Exchange of Notes

New International Music Collaboration Project Creates Additional Avenue for Musician Development

Martín Gendelman, DMA, associate professor and head of Georgia Southern’s music theory and composition area in the Department of Music, has always had an interest in creating new music opportunities for students. Last year, he created an opportunity that crossed continents.

“This is one of our most ambitious projects,” said Gendelman. “We formed a collaboration with Der Gelbe Klang, an ensemble of contemporary classical music from Munich, Germany, that we call the International New Music Collaboration Project.”

The conductor of Der Gelbe Klang, Armando Merino, came to Georgia Southern and worked with some of the students and area musicians to present a concert of new classical music never before played in Georgia. As part of the project, Merino invited two students to go to Munich and work with him and his ensemble.

“When I went to Munich, I was thinking how I could bring some of that international mindset back over here,” said David Arambulo (‘19), now a music education alumnus.

Arambulo is an instrumental music teacher at Coffee Middle School in Douglas, Georgia, teaching at the school he attended as a middle-schooler. He says his experience in Munich gave him new insight into teaching music to children.

“The whole new music aspect has given me the mindset of having kids compose their own music and explore their own sounds as well, and to learn how to appreciate other aspects of music and keep your mind open,” he said.

For Gendelman, he hopes it will be the first of many similar collaborations that will inspire future students as well.

“I think it was the first time that the Georgia Southern Department of Music has had a collaboration with a European, or any other professional ensemble,” he said. “So the idea is to try to grow from here. To be able to bring professionals here, have them work with our students and share their knowledge and their skills, and then have our students go over there.

“It’s an exciting opportunity.” — Liz Walker