Cesis Music Secondary School named after Alfreds Kalnins was founded in 1925. Deeply rooted in the culture of Latvia and led by renowned personalities, the school has given birth to great classic music performers, composers, performers of popular music, countless teachers and conductors.
Cesis Music Secondary School named after Alfreds Kalnins is a vocational education institution subordinate to the Ministry of Culture in which children and adolescents (ages 6-20) can attain education in various fields and genres of music and dance. The school is attended by 265 students from all over Vidzeme region. They study music in string, woodwind, keyboard, vocal music, popular and jazz music, choir conducting and dance sections while taking different classes (corresponding to the respective section) in singing, accordion, choir, organ, guitar and kokle. The school boasts a number of successful ensembles and orchestras, which frequently participate and show good results in a range of national and international contests.
Cesis is one of the leading cities in Latvia’s culture scene and having a music school in the city is sure to enhance this position. Access to broad methodological material, high quality infrastructure and modern equipment is not only benefit to the students and teachers of this institution but also to everyone working in the public sector, to particular employees of the region’s education and cultural institutions as well as for those involved with the Song and Dance festival movement and amateur-artist collectives. The school fulfills the functions of the methodological center for the 28 schools of Vidzeme. This includes organizing contests, seminars and continued education courses for all the teachers and students of Vidzeme music schools.
Cesis Music Secondary School named after Alfreds Kalnins provides its students with an opportunity to practice by playing and performing with Vidzeme Chamber Orchestra (led by the conductor Andris Veismanis), organizes various masterclasses, and encourages both individuals and bands/groups to participate in different festivals and concerts. Senior year students often assist instructors in their work with younger students (for instance dance section students often serve as teachers’ assistants in their classes with pre-school children) which not only facilitates the work of the instructor, but also offers students invaluable experience and insight in their future profession. The school’s organ players practice by playing at the churches of Vidzeme while pop and jazz ensemble often plays as an independent band.
The school enjoins its students to participate in various international projects it offers them. Since the summer of 2015, a student group goes to Austria to participate in a workshop for young international musicians – European Pop and Jazz orchestra. From 2015 to 2017, the school’s folklore ensemble took a part in an international folklore project RE: THINK, which took place over a several-year period and was closely linked to the events in Aarhus (Denmark) – the European Capital of Culture in 2017. With financial help from the Nordic Council of Ministers, the school had also a possibility to carry out closer cooperation with the Kuopion Conservatory (Finland) as part of the Nordplus Junior program in the spring of 2016. In 2016 and 2017, school implemented Erasmus+ programme project “Creative professionals – professionals without borders”. Within the framework of the project, students went to Germany and the Netherlands to practice abroad and enhance their professional skills.
In 2018 school implemented Erasmus+ project “Students and Teachers – Professionals without Borders” in which 7 dance students, 5 saxophone play, 1 bassoon play, 1 accordion play, 1 cello play, 1 popular and jazz music singing student, as well as 2 teachers went to Denmark and 5 vocal music section students and 2 teachers went to Ireland for 2 weeks practice. The main aim of the mobility was to gain valuable experience that will give additional opportunities for students and teachers, and will increase professional qualification for teachers, and promote students’ competitiveness in the labor market.