Conservatory students refuse to play for free

By Amanda Surber

A GROUP of 20 students from the Oscar Espla Superior Conservatory of Music have formally complained to the Department of Education for what they consider to be irregularities in their orchestra, band and chorus classes. 

The current conductor, Joan Garcia Iborra, indicated that the students’ claims are simply “lies”.

According to the students, they were forced to give free concerts while paying for their meals and transportation. Furthermore, the young musicians claim they were forced to participate in recording sessions after school hours. 

The students’ representative from the Regional Education Department also sites coercion and threats. According to the representative the children were called to improvised rehearsals with less than 24 hours notice. They were allegedly told that the musical groups would be disbanded if they did not attend.

The Conservatory’s credibility was also called into question. The subject of orchestra was taught by Garcia Iborra who is “a percussion teacher and has neither the degree nor the appointment by the headmaster of the orchestra.” The students’ representative continued, “The class should be taught by a specialised teacher.”

Iborra explained that teaching the classes instead of a higher-qualified professor was a result of “economical problems.” While he admits to the students’ free performances, Iborra describes such occurrences as “part of their training.”


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