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Fiona Carr PO Box 21763 Kampala Uganda East Africa
Tel +256-41-233215 Fax 231040 E-mail:

UK Contact: Caroline Stonham, Holymans Farm, Cuddington, Bucks. HP18 0AU. Tel: 01844-292221


KMS Newsletter No.3: July 2002

We are pleased to report that Kampala Music School is flourishing. Demand for KMS lessons continues to be high, and we sometimes have to ration classroom assignment to accommodate as many students as possible. Total enrolment in recent months reached around 190 (although it is expected to level off significantly during the holiday months July-August), of whom 28 are on bursary. Happily, this has meant a significant increase in teaching opportunity (and income) for our young Ugandan teachers. KMS teachers currently number 16, including 13 Ugandans (on part-time contract). Most students take piano, but many study voice and other instruments, mainly guitar, flute, recorder, clarinet, saxophone, and violin. We have had difficulty meeting the demand for violin and viola lessons due to a shortage of qualified teachers available on a regular basis.

ABRSM examinations
We are also pleased that we can report excellent results achieved by KMS students. As reported previously, many of our students progress within the international system of standardised examinations of the London-based Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), with annual exams held in the first week of June by an examiner from UK. Of 89 KMS students who took exams at grade levels 1-8 this year, 12 got a Distinction (highest mark), 37 got a Merit, and 40 a Pass; the 5 students who failed had registered under their own name, rather than being entered by a teacher, and were inadequately prepared. These results are significantly above the international ABRSM average for last year. Many of the Distinctions and Merits were earned in the highest grades, 7 and 8; even more remarkably, others were earned in the lower grades by students who have been taught by young Ugandan piano teachers, who had themselves been trained by Fiona Carr.

Two advanced students took Diploma exams this year; these are at a level equivalent to having completed one year of Conservatoire studies. One took the Performance Diploma in Singing, and the other took both the Performance and Teaching Diploma in piano - the results will not be known for several weeks, but we wish them both luck and are confident that they succeeded.

KMS also offers lessons in Music Theory, and theory exams under the ABRSM system are held twice a year, in March and October. Results also were highly satisfactory. Of 18 KMS candidates in March, 3 earned a Distinction, 5 a Merit and 6 a Pass; only 2 failed.

KMS recitals
KMS recitals have become a regular and much anticipated feature of the Kampala music scene. Besides helping to raise the school's profile, they have given students opportunities to perform in front of an audience. Following a recital of opera tunes last October by voice and piano students, KMS put on a general student recital in February 2002, which was hosted by the German Ambassador at his residence. Another recital of ABRSM candidates was held just prior to the exams in late May, as well as a recital of the two Diploma students, giving them a chance to perform their Diploma programmes in public. PIANOS FOR UGANDA KAMPALA MUSIC SCHOOL Page 2 of 2 Fanfare KMS Newsletter No.3: July 2002

What's ahead
Plans for upcoming recitals include the high scorers' concert on the occasion of the ABRSM award ceremony in late September, another opera event in late October (scenes from Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro"), and a general student recital in late January. We are also planning to perform Brahms' Love Song Waltzes for 4 voices and piano for 4 hands, but not before March next year. On teaching, besides group lessons in theory and aural training under the ABRSM system which were already offered last term, we plan to introduce classes on general music knowledge for a wider audience from September 2002.

More help needed, especially on bursaries
We are happy and proud to report that we have already raised enough funds to cover fully the cost of creating the school facilities which we can use for the next eight years, and over 40 pianos have been brought in under the "Pianos for Uganda" scheme. One KMS practice room now boasts two pianos so students can tackle the highly rewarding repertoire for two pianos. At present enrolment levels, and using some of the income from recitals, KMS comes close to covering its current operating costs. Much more is needed, however:

Bursaries: First and foremost, funds are needed for the KMS Bursary Scheme, to enable us to teach gifted Ugandan students unable to pay for their lessons and music - and there are many! One year's private instruction costs between 120 and 180 per annum and the annual ABRSM exam fees range from 16-35 through the grades. We are looking both for support for individual students now (aiming for 40 bursaries per annum) and for contributions to build up our Bursary Fund for future years. The ideal would be to develop and invest a bursary fund, the income from which would pay for the on-going needs of these students.

