At the foot of a rubbish dump in the city of Oaxaca (6h30 hours by car south of Mexico), live 15 000 people from indigenous communities, in a slum area, without access to running water.

In 2011, around 20 youths dreamed of creating a fanfare. They were studying music theory but didn’t have the financial means to buy instruments. That’s when Isabelle de Boves, flight Captain with Air France crossed their path and decided to help them (read the history of their beginning).
She collected used instruments in Europe and established a chain of solidarity between France and Mexico. The fanfare was born. The young musicians increased constantly in number and the Saint Cecilia Beginners School of Music (la Escuela de Iniciación Musical Santa Cecilia) came into being. 
Today, the school welcomes 200 children, 6 days a week. They are aged between 7 and 20 and form a symphony orchestra that is the pride of their slum.

The Banda de Musica, a French association, recognised as being of general public interest, collects funds to financially support the Saint Cecilia Beginners Music School.
Since 2011, the funds collected have financed the purchase of instruments, the construction of premises, luthier training, the creation of two workshops to repair instruments and the long-term employment of music teachers.
La Banda de Musica also dedicates part of its budget to finance scholarships for university studies.

The active members are all volunteers. Its funding comes from individual donations, from foundations, associations and businesses. It organises charity concerts in Paris and the sale of Christmas craft gifts to finance their projects.

The financial donations received by our association are fully returned to la Escuela de Iniciación Musical Santa Cecilia à Oaxaca, Mexico.

How this whole story began…

by Isabelle de Boves, president and founder.


Since 2013, La Banda de Musica has widened its support to include music schools in Cuba.

Why is the Banda de Musica involved in Cuba since 2023 while its entire history is in