This January, for ten days, the Grota String Orchestra participated in a workshop with three members of the Oslo Camerata Orchestra of Norway. With classes and rehearsals continuing through January 29, the workshop will give students a valuable cultural exchange and a chance to learn new methods and techniques from the musicians. As a final activity, students will perform in Rio de Janeiro and Niterói. (See schedule below).

The Grota String Orchestra is formed by young musicians from the Grota do Surucucu community in Niterói, near Rio de Janeiro. The Orchestra was created in 1995 by Márcio Selles, maestro and coordinator of the Grota Cultural Space. The young musicians who participate in the program had their first contact with music through the Orchestra and today are at an advanced stage of musical knowledge. They play violin, viola and Cello and interpret Classical Music with Brazilian soul.

The Orchestra promotes participatory development through culture, art and education by supporting music and educational projects. Children and youth participate in planning activities, as well as the activities themselves. The Orchestra also provides social assistance to more than 100 youth and children.

In 2004, BrazilFoundation gave the Orchestra an incentive grant, with which they were able train new instructors and improve their performance space. The following year, BrazilFoundation gave the Orchestra a full grant in recognition of the project’s achievements. BrazilFoundation has tracked the young musicians progress ever since. They have performed in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Brasilia, among other Brazilian cities. Internationally, they have visited Portugal, the United States and Central America. The Orchestra success story to spread to over five communities.

Performance schedule:

• Friday, January 29, 2010 at 6:00 PM: Location: Espaço Cultural da Grota – Rua Vereador Otto Bastos, 23 – São Francisco, Niterói.

• Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 11:00 AM: Location: Igreja dos Países Escandinavos – Praia do Flamengo, 344/ 9 º andar, Rio de Janeiro.

• Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 6:00 PM: Location: GPAE (Grupamento de Policiamento de Áreas Especiais) – Alameda Paris, 140 – Morro do Cavalão, Niterói.