Cemuchca (Cercle de Musiciens Chrétiens Capois) was founded in 2004 at the initiative of former members of a musical ensemble from the city of Cap-Haïtien and is one of the largest musical institutions in Haiti. In addition to its headquarters in Cap-Haïtien, it has ten branches throughout the country (in particular in the cities of Limbe, Milot, Port-au-Prince, the Nippes region and on the island of Gonâve). The institute has 350 regular pupils from the age of 5, from all social backgrounds, 250 of whom take part in the annual summer courses. The school offers a versatile musical education (quartet instruments, piano, brass band, solfège, etc.) and has an orchestra of 30 musicians.
The partnership between Music Fund and Cemuchca has led to the shipment of hundreds of instruments, the creation and equipping of two permanent workshops (in Cap-Haïtien and in Port-au-Prince) and the training of two technicians: violin maker Garfield Hylaris, known as “Tchoupy” and wind instrument repairer Hérold Jean-Pierre.
Our action in 2021-2023
- Involvement of Cemuchca branches in the regular maintenance of musical instruments through the distribution of kits with basic tools and the organisation of basic instrument repair courses by local technicians.
- Creation of a repair seminar in Cap-Haïtien, on the fringes of Cemuchca’s annual summer camp.
- Production of video tutorials for the repair of stringed and wind instruments.
- Positioning of the Tchoupy (Cap-Haïtien) and Hérold (Port-au-Prince) workshops as reference workshops for string and wind instruments in Haiti.
- Deepening the training of Tchoupy and Herold in Europe.
- Organisation of a new training course for apprentice piano tuners and repairers in Cap-Haitien.
Garfield Hylaris, known as “Tchoupy” has had several professional training courses with Luisa Campagnolo in Cremona, Italy – the most important centre of violin making in Europe. He is the appointed violin maker of the Cemuchca (which has a fully equipped workshop) and maintains and repairs the school’s instruments, trains apprentices and builds his own violins. He is a multi-instrumentalist (violin, double bass, saxophone, trumpet), teaches music and is also the conductor of the Cemuchca brass band and orchestra.
Wind instrument repairer
After attending two wind instrument repair courses in Cap-Haïtien in 2016 and 2018, Hérold Jean-Pierre is invited to Belgium in 2019 for a two-month advanced training course. He will thus go on an internship at the Music Fund workshops in Marche-en-Famenne, as well as in the Dairbau workshop in Gourdinne and the workshop of Marc Paelemans in Zwalm. That same year Hérold founds his own workshop in Port-au-Prince, the CPMIRS (Cemuchca Port-au-Prince Music Instrument Repair Shop). Music Fund helps to equip the workshop. Passionate about violin making, he also specialises – as a self-taught musician – in repairing the instruments of the quartet. Hérold is also a music teacher at the annex of the Cemuchca in Port-au-Prince.
Project in the spotlight: Instrument Repair Channel
In order to strengthen the autonomy of its various partner projects and to encourage the exchange of know-how between countries in the South, Music Fund launched in June 2020 – in collaboration with the American association BLUME Haiti – the production and distribution of instrument repair tutorials.
Once a month, Tchoupy and Hérold thus offer videos relating to the repair of the quartet and wind instruments. The programme of these videos, developed jointly by the two Haitian technicians and European luthiers, is progressive and adapted to local realities (where specialised equipment is often lacking). Various topics are covered, including making tools from available materials, the basic concepts required for repairing and maintaining instruments or specific techniques relating to the different types and families of instruments.
Music Fund’s projects in Haiti are developed in partnership with BLUME Haiti and with the support of PayPal.