Meru Music Project and the BLISS Band
"Music is the international language of mankind." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Meru Music Project was founded by KUEF Board President, Larry Dittmar in 2007. Mr. Dittmar taught instrumental music at Huron High School in Ann Arbor and at the renown Interlochen Music Camp. He is well-known and highly respected by the MBOA (Michigan Band and Orchestra Association.) In retirement, Larry's passion has been developing the music program in Kithoka. His endeavors have resulted not only in the formation and training of the BLISS band but also in an impressive collection of instruments, music and uniforms for BLISS. In addition, Larry has recruited numerous colleagues and former students to volunteer in Meru.
Board President, Larry Dittmar (pictured left ) is the 'instrumental' force behind the initiation and development of instrumental music programs in Kithoka. Larry, known in Meru as 'Maguna,' has traveled to Kithoka numerous times to develop instrumental music. He has not only taught music in Meru, but also mentored local music instructors. More than 2,000 people in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, and Idaho have contributed funds, instruments, music stands, uniforms and musical supplies during the past five years.
Currently music is rehearsed outside under an acacia tree or wherever space can be found. The students need an adequate Rehearsal Facility and Storage Space for instruments, music and uniforms. The facilities of BLISS are extremely overcrowded due to the school's success and beyond capacity enrollment.
KUEF hopes to build a Multipurpose Building with Music Rehearsal Space, small Practice Rooms, and Storage Space.
Our goal is to raise $75,000.
Schools across American are doing fund raising concerts to raise $500 toward this project. We are seeking additional partners to raise a minimum of $500 toward this much needed facility.
Learn about the Latest 2012 Music Fundraising Project
Download Brochure (pdf format)
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Online Donations may be made at the bottom of this page.
Generous Donation enables String Music Program at Kenyan Primary School
Shar Music of Ann Arbor gave a generous gift of 50 violins and cellos to the Meru Music Project.
Shown in the photo Haig Avsharian, President of Shar Products Company, with Larry Dittmar.
BLISS Band performs at TEDx Nairobi Conference
In September 2010, the BLISS Band was recognized for their exceptional achievements when they were invited by TEDx Nairobi to perform for their annual event.Many of the youth in the band had never been to Nairobi. They received a standing ovation from the crowd.
The BLISS Band with Principal, Moses Marete, Band Director Boniface, and BLISS teachers at the National Museum of Kenya following their performance for TEDx Nairobi at the Louis Leaky Auditorium.
Preparatory Instruction for TEDx Performance
Mr. Stanford Thompson, a U.S. trumpet professional, music educator and former student of Larry Dittmar taught music for nine weeks at BLISS and the local primary schools as part of the KUEF Meru Instrumental Music project. He returned summer of 2010 to prepare the BLISS band for the TEDx Nairobi performance.
Watch a video narrated by Mr. Thompson "Meru, Kenya: Music in the Schools"
Newspaper Story on Music Project
Donate Now to Meru Music Project:
Mail check to: KUEF, P.O. Box 2182, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-2182
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