NGO “Youth for Tolerance”.7

Music is rightly described as a universal language, the finest conduit for creativity and inter-cultural dialogue. It also should be an essential component of any person’s wellrounded education; it has been such since ancient Greek times and has been proven, in modern days, to: (i) expand the avenues of expression for youth, (ii) actively contribute to their development and academic performance, and (iii) fulfill their human right to education and culture.

Most importantly, music is an art that develops critical values for democracy, conflict resolution and citizenship, particularly: precision in upholding rules (playing accurately the notes), respect of diversity (playing a variety of music styles and working with a variety of people) and the practice of collaboration (playing together in instrumental ensembles).

However, music education, especially for youth, has been neglected by many school systems in Lebanon. Music teaching is further perceived at best, as an optional activity and worse as elitist activity, oblivious of the above-mentioned importance. Thus, it has now become critical to develop the teaching of quality music in all possible venues, such as the ISBC.8

Many countries such as the USA and many European countries have greatly developed the tradition of performing band music in public spaces as well as the teaching of music at schools and conservatoires. The ISBC is a unique place where such experiences are shared.

The ISBC Organizer LeBAM:

LeBAM was incorporated in 2008 as a non-profit, non-political, non-partisan and nonreligious based organization, to “promote the development and dissemination of music throughout Lebanon, as a tool for educational and social development, through the (i) The free teaching of music on wind and percussion instruments to 12 to 18 years old youth in many centers throughout Lebanon, and (ii) Organizing its music students in community-based harmonic bands to perform public concerts (iii) developing the teaching of music in schools.

LeBAM currently manages five music centers in Beit-Mery, Baskinta, Jdeideh, Baakline and most recently Tripoli, currently including: three Harmonic Bands, totaling about 300 students, 24 teachers, 3 conductors and assistant conductors, 3 visiting conductors.

It has organized 5 ISBCs from 2010 to 2014. It has also organized dozens of local and national concerts, 2 concerts in Switzerland and a limited edition of a Festival of Bands. LeBAM was also successful in mobilizing a broad network of Lebanese and international partners, including the Lebanese National High Music Conservatoire, dozens of schools and municipalities in the areas of Lebanon where LeBAM operates.9

The Venue and Partnership with the NDU:

The ISBC venue was the music department rooms in the faculty of Architecture, Art and Design (FAAD) at the Notre Dame University Campus (NDU) in Zouk Mosbeh (Lebanon) which has partnered with LeBAM for the first time in the provision of very valuable in kind participation, including teaching premises, dorms, teaching tools and services.10

Teaching and rehearsals were conducted in state-of-the-art sound-proof, air-conditioned and appropriately lit, teaching rooms that were used for the first time by the University during the ISBC. They were two large rehearsal rooms, one large acoustic rehearsal room, 12 master class rooms and 6 other normal rooms.11

Most importantly, the ISBC used the 400 seat oval theatre and the larger 1000 seat large Bechara Rai Theater, which hosted the end of ISBC public concert.12

The ISBC also could benefit from very appropriate on-campus housing and dormitories for many of its students and teachers and benefitted even from special low rates which were even subsidized by NDU.

The NDU offered also many other facilities, such as the use of pianos, photocopying facilities

This partnership between NDU and LeBAM has proven so successful, that both organizations agreed to use the university music campus as a traditional venue to hold LeBAM ISBCs every year and collaborate to make it ever more successful and developed.

In this context, they have both recently partnered in September in organizing a two days workshop for the training of music teachers in music teaching pedagogy, attended by a record of 64 teachers coming from LeBAM, the Conservatoire and many other music teaching organizations from all over Lebanon.13

Other Partnerships:

Many partnerships were developed to make the ISBC possible and exceptional:

1. The National Lebanese Conservatoire: has a long-standing partnership with LeBAM, providing mainly, quality teachers and conductors. For the 2014 ISBC, the Conservatoire provided a number of valuable instruments and accessories (e.g. music stands) that were lent and used in the teaching, rehearsals and concerts.

2. Jazz Education Abroad (JEA), Alfred Publishers through Dr. Gene Aitken, the 2014 ISBC Director, provided also very valuable teaching methods and other pedagogical tools and publications.

3. Youth for Tolerance (YFT) a specialized Lebanese NGO provided for the training in communication and conflict resolution skills.

