During the past four summers during a special Flutes Across The World workshop in Santa Barbara, Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s Circle V Ranch Campers ages 7-13 each made two recorder-style folk flutes — one to keep and one to give away — to a child in the Philippines.
Campers were led by award-winning composer, musician and artist/educator John Zeretzke, founder of Flutes Across the World. Under Zeretzke’s direction, campers learned how to sand, shape, decorate and then play their flutes.
Each give-away flute contained a note from the camper along with their picture attached with a string ready to give to another child.
According to Claire Padama, board president of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Los Angeles, she was visiting her native Philippines at the same time that John Zeretzke accompanied the give-away flutes on a music mission of good will to children in the Philippines in late January.
“Our Circle V Ranch campers through the Flutes Across The World project have connected, in a uniquely caring and educational way, with Filipino children in need. These wonderful flutes communicate the happiness and learning that occurs when children give other children the gift of music,” said Padama.
Zeretzke has successfully led the Flutes Across The World missions to various underprivileged areas since its inception including various trips to the Philippines, Central America and Haiti. In the Philippines, the 2016 music mission was co-sponsored by the Rotary Club Pag-Asa of Davao City, Seeds of Dignity Ministries, Philippines Auxiliary Coast Guard with Sir Ramon Moreno and the Together Ensemble with Hubert D’Aboville.
In the United States, more than 600 flutes were made not only by campers at the Society’s Circle V Ranch Camp in Santa Barbara as well as students in arts education programs associated with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, College of the Canyons Educational Arts, Ojai Music Festival, UCLA Design For Sharing, San Bernardino Unified School Arts Programs, Fullerton and Anaheim School Districts.