After the El Sistema symposium in Philadelphia earlier this month, the Fellows migrated up the coast to New York City, along with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra which was set to begin a six-day residency at Carnegie Hall.
In addition to having the opportunity to hear the Simon Bolivar Orchestra perform again, one of the highlights in NYC was attending Carnegie Hall's Discovery Day featuring a keynote speech by Leon Botstein and a conversation with Dr. Abreu and Gustavo Dudamel.
Leading up to the much-anticipated seminario that brought together children from the five local El Sistema-inspired programs for the first time, the Fellows spent Monday and Tuesday at The DiMenna Center, hosted by the Orchestra of St. Luke's and its education director Jennifer Kessler (Sistema Fellow, '12). Our activities included a class with faculty member Greg Kandel, a discusion with Gretchen Nielsen, Director of Educational Initiatives for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and two informal and inclusive conversations about El Sistema and transformative music education facilitated by faculty member Eric Booth.
For some flavor of our experience, here is a sampling of my less-than-professional-quality snapshots from New York City.
Conversation, including David Gracia, Sistema Fellow '11, at far left
Children from Corona Youth Music Project with founder Alvaro Rodas (Sistema Fellow, '10)
We returned to Boston late Wednesday (or very early Thursday in some cases) exhausted, ready to wrap up the first semester, and looking forward to some down time over the coming weeks.
Program Director, Sistema Fellows Program