By Florian J. Haamann, Eichenau
Heart formation. Yes, that’s the right word, says Therese Schwarz after a moment’s consideration. The right word to describe what is so important to her in her work as director and founder of the youth wind orchestra of the Eichenauer Musikverein – and why she has been doing this for more than 20 years. Schwarz herself was only in her mid-twenties when she decided that “her” music association should finally start promoting young talent again. Dozens of young people have since discovered their passion for music through her. Therese Schwarz and her youth wind orchestra are now eligible for the Tassilo Prize for this continuous youth work Süddeutsche Zeitung nominated.
So education of the heart. “It is so important that young people not only move in a bubble, but also get together with young people from other backgrounds outside of school in their free time. That they learn to appreciate other skills as well. That one can adjust to others, because you have one thing in common that you like, “says 47-year-old Schwarz.
At the time, in 2000, it was not so easy to convince those responsible to found a youth wind orchestra. The question has already been asked whether something like this is needed at all. “But I was driven from two sides at the time. I was convinced that our club needed young talent, because otherwise at some point there will only be a bunch of old people. And besides, it was what I learned. So why not in my home club ? “, remembers Schwarz, who completed an apprenticeship as a leader in amateur music at the vocational school for music and acquired the clarinet teaching license. So those in charge just let black do it. It all started very small with recorder lessons. Gradually, the orchestra and the range of training courses grew.
And bit by bit there was more and more recognition from inside and outside. “In 2019 we were hard on the move and really well booked. We were abroad, were able to perform independently. We have slowly become a brand. Then came 2020 with our 20th anniversary – and Corona. Now we can probably start all over again “, so black. Because of the lockdowns, the youth wind orchestra had to cancel the big anniversary actions, one was planned for each quarter. Joint rehearsals are difficult to do digitally. And so from the full program only online theory lessons and regular digital game evenings remained – so that cohesion is strengthened and not everything falls apart.
Nevertheless, Schwarz is not afraid of the time after the pandemic. “In youth work, people are used to starting over again and again. Eichenau is a place with great fluctuation, people are constantly moving. Some stay, others will soon be gone, it’s just quick business.” The spatial conditions are more stressful. The association does not have its own rehearsal rooms, since last summer it has been housed in the school. In the old rooms there were problems with a resident because of the volume. “This leaves us with the cafeteria and the workroom, because there are no other rooms available. But at some point in the distant future, house 37 is supposed to be built, with our own rehearsal rooms. The hope is that things will get better there then.”
In the meantime, Schwarz has given up the organizational part of the work in the youth wind orchestra in order to be able to concentrate fully on musical training as a conductor. “It is not important to me what level of performance someone is at. Of course it is nice when you have a rating game and compete in the highest category. But above all, it is important to me that a person can do more than before after we have seen each other . I’ve always liked that, “is how Schwarz describes her approach. Winning prizes was never her main goal. So she would be all the more pleased about the nomination for the Tassilo and the attention the orchestra receives as a result.
If you want to propose a candidate for the Tassilo Prize yourself, you can do so by April 30th by sending an email to [email protected]