Recital to benefit music education and outreach in Tanzania

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Augustana will present a clarinet studio recital to raise awareness for Clarinets for Conservation, an organization teaching music and conservation in Tanzania, on Wednesday, April 29, 8 p.m. in Wallenberg Hall (3520 7th Ave.). This performance's admission is free and open to the public.

Clarinets for Conservation sends a group of musicians to Tanzania each summer, teaching students to play the clarinet and working to preserve the mpingo tree, from which we get the black wood used to make clarinets and other musical instruments.

Although the mpingo tree is the national tree of Tanzania, the clarinet is almost completely unknown there. Clarinets for Conservation founder and director Michele Von Haugg hopes to bring the instrument back to its native land, and perhaps bring to life a new style and culture of clarinet playing.

“There is nothing in my life that has been more awesome and more powerful than to see the look in the students’ eyes when they realize what they can create,” Von Haugg said in a video about the organization.

Along with learning to play the clarinet, the students also plant mpingo trees. The music education program gives students an opportunity to learn about conservation and sustainability. By planting the trees, they are investing in their own futures. The trees planted by students in 2015 will be worth over $1 million when they reach full growth in approximately fifty years.

Free-will donations will be accepted at the concert, which will feature performances by the Augustana Clarinet Choir, a bass clarinet ensemble, and several duets and solos. A video will give an overview of the organization’s work, including performances by Tanzanian students.

About Augustana:

Founded in 1860, Augustana College is a selective four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences. Augustana is recognized for the innovative program Augie Choice, which provides each student up to $2,000 to pursue a high-impact learning experience such as study abroad, an internship or research with a professor. Current students and alumni include 155 Academic All-Americans, a Nobel laureate, 13 college presidents and other distinguished leaders. The college enrolls 2,500 students and is located along one of the world’s most important waterways, the Mississippi River, in a community that reflects the diversity of the United States.