Tag: music

Voices of Unbound: Madagascar
Oct 15 2014

Meeting Migasy

By Barclay Martin, new channels coordinator

For those compelled to think that people who live in poverty have nothing but their need to offer the world, I might begin by offering them the example of the extraordinary group, Migasy. This ensemble of musicians from the Unbound Madagascar community has developed a sophisticated sound with thoughtful messages. Messages that move humanity forward. These are engaged people who, amidst struggle, have committed themselves to creating works of art.

As they played song after song for us, I thought about the instruments that they played — some of them borrowed, some of them held together with rubber bands and plastic. These are the stories that don’t come through the music at first listen. They must be told. So should the very fact that they shared their music with us so others might have opportunity to go to school through Unbound scholarships. They were proud to do it.

As we recorded, the spirit in the room was of generosity. For each of the artists in Migasy, the desire to grow as musicians and offer something of substance moves them forward. For my part, I simply felt lucky to be in the presence of beautiful artists who had managed to do so much with so little.

It is the best of our human spirit set to music. It’s their gift to us.

Learn more about Voices of Unbound: Madagascar at unbound.org/music.

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Voices of Unbound: Madagascar
Oct 2 2014

Introducing Voices of Unbound: Madagascar

Voices of Unbound: Madagascar

Recently our resident musician and new channels coordinator, Barclay Martin, traveled to Madagascar. While there he collaborated with members of the Unbound community to record songs that are unique to the Malagasy people. Through instrument and song, the Voices of Unbound: Madagascar CD tells a story that leaves the listener with a sense of the gifts, capacities and cultures of the people with whom we work.

Watch this video to learn more:

Want a copy of the CD? Check out unbound.org/music for more information.

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nonprofit work
Feb 14 2014

Making music in Bogota

Music instructor Oswaldo plays the keyboard while sponsored friends practice their song.

Music instructor Oswaldo plays the keyboard while sponsored friends practice their song.

By Jordan Kimbrell, Unbound writer/editor

Music is what moves us. We live our whole lives with rhythm around and inside us; from the beating of our hearts to the traffic outside an office window.

One of our co-founders showed this throughout his life. Bob Hentzen was always just a breath away from a song, and I rarely saw him without a guitar nearby.

Music has always been an important part of the communities and cultures served by Unbound.

In Bogota, Colombia, 30 sponsored children take part in a music class and learn about the importance of music.

Read more

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Feb 17 2011

Sponsored blind boy develops musical talent

By Veronica Lay, CFCA Sponsor Services

Imagine complete darkness, a life without sight where it is necessary to depend on other senses and other people for help.

This is the life of Milton, a young boy who lives in Guatemala, in the small town of El Rodeo.

Milton singing in Guatemala

Milton sings during a 2010 CFCA mission awareness trip to Guatemala. His mother is holding the microphone for him.

Milton, 11, was born with cancer in his right eye. He underwent surgery to have that eye removed.

Less than one year later, the family learned that the cancer had spread to Miltonís other eye. The only option was to remove it as well.

Left untreated, the cancer could have spread to his brain, and he could have died.

Though he lost both eyes at an early age, Milton has some memories of sight.

ìI could not see much with my left eye, but I did see the moonlight,î Milton said.

After his second surgery, Milton went through eight painful chemotherapy treatments. He became thin, frail and lost all his hair.

The only other person to experience as much pain was Miltonís mother, Ana, who found it extremely difficult to see her son suffer without being able to help him.

ìI thought he was going to die,î Ana said. ìI had to be strong. Öî

Thankfully, Miltonís cancer was treated successfully, but now, he had to face the prospect of living with blindness.

Milton playing the accordion

Milton jams with musicians on an accordion during the mission awareness trip.

On Miltonís fourth birthday, his life was changed forever by a small toy piano his grandfather purchased for him.

Interested in music, Milton started learning to play the piano by listening to the instrument during church. Milton enjoyed playing the piano. When he turned 6, ìthe music started to flow.î

Milton is interested in many instruments and he also likes to sing in church. He has learned how to play the accordion, and, his favorite instrument, the drums.

During a mission awareness trip in August 2010, Milton had the opportunity to showcase his talents.

He told the audience about his condition and his passion for music. His mother was on stage with him, helping with instruments and encouraging him with her presence.

