ESNCM in Palestine and Music After School Program Updates

By Carol Friesian-Campbell

With support from The Muna and Basem Hishmeh Foundation, we were able to send five people to work at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music last summer including three alumni, Caleb Rumble, Allison McKenzie, and Artemis Polonium—her second visit—and two faculty members, myself and the university choral director Lauren Fowler-Cellist. The five of us plus two visiting musicians from Spain ran the week-long General Camp at Birgit (with the exception of Arabic Music activities). A highlight there was the Birgit Heritage Days Celebration, which included a parade and an evening concert in the town square.

Lauren and I stayed another week; the conservatory was kind enough to let us stay in the apartment inside the Bethlehem branch, and we did outreach workshops in Shoat Camp, Silva Community Center, and Dehisce Camp.

Some photos from ESNCM residency.  Access the full album via Goggle Photos folder. The music in the video from Shoat is one of Prima Tara’s compositions.


This year’s Music After School is operating in partnership with the Paterson Music Project. This partnership has allowed us to expand the program to two days (Wednesday and Thursday) and bring in two additional schools: School 15 and the Community Charter School as well as Norman S. Weir. We were also able to leverage our existing program to get a grant from the Dada Foundation to start a guitar program one day per week at Norman S. Weir School.

View all the photos from last spring’s Music After School concert.