UD music department partners with university in Colombia
Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 05:09
Students at the university and Colombia's Pontificia Universidad Javeriana may soon be making sweet music together.
University professors and alumni utilized an $18,000 grant received over the summer and recently traveled to Colombia to solidify plans for a new music department study abroad program.
Alumna Catherine Short de Arce worked to secure the grant, and said it helped pay travel costs for the officials who finalized study abroad details. Undergraduates will be able to take part in full semester programs and programs over winter session, while graduate students can complete a dual degree by spending one year in Colombia and one year at the university.
"The goal is to have these continue and expand into a vibrant program," Short de Arce said. "We envision joint concerts, faculty and student visits to the universities in Colombia and UD, and establishing semester abroad opportunities."
She said the university's engineering department has had ties to Colombia since 1997, which makes the development of the music department's program easier.
Gonzalo Arce, an electrical and computer engineering professor who began the engineering program in Colombia, said university officials will begin collaborating with Javeriana Universidad, but plan to expand outside of that university.
"This partnership will provide an opportunity for students in music to go to Colombia, perform with faculty and learn more about Colombian music," Gonzalo Arce said.
"[Javeriana Universidad] is one of the best private schools in the entire country. We will start collaborations with them and grow the partnership to other schools. We've already made contact with two other schools."
Lawrence Stomberg, a music professor, played cello with seven Colombian students during a concert while on the grant-sponsored trip. He said Colombia diverse culture provides an ideal location for study abroad programs.
"South America is sort of untapped and there is a lot of energy and commitment to the arts in South America," Stomberg said. "It's a good time to be making connections."
Short de Arce said the infusion of Colombian culture will enhance students' experiences at the university, even if they do not travel there. Her husband said future plans include holding a joint cello concert this spring and a concert next fall at the university.
Freshman music major Jamie Snyder said she hopes to go to Colombia in the future.
"I think it's a great experience," Snyder said. "It will really help our music department grow."
Senior music major Rachel Clark said there is a shortage of study abroad opportunities for music majors.
"The chance to fulfill some of these credits outside of the country would be an awesome opportunity," Clark said. "The UD music department already has a great relationship with many Chinese universities, so I am happy to hear that we are working to expand our international relationships."