On Wednesday 15 May, the International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation (IYMF) joined the 10th anniversary celebration of the Children’s Orchestra Orff, a remarkable initiative by the Fondazione MUS-E Italia and MUS-E Parma.

The event, featuring the performance by the Children’s Orchestra Orff from Martiri di Cefalonia school, took place at Teatro al Parco in Parma and welcomed as audience hundreds of primary school children from Cefalonia, Rodari, and Cocconi schools, alongside educators, local authorities, and diplomats.

The IYMF’s presence and speech was an opportunity to underscore the international dimension of the project and the Foundation’s ongoing dedication to fostering musical education and cultural inclusion among young children. Bianca Rubino, IYMF Project Manager, in her speech, expressed IYMF’s deep admiration and support for the MUS-E Programme carried out by Fondazione Mus-e Italia. She emphasised the IYMF’s commitment to follow and promote from Brussels the remarkable achievements of the MUS-E Programme, which is currently implemented in 12 countries worldwide. Highlighting the European Commission’s recent inclusion of the MUS-E Programme in a toolkit on the European Education Platform that showcases initiatives promoting inclusive education, Bianca Rubino reiterated the global significance of the Programme and initiative  such as the Children’s Orchestra. She quoted Yehudi Menuhin, the inspiration behind the foundation, stating “What guides us is children’s response, their joy in learning to dance, to sing, to live together. It should be a guide to the whole world.”

Besides the intervention of the IYMF, the celebration included speeches by Vice Mayor Lorenzo Lavagetto, President of Mus-e Parma Sergio Bernasconi, Fondazione Mus-e Italia’s Secretary-General Federica Maltese, the Orchestra’s Director Ailem Carvajal, Martiri di Cefalonia School Headmaster Nadia Malcisi, President of Fondazione Anna Mattioli Roberto Pagliuca, this year’s sponsor of the Orchestra and the presence of the Cuban Consul, Marco Hernandez Sosa.

The Children’s Orchestra Orff, founded in 2014 and directed by Ailem Carvajal, has provided over the year high-quality musical education to primary school children in Parma, enriching their personal and social lives through music. The orchestra engages children through an innovative approach to music education that emphasises experiential learning and active participation where children actively engage in creation, improvisation, and musical performance. Each child in the orchestra plays a unique and indispensable role, fostering a sense of unity and inclusion.

The event was a special occasion to honour and remember Anna Cattaneo, the founder of Mus-e Parma. It featured the premiere of “MINIBUM,” a name inspired by a book by Lara Albanese and Anna Cattaneo. During the event, it was announced that “MINIBUM” would become the new name of the orchestra, now called Orchestra MINIBUM.

IYMF was truly honoured to be in Parma to celebrate this significant anniversary and the transformative power of music in education.

The event was featured by the “Gazzeta Di Parma” newspaper.