Other resources: We incur substantial expenses for sheet music, recordings, reference books and other teaching materials. Any donations of such materials will be most welcome, as will be music stands and instruments. It is very exciting to see how even the limited resources currently available are being avidly utilised. All pianos, instruments and other items remain the property of Pianos for Uganda/KMS so that their maintenance and use can be regularly monitored.

Newer Pianos: The standard of piano-playing is developing so fast that there is a serious need emerging for a few sturdier, newer pianos to cope with the major works in the repertoire being learned by the advanced students.

How to contribute: Cheques can be made out to "Pianos for Uganda". In UK cheques may be sent to Ms. Stonham; for tax-deductible donations cheques can be made out to ABRSM, for "Pianos for Uganda", and sent to Mike Maguire, ABRSM, 24 Portland Place, London W1B 1LU.

Thank you for your support.

For the Board of Pianos for Uganda/KMS:
Simon Yiga, Director Mark Wilson, Chairman John Muwanga, Finance Committee Chairman
Fiona M Can, LRAM GRSM Ulrike Wilson, LRSM  

Newsletter No.3 March 2000

Pianos for Uganda is a charitable scheme to enable donations of good, robust upright pianos to be made to help music students in Uganda to realise their talent. To minimise transport costs to Gatwick, pianos in the south-east are particularly welcome. Fund raising continues to cover the cost of 450 to air freight each piano. Please contact Caroline Stonham for more information.

The Scheme "Pianos for Uganda" was launched in August 1998 as a result of Associated Board Music examiners annually commenting on exceptional talent here in Uganda and realising that it could not be developed because of the lack of pianos in the country.

The response to the appeal has been very exciting and, 19 months later, 19 pianos have arrived. 16 are in schools and practice centres around Kampala, 2 have gone up country, and a baby grand was waiting to be cleared. We want to appeal for more pianos and funds to answer demand across Uganda.

So far, pianos have been placed in Makerere University Music Department (2), Makerere College School, Kings College Buddo, Gayaza Junior School, Mengo Senior School, Kyambogo College School, St. Mary's Kisubi, Namagunga Girls' Convent School, and Uganda Martyrs' School Rubaga; in practice rooms in Christ the King Church and Namirembe Cathedral (2); in Gaba Seminary, Nsambya Police Music room, Step by Step School Mengo, Nyenga School in Jijna and Ntare School in Mbarara.

The pianos remain in the ownership of 'Pianos for Uganda' and the on-going committee will always include the representative for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. The up-keep and proper use of the pianos will continue to be monitored regularly. Most recipients have been able to contribute towards transport and importation costs. We continue to be immensely grateful to DAS Express in Gatwick who arrange the transport at very reduced rates.

The average all-in cost is about £450 per piano and, so far, all expenses have been met by the many concerts we've put on here (including student performances), the making and selling of greeting cards, concerts which have been arranged in the UK, and gifts. The Associated Board is happy to receive donations that require charitable status, designated 'Pianos for Uganda'

We have also been given 2 'cellos, a portable organ, 5 violins, a flute and treble recorder and a lot of music including a donation from the Associated Board. This year, we are using some of the funds to give bursaries to those candidates who are unable to pay the fees for the annual Associated Board Music exams. More pianos equals more examinees - all part of the original vision!

The availability of good instruments has led to two exciting results - Ivan Kiwuwa aged 16 won a full Scholarship to Wells Cathedral School and started in January 2000 on the specialist Music course and is doing well. Paul Luggya, 20, has just won the Senior Music Class in the Kenya Music Competition sponsored by PriceWaterhouse Coopers which included all instruments and nationalities.

We are now exploring the possibility of setting up a Music School as a centre for teaching and practice so that the different instruments we have received can be fully utilised. This will be a separate fund raising exercise - so watch this space!

Thank you very much to all who have helped the scheme. We would be grateful for more pianos and instruments and financial help. Caroline Stonham can send you a video made here which demonstrates the talent and need.

Thank you for your support.

For the Board of Pianos for Uganda/KMS:
Simon Yiga, Director Mark Wilson, Chairman John Muwanga, Finance Committee Chairman
Fiona M Can, LRAM GRSM Ulrike Wilson, LRSM  

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