We have been active in Zimbabwe from 2006 to the present, most recently co-sponsoring the Pfumvudza Community Arts Festival on October 28, 2023, with Revival Arts Trust Zimbabwe.

Our 2006 project, “Sound of Water, Sound of Hope,” offered interactive music composition workshops for AIDS orphans. In the workshops, the children wrote music inspired by water in order to raise awareness about and funds to address the lack of access to water at Epworth Primary School in Epworth, Harare. We held a benefit concert to raise the funds necessary to install a borehole pump at the school. The project was a joint endeavor with Jayne During of the Kuaba Humanitarian Foundation. We returned in 2007 to teach at Musicamp and conduct workshops in collaboration with musicians in Marondera.

In 2015, as part of our 10th anniversary celebration, the Passacaglia Project, we worked with musical groups selected by our partner, Revival Arts Trust Zimbabwe, to create a passacaglia celebrating Zimbabwe’s culture. The Zimbabwe portion of the project was underwritten by Ty Bhojwani, and the Zimbabwean passacaglia is dedicated to him. Musicians who co-composed the passacaglia with our musicians (CiH ED William Harvey, violin; Kayleigh Miller, viola; and Ryan Murphy, cello) included Mhofelas (led by Musekiwa Chingodza) and African Roots.

The highlight of our 2015 work in Zimbabwe was the first-ever symphony orchestra performance of music by Zimbabwe’s national hero Oliver Mtukudzi, a performance that received rave reviews in Zimbo Jam and Harare News. Here is the US Embassy’s news release.

We also premiered a passacaglia by American composer Michael Schelle in Zimbabwe; played the Dvorak Piano Quartet with local pianist Sekai Zengeza; taught and performed at Musicamp, which has offered intensive music training for one week every year since 1964; and helped the Revival Arts Trust Zimbabwe launch the Pfumvudza Arts Festival in Marondera, Zimbabwe. The full report about our Zimbabwe work is available here, and pictures are available here.

We are very grateful to our partners in Zimbabwe, especially to Dr. Solomon Guramatunhu, the renowned opthalmologist and founder of Eyes for Africa. Our benefit concerts at his home have raised enough money to restore sight to more than 200 people. We also gratefully acknowledge Ronald Badza of Revival Arts Trust Zimbabwe and the brother Onias Horiwa and Oliver Horiwa (who tragically passed away on April 13, 2019).