Ashley Boone, a CFCA Sponsor Services representative, witnessed Miltonís musical abilities during the trip. Ashley said that Miltonís performance was remarkable because of the relationship that he and his mother shared.

Milton reading Braille

Milton reads in Braille.

ìYou just knew that she was very involved in his passion for music,î Ashley said. ìThe love his mother displayed for Milton was written all over her face.î

Milton and his family are grateful for the support they have received in the CFCA Hope for a Family program for the past four years.

Sponsorship enables Milton to go to school in his village and attend a special school every other weekend, where he is learning to read Braille. He hopes to become a music teacher one day.

ìI thank God for touching so many hearts of good and generous people that have helped me up to this day,î he said.

Through sponsorship, this young boy was able to find a positive outlet through music. Milton may be blind, but he does not need sight to make his music come alive.

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Nov 9 2009

Photos from the Zamboanga CD release concert

Wow, what a show!

At last night’s CD release concert, Barclay Martin Ensemble, joined by the talents from the Filipino Cultural Center of the Filipino Association of Greater Kansas City, moved some audience members to tears with their performances. The concert was the official release of the music from the documentary, Zamboanga: Poverty, War, Music. If you were unable to attend, please don’t despair: below are some pictures of the event, and the CD is available on the Zamboanga Web site. Enjoy!

Getting ready for the concert

Getting ready for the concert

Concert-goers waiting for the doors to open

Concert-goers waiting for the doors to open.

The Sampaguita Choir performed with Barclay Martin Ensemble

The Sampaguita Choir performed with Barclay Martin Ensemble

Barclay Martin Ensemble

Barclay Martin Ensemble

A special performance by the Sinag-Tala Dance Troupe

Special performance by the Sinag-Tala Dance Troupe

Barclay Martin

Barclay Martin

Want to learn about upcoming events and news from the documentary film crew? Sign up for the eNews delivered once a month.

This review captures the feeling of the concert.

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Jun 29 2009

Renewed in a land that God has touched

By Jerry Kupris, CFCA sponsor

Three years ago I brought my son, Michael, with me to Guatemala, it being my second trip and his first. I felt he needed to see other places and other peoples to put his young life into perspective. He was having trouble and was, frankly, heading toward disaster. He seemed to have no direction. His anti-authority attitude was becoming his downfall.

I did not know what the trip would do for him, but I did know that he was a sensitive and caring person, much unlike the bravado he constantly attempted to put forth. I felt that being in a country where he did not know the language but would get to know people for who they really were would allow his real persona to unfold.

Bob playing his guitarAnd then he met Bob …

Here in this foreign land was a person who was at home with the people and also fully understood the American visitors who had come for various reasons. In telling the story of Guatemala and CFCA, Bob used music as his means of communication. His depth of sincerity and passion for his mission and for the people he served were evident to me, and to Michael. His talks and his music were winning over our hearts and our minds.

Shortly after one of our evening meetings, Michael stepped forward to admire Bobís guitar. After some small talk, Bob asked if he would like to play it. (Michael had just begun to teach himself to play guitar.) Mike replied that he was left-handed and Bob was right-handed. Bob said, “Take the guitar and restring it so you can play it.” Michael, who understood that a musician’s instrument is a very personal item, was at once touched by the offer.

Michael restrung the guitar and played deep into the night. He even composed a tune along the rhythms of Guatemalan music, which he played the evening before we returned to Guatemala City.

I noticed that Michael became attentive to vast differences between our culture and the Guatemalan culture. What pleased me was that he had an immediate, abiding respect for that cultural difference and learned of the real dignity of the indigenous people.

During our time in Guatemala, I could see a new Michael, a Michael who was always there but had been brought out more fully by his experience with new people, new places, new foods and environment, and most importantly, by his interaction with Bob Hentzen.

From that point on, Michael found a new interest in his studies, but most importantly, he developed a deeper love for music and things of a more aesthetical nature. His teachers also noticed a new maturity. His grades improved, and in his senior year, he won the lead in the school musical. As parents we were, of course, proud of him.

Michael is now in college majoring in music theory and composition. I have no doubt that his Guatemala experience played a great part in his new direction in life. I have no doubt that his honesty, directness and lack of prejudice were enhanced by the mission awareness trip.

God willing, Mike and I will return together to renew ourselves in a land that God has touched, in a land that has touched us.

Read Bob’s travel notes to Guatemala

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