Cuba, Day 2: Education in action

May 15, 2015
Havana skyline
Havana skyline; May 14, 2015. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan

A few years after it got going in 1903, the Minneapolis Symphony learned that a path to community relevance took them right up to a school door. Since then, they’ve appeared in schools all across Minnesota and given countless Young Peoples Concerts at Orchestra Hall. Today that path grew a few thousand miles.

The Minnesota Orchestra dropped into two Havana music schools, playing small-ensemble concerts and then serving as workshop clinicians for the students. This passion for education is so deeply ingrained into the Orchestra’s mission now, that some players told me they were looking forward to the school visits even more than their sold-out Friday and Saturday concerts.

The kids ate it up. I loved how they filled the chairs and then stood along the walls of the classrooms to hear the Minnesota musicians. I loved how they especially whooped after a wild Piazzolla wind quintet. I loved how you could hear their tone waver with nervousness as they started playing for the pros, and then with the gentle coaching and encouraging, the tone got stronger, surer. Education in action. Thing of beauty.

Photos by Nate Ryan

Boarding the tour bus
Boarding the tour bus to "Music city" schools. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Students at "Music City"
Students at "Music City," Havana's main music high school and university in Havana. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Music city performance
"Music City" students perform. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Drumming
Drumming at "Music City." MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Music City hallway
"Music City" hallway. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Manny Laureano and ensemble
Manny Laureano and a small brass ensemble perform for students. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Manny Laureano and ensemble perform for students.
Manny Laureano and ensemble perform for students. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Piano and trumpet
Piano and trumpet. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
French horn student
French horn student. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Music teacher
One of "Music City's" music teachers. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Brass Masterclass
Herbert Winslow guides a horn student. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Horn instruction
Herbert Winslow guides a horn student. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Wind ensemble
Wind ensemble performance. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Flutist Wendy Williams
Flutist Wendy Williams. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Cubadisco panel discussion
Cubadisco panel discussion MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Osmo interview
Osmo Vänskä gives an interview. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Interview 2
Osmo Vänskä gives an interview. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan
Outside the Teatro Nacional
Outside the Teatro Nacional, Havana Cuba. MPR Photo / Nate Ryan