ISBC Participants:

The 2014 ISBC featured about 250 participants, being young musicians or to-be musicians aged 8 to 20 years old, coming from very diverse cultural, social, economical, regional and religious backgrounds, both LeBAM and non-LeBAM members; there was also 6 participants from Jordan.

A number of these students could benefit from the great dormitory facilities of the NDU. However, all other participants had still to be transported by busses from the 4 main centers of Baakline, Baskinta, Beit Mery and Jdeideh.

An earlier planning of the ISBC in 2015 will allow a larger participation of non-Lebanese Arab participants, coming in greater numbers from neighboring countries and from other regions of Lebanon.14

ISBC Faculty:

The 2014 ISBC boasted a record of 26 teachers and trainers coming from the best music teaching institutions in Lebanon, the USA, Europe and Asia (please refer to the attached list with short bios of each of the participating faculty member). Such diversity and quality make the ISBC an extremely attractive opportunity for students and teachers alike.

The mix of this outstanding group of teachers that could be brought together for the 2014 ISBC, was an opportunity to share teaching experiences and recommend ways and means to improve the management and teaching in future editions of the ISBC.15

Teaching Program and Pedagogy:

Students were trained into all forms of music, of varied levels of proficiency, including a beginners band program, Jazz, classical and world music performed by concert bands. The most advanced teaching methods and pedagogy were used in the teaching, particularly using US based band methods.

Every day, activities started at 10:00 AM and ended at 6:00 PM interrupted by a mid-day lunch and pauses for snacks and rest. It included a variety of instrument master classes, ensemble classes, full band exercises and rehearsals.

All participants were given an end-of-ISBC achievement certificate during a ceremony to that effect.16

Special Training in Communication and Conflict Resolution skills:

All ISBC students participated in a one hour session, for four consecutive days, in communication and conflict resolution skills, provided by expert trainers of the Lebanese NGO Youth For Tolerance (YFT).

Such training reinforced the intrinsic value of music and band performance in the development of attitudes for good communication ad conflict resolution.17

ISBC Concerts:

The ISBC was marked with a number of concerts, both in-house and public:

(i) Students in-house concerts featuring mostly individual skills and small ensemble music.18

(ii) Teachers in-house concerts featuring outstanding professional music performed by the faculty members.19

(iii) End-of ISBC Concerts: the last day featured two free concerts at the large NDU Bechara Rai Theatre, that allowed all participants to show each other, their parents, friends, relatives and a very large public, the special skills they have learned during the training days. Thus, these two concerts featured 6 large bands of varying levels of proficiency The concerts were attended by a cumulative number of about 1000 people.20

Media Coverage and Visibility:

All teaching and concert activities attracted media attention, both printed and audio-visual.

1. The Orient Le-Jour (in French) and the El Nashra (Electronic in Arabic) wrote very good articles about the ISBC and the concerts.

2. New TV and Tele Lumiere aired great reports about the ISBC.

3. The last end-of ISBC concert was filmed and broadcast complete by the Tele Lumiere/NourSat TV Station. The media coverage could have been much better, had the ISBC not have coincided with the Ramadan month of fasting that had modified the TV cultural program scheduling.

Sponsorship Recognitions:

LeBAM has commissioned a team of filmmakers to generate two video presentations of the 2014 ISBC with an appropriate recognition of your sponsorship. We will provide you with DVD copies as soon as these videos are ready.

Your Sponsorship was verbally thanked in all LeBAM President speeches and media interviews.

Your sponsorship was also visibly recognized and thanked by the clear display of your corporate name and logo (with the other co-sponsors) on the following physical supports:

1. Roll-up banners displayed on all performance theaters, especially during the opening ceremony and end-of ISBC concerts.

2. Large slide electronic display projected on stage behind speakers and performers during all concerts and the opening ceremony.

3. All public communications and press releases sent to media outlets and media agencies: before the beginning of the ISBC, as an invitation to all end-of camp concerts and in the press release sent after the end of the ISBC.

4. All concert invitations that were e-mailed in the thousands to a large mailing list.

5. On all concert programs.

6. On all achievement certificates distributed to all ISBC participants.

7. On all multicolored files used by all ISBC participants.

8. On the LeBAM Website21

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