By: Jason Camelio, Director of International Programs
The Berklee International Network (BIN) partner Conservatorio Souza Lima in Sao Paulo, Brazil has much to celebrate. Souza Lima is celebrating its 30th anniversary. This institution, which boasts a number of exceptional Berklee alumni among its faculty members such as vice director Lupa Santiago, is seen as a leader of contemporary music education in Brazil and throughout Latin America.
It is this highly regarded status that has attracted contemporary music educators to flock to Sao Paulo for the 3rd annual Congreso Latino Americano De Escuelas De Musica. The Congress is the brain-child of Antonio Mario Cunha, founder and director of Souza Lima and artist and Berklee professor Oscar Stagnaro. CLAEM aims to create, through Congress, a network of institutions to allow the exchange of academic information, educational and administrative concepts. The group will seek to create opportunities for its faculty members and students to benefit through through a variety of exchanges and events, thus contributing to the formation of a Latin music community.
This week a group of 15 institutions from Latin America are meeting at Souza Lima. Institutions from Argentina, Bolovia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Venezuela and more are represented by their leaders and top students for a series of lectures, clinics and concerts. Most importantly, this fast growing organization is formalizing its structure and charter. Berklee, represented by vice president of global initiatives Guillermo Cisneros, CLAEM artistic director Oscar Stagnaro and myself, are here to act as advisers and collaborators to this organization and its members.
The connections the members of CLAEM are making are similar to that of the BIN, which is a global network with a core of 13 member institutions — and many more academic partners, non-profit arts organizations and world-class music festivals.
The spirit of organizations like the BIN and CLAEM are aimed at providing the best possible education and opportunities for our students. A compelling fact of both organizations is the ubiquity of Berklee alumni as institution founders and academic leaders carrying that spirit forward from the mother ship.
As the week progress, I will supply more updates about the activities at the Congress.