5032 Lackawanna Blvd

North Charleston SC 29405


Office Hours:

Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 3:30 PM


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Clapham Group LLC-EIN 47-233 1281 (2014-2017)
Clapham Education Group 501c3-EIN 82-1567491 (2018+)

Charleston Bilingual Academy admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

© 2018 Charleston Bilingual Academy

The concert's backstory

Press Release-

NORTH CHARLESTON - Both Charleston Bilingual Academy (CBA) and Charleston International Music school (CIMS), located in Park Circle, state that they are changing the trajectory of children’s lives. CBA’s tagline is “Inspiring World Changers.” Both programs leverage young children’s strengths (linguistic and musical), within an international context, to empower students to winsomely enter the 21st century, using their skills to impact others, regardless of language and cultural barriers.

The concert on November 3rd will provide a snapshot, where we can witness this transformation. Following a pre-reception with great eats out on the lawn (Home Team BBQ and Chik-Fil-A), live salsa music, and a mind spinning auction, a world-class concert will commence. The first 15 minutes will showcase young students demonstrating their developing linguistic and musical talents. Then we will “fast forward” ten years and share the stage with Ruben Camacho’s best students. Six international students will perform, two of whom are children of CBA’s kindergarten teacher, Señora Ingrid Escobar de Mendes. Karen is 19 years old and Manuel is 17. These siblings have played with some of the world’s greatest conductors. Yet, their rising fame has come out of great costs.

They grew up in Venezuela and participated in el sistema. This world-renown program reaches at-risk children and begins developing their musical capacity. Manuel started at age 3 and Karen started at 4. As they grew up, their nation began collapsing around them due to corruption, narcotrafficking, and unstopped violence. Miraculously, the Mendes family received US visas through the lottery system in 2014. They moved to Charleston so Karen and Manuel could study under Venezuelan, Maestro Ruben Camacho, who personally worked with el sistema. Having personally experienced hardships both in their home country and transitioning to a new nation, these two bilingual youths bring great depth that they express powerfully in their music. True to el sistema’s vision, their musical prowess has opened doors and provided platforms where they can impact their global community.

Karen will be traveling from Furman University, where she has earned a full scholarship, to play at the concert. Manuel, who is a senior at Performing Arts Magnet, is currently auditioning for top programs around the globe. For those who will have the great opportunity to attend the November 3rd concert, they will not simply witness the transformation that is happening at CBA and CIMS, but also be invited into it. Participants will undoubtedly be moved through experiencing beauty expressed through spoken and musical languages.

CIMS musicians who will play at the concert:

Karen Mendes (Venezuela)

Manuel Mendes (Venezuela)

Maria Savelyeva (Ukranian)- Cello

Anna Savelyeva (Ukranian)- Piano

Diego Suarez (Costa Rica)- Piano

Maatthew Wilkinson (USA)-Piano

Lydia Pless (German and Taiwanese)- Cello

You can purchase your ticket here.