It’s been a struggle finding teachers. Even if someone were interested, housing is still an issue. The dormitory they had before is gone.
Prior to the earthquake, the school caught fire when a fuse short-circuited and a fire broke out. Romel was back teaching in less than a month.
This is a chance to get it right, Romel said.
“He always tells me the third time is a charm,” said Victoria.
Romel Joseph hopes the concerts will create awareness for the arts in Haiti — and the country’s recovery.
“It has been almost three years and it seems like everybody has forgot about it,” he said.
Normally, the father, son and daughter would offer Tchaikovsky or Brahms. But for these concerts, Romel has arranged something a bit different to accompany the classical pieces: Haitian folk music.
With Bradley on piano, Victoria on violin and viola, and Romel on violin, the knell and force of “Haiti Cherie’’ fills the air.
The song hankers with passion for the island nation, much like Romel Joseph does for his school of music.
Creating a model
In rebuilding the institution, Joseph is aiming high. He wants to form a youth orchestra and expand the school’s curriculum to art and performance programs.
You see, Romel says, “you can only truly train some one if you control their education.”
How else would they get into places like Julliard, the Berklee College of Music and places of the like?
He is striving for a model like the New World School of the Arts, a sort of compulsory education that is not offered in certain areas of Haiti. It will be a curriculum focused on the arts and general education.
There’s an architect out in Colorado ready to design the school, Romel said.
Needs more surgery
On this day, Romel’s violin looks and plays just as it did when he received it as a student at Julliard. A teacher there, Margaret Pardee, gave it to him.
It’s hard to notice the trigger fingers that have developed as a result of injuries from the earthquake. He broke three fingers in his left hand.
He walks with a slight limp, the consequence of a fall off the sidewalk. His mission is not stalled in the least.
“He needs surgery on his ankle,” Victoria said.
But the students’ concert in Haiti is in December and he doesn’t want to be immobile for that. So, he moves along.
“He has that mentality that there is no time tomorrow,” Victoria said.