Sustainability through Music Education
The Daraja Ensemble will travel to Moshi, Tanzania in June of 2016 to participate as teaching artists with a unique non-profit organization, Clarinets for Conservation (C4C). Founded by Daraja Ensemble clarinetist, Michele Von Haugg, Clarinets for Conservation provides free music education and community outreach programming to teach youth about the value of natural resources. Since 2010, the C4C program has planted more than 5,000 African Blackwood trees at schools and orphanages and provided free arts opportunity to more than 300 students.
The clarinet, oboe, piccolo, and many other orchestral instruments use wood derived from Tanzania’s national tree, the Mpingo, also known as African Blackwood and Grenadilla. The tree is of great value to artists, furniture makers, and hardwood carvers all over the world, but the high demand has threatened future sustainability of the tree. Students of C4C serve a vital role in educating their families and community members about the importance of protecting natural resources.
Members of the Daraja Ensemble will teach clarinet, saxophone, piano, flute, and music theory to students at the Korongoni Secondary School. In addition, the Daraja Ensemble will work alongside local conservationists and plant the commercially endangered African Blackwood tree at 5 local primary schools.
Funds raised through LaunchUMD will cover a portion of the following costs: Room and Board for the five members of the Daraja Ensemble, Round trip flights to Tanzania, teaching supplies, meals for student trips, and tree plantings at schools in the Kilimanjaro Region.
The total trip cost for three weeks in Tanzania is approximately $3,850 per person, or $19,250 for the entire ensemble.
Oboist, Michael Homme, hails from Tallahassee, Florida. Michael graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Florida State University in 2013, where he studied with Dr. Eric Ohlsson, and his Master’s degree from the University of Michigan in 2015, studying with Nancy Ambrose King. He is currently pursuing his DMA at the University of Maryland, studying with Mark Hill where he is the oboist in the Daraja Ensemble. In his spare time he enjoys painting, cooking, and strolling leisurely through the park.
Recently having her debut at the Carnegie hall Weil Recital Hall, Flutist Grace Ju-Yeon Wang finished a Graduate Performance and Master's degree at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s Degree at Seoul National University. Grace has been pointed as young rising artist by the Gumho Asiana Cultural Foundation and had appeared as a soloist with the Korean Flute Ensemble at the Seoul Arts Center. Also being an active chamber musician, she has performed with the Lunar Ensemble worldwide and has premiered 'Book of the Lake' by Daniel Thomas Davis commissioned by the Walters Art Museum. Winner of the 2014 Baltimore Music Club Competition, 2013 American Protege International Flute Competition, and the 2012 Rochester Flute Association Competition, Grace is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance at the University of Maryland under the tutelage Aaron Goldman and serves as faculty at the Honors College Prep.
Founder of Clarinets for Conservation, Michele Von Haugg is a native of East Berne, New York. Michele completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at Ithaca College. Her performance career began in 2001 with the Air Force Band based out of Hanscom Air Force Base, MA. After completion of active duty service, Michele continued her military service as principal clarinet and soloist for the Air National Guard Band while pursuing a Master’s Degree in performance at the New England Conservatory of Music. During her studies at the conservatory, Michele performed as soloist with the Wind Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra, retained a private studio of over 30 students, and toured regularly with the Air Force Bands across the country. Currently, Michele is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance at the University of Maryland under the tutelage of Robert DiLutis.
Bassoonist, Sam Fraser received his undergraduate degree from the Eastman School of Music. Sam has had the privilege of performing with Symphoria (formerly known as the Syracuse Symphony), the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the Eastman Virtuosi. He is currently pursuing a Master's Degree at the University of Maryland where he has the honor of performing with the Maryland fellowship quintet and studying with NSO Principal bassoonist, Sue Heineman. In his spare time Sam enjoys biking, Netflix, and most importantly, a good burger.
Joshua Blumenthal holds a BM in Horn performance from Boston University with Eric Ruske and a MM from New England Conservatory with Richard ‘Gus’ Sebring. His extensive chamber music experience has lead him to performances at MoMA in New York, a workshop with Composer Joan Tower, and participation in the prestigious Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. Most recently, Joshua was a fellow at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo Japan. He has also participated as a fellow in the Chautauqua Music festival, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the Hot Springs Music Festival. Joshua has held orchestral positions in the New England Philharmonic, the Massachusetts Symphony and New England Conservatory Philharmonia. Currently, Joshua is a doctoral candidate under the tutelage of Gregory Miller at the University of Maryland.
Learn more about the Daraja Ensemble and the University of Maryland School of Music!
Daraja Ensemble on Facebook University of Maryland School of Music
Gifts in support of the University of Maryland are accepted and managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents. Contributions to the University of Maryland are tax deductible as allowed by law. Please see your tax advisor for details.