Together in Music with Kids:a Gaelic/Guate Project

Help Bring Music to Kids in Guatemala
The Big Idea
Teaming up with education non-profit Common Hope and with Arpas en Armonía (Harps in Harmony),  a couple of St Paul Irish music community members are bringing music to under-served kids in Guatemala.  

We are bringing down and leaving 75 tin whistles for school kids to learn music by ear in the traditional method common to both cultures, sharing songs, and introducing trad Gaelic music to the harp community. In turn, we will learn Guatemalan repertory, culminating in joint free concerts for the kids and community there.

We will also be working with local luthiers to hone harp-specific repair skills.

Time: Coming Up Soon !!!  January 30th – February 15th, 2020

Join Us! Please help if you can with the purchase and shipping of instruments:

    -  Just 10$ buys and ships a whistle!  
    -   A gift of 50$ will pay for a van to bring the seasoned harp kids to                 Antigua to play music with the newbie Common Hope kids.  
    -  For 200$ each way we can bring a harp to Guatemala as a           performance and teaching instrument for Chad during the trip
Full Costs for Instruments
Tin whistles (60 for Common Hope, 15 for ‘Arpas’. These will stay with students)  
○   675$
Shipping of whistles
○   40$
Shipping for Gaelic Harp to Guatemala and back
○   400$ (200$ each way)
Transport to bring Arpas students from capital to Antigua to perform in concert with Common Hope kids
○  50$
We will share photos and videos on social media of the project as we go along and more completely after we return. Thank you in advance from all the kids we will be able to reach with your support.  

                            ¡Go raibh míle maith agaibh y muchas gracias!


Details of the project
-for those who love clear, full data as much as I do!

1.  Participation in music for school-age students of Common Hope’s youth program:
     ·      Provide access to instrumental music for at-risk and under-served youth by introducing them to the method of learning instrumental music by ear. We will use the tin whistle, a simple affordable instrument that is similar to a traditional Guatemalan instrument. We will work with CH  kids for 14 days after school. 
    ·     Music will be melodies from Latin America that are already familiar, consistent with beginning learning- by- ear principles.
    ·      60 whistles will be brought and given to interested students and to Common Hope’s youth/music programs; also, sheet music.
     ·      Engage youth in group vocal music in Spanish, including simple rounds and harmony. 

2.   Active participation in music and dance for pre-school children though Common Hope’s daycare program:
     ·      Song
     ·      Musical games, moving to live music.

3.   Share Celtic repertory with Arpas en Armonía:  Irish, Scottish and Breton harp, flute and tin whistle music at 3 workshop sessions (2 Wednesdays and one Saturday) for the advanced students and one workshop for young beginners.  

4.  With Arpas and Common Hope together, provide musical enrichment for children of all ages and community via live performances of harp, flute, tin whistle, shruti and song. Theme is ‘Coming Together in Music’, with international music from Guatemala, Ireland, Scotland, and Brittany. Performances will be held at:
       ·      Community Concert February 14th 2020 w/ Arpas en Armonia in Guatemala City.
       ·      Joint concert in Antigua on February 15th, 2020 at Common Hope Center with Common Hope kids and Arpas musicians together.

5.  Harp repair workshop with local luthier:
      ·      Chad will work with Guatemalan luthier Rigoberto Hernandez on harp-specific basic repairs and lever placement in San Luis Tolimán, Guatemala on February 1st.  
     ·      As well, Chad will repair as many of the Arpas’ needful harps as time permits.  No materials are needed due to generous past donations from Musicmakers and others.

Personnel and Qualifications:
Chad McAnally is a professional musician performing on the Gaelic wire strung and Celtic harps, flute, dulcimer, tin whistle, keyboards, and song. He has a BA in music performance and an MA in Ethnomusicology from the University of Minnesota. Chad has taught music for over 20 years, most recently as instructor for children and adults at the Center for Irish Music (CIM), a non-profit community-based music since 2004. At CIM, Chad teaches many students by ear in the time-honored manner for Irish and other traditional music around the world. Chad has also been building and repairing harps since he was a teen.

Chad is an internationally known interpreter of Gaelic music. In 2009, Chad won the prestigious Scottish Harp National Championship, sponsored by the Scottish Harp Society of America. In 2012 he was nominated for "Top Irish Harpist" at the Irish Music Awards. Chad has recorded three albums in Gaelic harp. 

Siobhán Dugan will provide Spanish translation and instruction in song. She has experience in delivering educational workshops with under-served youth, including bilingually, most notably an interactive STEM-related workshop for girls. She is the lead vocalist with the Celtic music group, "Rúpálaí", singing in a variety of languages, including Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Breton and French, as well as English.

Financial Disclosure:
Allina Health's  Global Fund is providing 800$ toward the project, which will support partial travel costs for one person. Special thanks to Irish on Grand  for the deep discount on the tin whistles for the project.  All other costs apart from this fundraiser will be borne by us; the teaching, concerts and luthier workshop will all be free.


  • Patricia Fresard 
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
  • Barbara Edstrom 
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
  • Emily Taege 
    • $25 
    • 5 mos
  • J Wynia 
    • $50 
    • 5 mos
  • Allison Tomlinson 
    • $25 
    • 5 mos
See all


Siobhan Dugan 
Saint Paul, MN
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