JOSEPH SMITH MUSIC CENTER
The Joseph Smith Music Center is the newly established music department within the Khayay School, in Yangon, Myanmar. It was initiated by American pianist and founder of 88 International Kimball Gallagher in partnership with the Khayay School in honor of Gallagher’s lifelong piano teacher and mentor Joseph Smith.
The program aspires to provide quality music education for children and aims to provide job opportunities and professional training to Myanmar musicians. The music center was born in 2015 as the school’s music department, while offering after-school private lessons and music classes as part of a pre-college program. Initiated by the festival’s artistic director, Kimball Gallagher, in honor of his lifelong piano teacher and mentor Joseph Smith, this music center aims to be the school’s music department while also offering private lessons and music classes for talented and advanced students in Myanmar. Joseph Smith was a master pianist, teacher, and a resident of New York City where he lived for at least 40 years until the time of his death last year. His personal piano, a Baldwin Piano was in his New York apartment for much of the past 40 years as well until Mr. Gallagher shipped the instrument by boat, to the Khayay School in Yangon.
Along with this grand piano, 21 violins have been donated from Taiwan’s Qin-ai village in the mountains of Nantou county in the center of Taiwan. These two donations form the initial foundation of the music center and will inspire countless students in Myanmar. During the first year, the teacher pianist Ying Hua Huang, from Taiwan, has been in residence at the Khayay School teaching general music group classes and private lessons in piano and violin. During this second year two Myanmar musicians part of the school participated a teaching program in Taiwan, solidifying the bonds with Taiwan88 and the school. Following the festival, a new teacher will be join the Joseph Smith Music Centre.
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