The June edition of Tricia Tunstall and Eric Booth's publication chronicling the emerging field of El Sistema-inspired activity in the US and beyond, including an essay by Aubree Weiley (Sistema Fellow '14), is found here.
"Juneau Alaska Music Matters (founded and directed by Lorrie Heagy, Sistema Fellow '10), the Juneau Symphony, and the University of Alaska Southeast are proud to announce their scholarship recipients who will serve as members of the Juneau String Quartet-in-Residence while pursuing a Master of Arts in Secondary Teaching with certification in K-12 Music. The Juneau String Quartet will conduct their teaching internships at JAMM school sites and music classrooms within the Juneau School District, as well as perform in the Juneau Symphony.
This unique collaboration will result in not only a master’s degree and teaching certificate for the scholarship recipients; it will also serve our community by providing teaching artists for the JAMM program and quality performers for the Juneau Symphony…"
On May 30, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Conservatory Lab Charter School convened the third annual El Sistema Showcase. The event featured twelve programs from across Massachusetts and one program from Rhode Island. Over the past six years, Sistema Fellows have been closely linked to the development of this network of programs.
1. Bridge Boston El Sistema (Julie Davis, Sistema Fellow '12) 2. Kids 4 Harmony (Marie Montilla '11) 3. El Sistema Somerville 4. Conservatory Lab Charter School (Rebecca Levi '10, David Malek '10) 5. The Roxbury Youth Orchestra (David France '12) 6. Boston String Academy 7. Neighborhood Strings 8. Josiah Quincy School Orchestra Program (Graciela Briceno '11, Avi Mehta '12) 9. Margarita Muñiz Academy El Sistema Program (Avi Mehta '12) 10. MusiConnects 11. Youth and Family Enrichment Services (Marie Montilla '11) 12. Springfield Community Music School 13. Community MusicWorks (Adrienne Taylor '11)
More information about the Showcase can be found here.
"Our programs don’t wait for violence to break out – they seek to avoid it through teaching creative and healthy cooperation and expression. We don’t minimize the pain of the populations reacting with rage, or those whose duty it is to serve those communities – we know each of them by name and seek to make things better alongside them. We don’t think the current timbre of acrimony is terminal – we know that good people can effect good change (and we happen to know that good music taught well has a special role in that change!). And perhaps, most importantly, we don’t stop paying attention when the riot gear is put away and the store windows are replaced – we remain in these communities, offering the best of what we have so that the people living there can make the best of what they have..."
Last week in Cleveland, four Sistema Fellows participated in the annual League of American Orchestras national conference. (l-r: Heath Marlow, Jennifer Kessler '12, Liz Schurgin '11, Eric Booth, Annalisa Boerner, Ayriole Frost '14, Eriel Huang '14)
The recent seminario hosted by El Sistema Lehigh Valley served approximately 175 kids from Miami Music Project, Kidznotes, OrchKids (which wasn't able to attend in the end because of the unfortunate situation in Baltimore), Play On Philly!, Bravo Waterbury, and even a handful of schools in our immediate region. This allowed Allentown Symphony Orchestra conductor Diane Wittry to work with an intermediate orchestra on Farandole (Bizet), and Dance of the Tumblers (Rimsky-Korsakov), and Miami Music Project Artistic Director Abiram Brizuela to work with the beginner orchestra on a Chorale and Viva Los Conquistadores! In addition to that, teaching artists from each of the programs were paired with teaching artists from a sister program to conduct sectionals, and to support sectionals that were led by Allentown Symphony Orchestra musicians throughout the two-day event.
Please express my deepest gratitude to everybody at NEC for their continued support!
Jonathan Govias '10, Elaine Chang Sandoval '13, and Eriel Huang '14 recently participated in El Sistema and the Alternatives, a two-day symposium hosted by the London-based ethnomusicologist Geoff Baker. In addition to presenting a paper in London, Jonathan also found it necessary to write a blog post in response to the pressure that he felt from colleagues not to engage with Geoff Baker's research that is so critical of El Sistema and Dr. Abreu.
"The opposite of evaluating the merits of voices is the suppression of voices, and what I find unacceptable is the movement afoot to suppress Baker’s book. If Sistema is an “inquiry,” as I’ve heard claimed, then on whose terms? Suppressing a voice isn’t just undemocratic, and contrary to the purported values of all good education, the act of suppression has an extremely uncomfortable implication. Behind all efforts to suppress any book, or any media, is the belief that the potential audience lacks the capacity to evaluate it critically and draw informed conclusions. In short, the message is that it’s best that someone else do the public’s thinking for it. As logic goes, this is deeply flawed on both propositional and practical levels. It is insulting, but it’s also unworkable. “Ideas are bulletproof,” as Alan Moore once wrote, not in reference to their infallibility but in relation to our inability to kill them physically."
Clayton State University and The Atlanta Music Project (led by Dantes Rameau '10, Aisha Bowden '12) recently announced a joint program that will provide endowed funding for AMP graduates to continue their education through the Clayton State Music Department. The scholarship funding will be utilized for students who major or minor in music at Clayton State. There will also be funding for Clayton State students who are working directly with AMP's young musicians.
With support from the Resource Center, I traveled to Philadelphia to attend the El Sistema Symposium that occurred on January 8-11. I attended to catch up with other Fellows, and to create a team-building opportunity for me and Kidznotes Director of Programming Kim Demery.
At the Symposium, I had a chance to gather the other programs from North Carolina for brainstorming sessions about opportunities for collaboration and learning. It's funny how leaving town finally creates a space for people to come together! I highly recommend creating retreat opportunities for Fellows in the field who are scrambling to connect with one another--especially those who work in close proximity to one another. Sometimes it's hardest to get together when you're right there!
I also reconnected with Stan Thompson '10 and Dantes Rameau '10, two fellow Fellows from my class, and we are planning a leadership retreat for our own professional development this summer. Without support from NEC, I would not have been able to attend the Symposium. Thank you for your assistance in reconnecting me with my tribe!
The Vanguard is an "annual experiential urban leadership gathering of the best and brightest young urban leaders working to improve cities across sectors, including urban planning, community development, entrepreneurship, government, transportation, sustainability, design, art and media. Each year, Next City selects 40 applicants whose smart ideas for cities, experience in the field and ambition for the future all show great promise." Congratulations to David France (Sistema Fellow '12), founder of Revolution of Hope, for being invited to join the 2015 conference!