Alumna Michele Von Haugg will return to NEC this spring to provide a window into her music-based international development work in Moshi, Tanzania. Founder of Clarinets for Conservation, Michele will share rich information about how to get involved in or start educational initiatives abroad. Co-sponsored with the Community Performances and Partnerships Program.
About Clarinets for Conservation
Established in 2010, Clarinets for Conservation provides an interdisciplinary educational opportunity to students in Moshi, Tanzania. Tanzania's national tree, the Mpingo, is of great value to artists, furniture makers, and hardwood carvers all over the world. Commonly referred to as African Blacwkood or Grenadilla, the wood is used to manufacture the clarinet and other musical instruments. The high international demand for Mpingo wood threatens the tree's existence. Though the wood of the clarinet is harvested in Tanzania, the instrument is virtually unknown there. By introducing our students to an instrument that is unique to their culture - connecting the product to its source - we initiate dialogue about the importance of protecting natural resources. Students participating in Clarinets for Conservation spend part of each day learning the discipline of music performance through the study of the clarinet, music reading, and ensemble playing. They also learn about basic principles of sustainability and conservation through classroom-based lectures and field-based, hands-on activities. The students take what they have learned and create a lecture-recital presented at local schools, teaching other students and community members about the importance of conservation and sustainability practices.
Founder and director of Clarinets for Conservation Michele Von Haugg is a native of East Berne, New York, USA. Michele completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education at Ithaca College. Her performance career began in 2001 with the Air Force Band of Liberty based out of Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts. After completion of active duty service, Michele continued her military service as a soloist for the Air National Guard Band while pursuing her Master’s Degree in performance at the New England Conservatory of Music. During her studies at the Conservatory, Michele retained a private studio of over 30 students, was actively involved in community outreach performances, and toured regularly with Air Force Bands across the country. Michele currently resides in Arizona, where she is furthering her education in sustainability at Arizona State University, pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities for Clarinets for Conservation, and collaborating with local performing artists.