From May 5–13, 2014, the Hamburg Committee of CSCI sponsored Sullivan High School’s Steel Drum Corps visit to Altona Gymnasium school in Hamburg as part of the 20th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Chicago and Hamburg. Sullivan’s Steel Drum Corps performed at the International Comenius Festival, the Hamburg Harbor Birthday Festival and other venues.
The project is an extension of the German exchange program that has been such a success for both Sullivan High School and Altona Gymnasium in Hamburg. This exchange was suggested and supported by the Hamburg Committee of CSCI. The project focuses on the diversity shared by both schools. Six students and two staff members went to Hamburg as part of the Steel Drum Project.
Sullivan High School in Chicago is a very unique school. In their student population of 800, students from 40 nations around the world, speaking as many languages, are represented. Because most of these students come to Sullivan through a variety of refugee programs, it makes their student body one of the most diverse in the City of Chicago, as well as in the country.
In Hamburg, students from Sullivan and Altona unite and perform together. This creates one of the most culturally diverse ensembles anywhere. Of about 165 high schools in Chicago, Sullivan is the only non-elite school in the city to have an international exchange program. For the school, and for the school system of Chicago, this is an important event.
Music is a great cultural communication project, and a great way to reflect the social diversity that Chicago and Hamburg are unique in sharing. It is not just learning about music and other cultures, but also experiencing and sharing the culture through music.
Lodging and food were provided by exchange students and parents in Hamburg.
This project was made possible by the Hamburg Committee of CSCI, Sullivan High School and private donors in Hamburg.