European Standards of Instruction for the Magnificat

The agreement between the Custody of the Holy Land and the Conservatory of Vicenza has been extended.

There is quite a difference between teaching people to play a musical instrument and training musicians. In East Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territory the demand for music instruction is very strong, but there is a lack of qualified professionals in the field. This is why the Magnificat Institute – the music school of the Custody of the Holy Land – has chosen a more difficult route, a route that requires serious academic study with programs, study and examinations.

Several years ago the Custody of the Holy Land decided to support this study through collaboration with the Arrigo Pedrollo Conservatory of Vicenza, Italy by means of a cooperation agreement. On February 3rd of this year, the agreement was extended by the Custody’s Delegate for Music and Performance, Fra Riccardo Ceriani, and the Director of the Conservatory, Maestro Enrico Pisa.

The Conservatory of Vicenza supervises the standards of quality to be attained and sends examination commissions. The program of studies in Vicenza and Jerusalem is the same. The agreement also deals with the education of the teachers and of the didactic and administrative secretariat. Thanks to this collaboration, diplomas awarded by the Magnificat Institute are recognized in Italy and throughout Europe, placing European quality at the service of the Holy Land.

“If today’s Magnificat Institute students reach a level that is comparable to that of European conservatories,” says Fra Riccardo, “the credit goes to the founder and director general of the Magnificat, Fra Armando Pierucci, who from the beginning wanted to give the school a precise and high quality academic level, rather than simply offering “musical literacy”. The relationship that Fra Armando developed with the Conservatory of Vicenza, which has lasted some ten years now, is the best way to pursue these objectives.”

According to the director of the Conservatory of Vicenza, Enrico Pisa, “Collaboration with the Magnificat Institute over the years has produced excellent results, as has been reported to me by the members of the commissions the Conservatory sent to Jerusalem for examinations. This is why we are absolutely convinced of this opportunity – I would even say, the necessity – to follow the path we started following.”

The agreement, then, was signed with singleness of purpose.

The Magnificat Institute is one of the educational activities of the Custody of the Holy Land for the benefit of local populations. Alongside the cultural aspect, the Magnificat’s mission also has a social dimension: music is an art that more than others offers the possibility of bringing people together and allowing people, to dialogue like the musical instruments, bypassing the barriers of language, origin and religion. At the Magnificat Institute in Jerusalem, Muslim, Christian and Jewish teachers and students study, work and play music together, be they Israeli or Palestinian. The Institute’s activity, then, is a sign of hope for the Holy Land.


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