Founded in 2012, Trade Winds is a non-profit woodwind quintet made up of young professional musicians who are equally committed to both performance and teaching. The musicians of Trade Winds are clarinetist Brian Gnojek, oboist Ellen Hindson, flutist Lauren Osaka, bassoonist Midori Samson, and French hornist Jamie Sanborn. They are inspired by the power music has to build self-confidence and communication skills in young people.
During their pilot volunteer residency in Kenya, they offered three weeks of free classes and concerts for students across Nairobi. They hosted beginning arts classes at primary schools, instrumental coachings with youth ensembles, interactive public performances, and collaborations with local musicians. In total they worked with 6 institutions and made music with over 600 children.
The ensemble was thrilled to plan a return to Kenya in May 2016. They continued their mission to create sustainable arts classes in the institutions they visited in 2013 and began to connect local Kenyan musicians to outreach opportunities at these schools. They expanded their work to Tanzania where they offered free music workshops based on a similar curriculum across Arusha at 7 partner institutions.
Locally, Trade Winds is always seeking opportunities to welcome college students and other professionals into their family and mission. Most recently, they were the guest ensemble of the Wright State University Reed Festival where they gave masterclasses, lectures, and a recital to inform the community of the project. Trade Winds is happy to schedule more college performances and visits for the future.
In 2013, Trade Winds travelled to Kenya to volunteer and offer three weeks of free music classes and concerts across Nairobi. During this pilot residency we partnered with 6 institutions: the Art of Music Foundation, Barbara Jasinska Rise and Shine Academy, International School of Kenya, Kenya National Youth Orchestra, Nairobi School, and Rift Valley Academy. We performed at each of these institutions, and collaborated in concert with the Nairobi Orchestra, giving 10 performances. In total, we made music with over 600 children. We also learned far more than we taught, making these experiences invaluable to our growth as musicians and humans.
Built out of concepts like individuality, community, and expression, our workshops aimed to show students how art relates to these terms and how they can use music in their lives. All of us deeply believe in the power music education has to strengthen necessary qualities in children like curiosity, self-confidence, and communication skills. So our classes were highly experiential and every day students were challenged to think like artists and create and perform their own original works through mediums like instrumental playing, improvisation, composition, movement, visual art, and creative writing. All of our workshops concluded with a sharing in which the students performed their music for each other and their communities.
We returned to Kenya recently in June 2016 to continue to create sustainable music programs by partnering with these institutions for another round of workshops (as well as El Sistema Kenya and Johannes Enterprise), and by connecting local musicians to outreach opportunities.
Our most recent project allowed us to make music with the people of Arusha, Tanzania. In 2016, we hosted a 2-week arts camp in partnership with the Umoja Centre, and held workshops at the International School of Moshi, Kiboroloni Secondary School, Lohada and Samaritan Village orphanages, Tumaini University Makumira, Ujamaa Children's Home, and Uraki Secondary School. Our lessons were built from the same curriculum as our 2013 project, with a deeper focus on sustainability and cross-cultural connection through skill-building arts empowerment classes.
In November 2015, Trade Winds was the guest ensemble at the Wright State University Reed Festival. We gave lectures, instrumental masterclasses, and a recital to inform the community of our work in East Africa. We were honored to invite other young musicians into our mission and family! In the future, we hope to do much more work like this, as well as concerts and workshops in schools with younger children. If you would like to invite Trade Winds to perform and speak at your institution, please contact us!
Our work in Kenya and Tanzania is entirely funded by private donations and small grants. So, donors are a big part part of the Trade Winds family, and it means everything to us that we can represent your generosity through teaching music around the world. If you would like to join our cause by making a tax deductible donation, please visit our profile on TheField.org. All donors who contribute at least $40 will gain access to view our upcoming documentary coming in Winter 2016.
asante sana to the many donors who made our project possible and joined our cause.
Richard Bayles and Gretchen Pusch
William Hughes, Sr.
Susan C. Miller
The Pauls Foundation
The Peter M. Gross Fund
The Juilliard School Summer Grants Program
Scott and Jennifer Brunk
JooAe and John Choi
David and Klari Crabtree
Shelley and James Curtis
Jack “Danger” Davison
Clifford and Betty Echols
Dr. Sigurd Gundersen Jr.
Dr. John Hayden
William and Joyce Iliff
Edward and Judith Joyce
Robin Keyser and Kirk Lesher
Betty and George McDonald
Susan and Joseph McGee
Gregory and Dorothy Meyer
Donald and Carolyn Moore
The Morelli Family
Elizabeth and Jerome Russell
Karen and Gregory Samson
Rachel Van Amburgh