In 2009, we partnered with the US Embassy to bring CiH to Cairo and Alexandria. The project began with a concert for and reception with Ambassador Margaret Scobey and guests at her residence. We gave a workshop and concert at El Sawy Culture Wheel for students from the Valuable Girl Project.

How Music Stopped an Extremist

In Alexandria, we went to the Egyptian Family Planning Association (EFPA) for daily, three-hour composition creation workshops with about thirty low-income girls ages 10 to 14. In addition to these workshops, we gave master classes for young musicians and rehearsed with local musicians at the Alexandria Opera House. We also gave an outreach concert at the Village of Hope, which assists youth with special needs. Our stay in Alexandra culminated in a a gala concert at the American Center, in which we performed together with the young girls from EFPA and with local players of oud, kanun, and other Arabic instruments. Back in Cairo before departing, we gave a composition creation workshop at  Alwan wa Awtar, a non-governmental organization that works with children of families displaced by the 1992 earthquake.

We returned to Egypt in 2012 to work with the NGO Bridge. We performed alongside Egyptian musicians in a soccer stadium in Alexandria and at Darb 1718 in Cairo. We also returned to Village of Hope for a concert there. The 2012 trip was part of Connecting Cultures through Counterpoint, a project in Egypt, Tunisia, and Pakistan funded by the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.

In 2015, as part of our 10th anniversary celebration, The Passacaglia Project, our musicians (Rebecca Schlappich, violin & Deputy Director; Demetrios Karamintzas, oboe; and Patrick Sutton, guitar) partnered with the band Nour Project to create a passacaglia. The Egypt portion of the project was underwritten by the US Embassy to Egypt.

Highlights of the tour included performances alongside the band Nour Project in Egypt at the festival at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, and at the Cairo Jazz Club.

Here are some spectacular pictures of the Alexandria performance! Read Rebecca’s account of the tour!