A varied palette of amateur music at the international conference

January 2005 -

 At the international music conference Singing the Bridge organised for amateur musicians and music education in the Netherlands, a number of projects were presented designed to serve as role models for projects promoting diversity. Singing the Bridge was held during November 2004 in Utrecht.

One successful project was The school of pop music in exile, in which pop musicians from both parts of the divided city of Mitrovica, Kosovo, symbolically launched that city’s school of pop music. Roma ‘Round the World' was a collaboration between eleven Romany musicians from Skopje and the Eindhoven music school’s youth orchestra. They gave a joint concert and recorded a CD. Further highlights were the international repertoire of songs sung by Brabant women’s choirs together with refugee women, and an appearance by the Mostar Sinfonietta chamber orchestra conducted by the American conductor Tamara Brooks.


Belma Alic, soloist with the multi-ethnic chamber orchestra Mostar Sinfonietta (Bosnia-Hercegovina)

The conference programme also included readings, a panel discussion, discussion groups, music and dance workshops, and concerts. The opening concert was put on by three multicultural women’s choirs.

Singing the Bridge was an initiative of Musicians without Borders and Stichting Unisono, the national knowledge centre for amateur music. Musicians without Borders is an international network of musicians and volunteers that uses the power of music to assist peace initiatives and intercultural communication processes. This conference gave a boost to the Dutch amateur music organisations active in world music, social involvement and cultural diversity. A report of the conference will be published in the near future and can be requested at info@musicianswithoutborders.nl.