The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.


Toward Justice

Angelica Ivonne Cortez, Interim President and CEO of El Sistema USA

This is a field that can, at times, feel at odds with itself. How can we use orchestral music—a system deeply entrenched in hierarchy, in exclusivity, in elitism, and in a Eurocentric framework—as a means of moving toward equity and social justice? It is difficult to conceptualize the orchestra as a model for equity when there are hierarchal layers—conductor, concertmaster, principals, section players—engrained in the art form.


Diversity Corridors: Collaborative Practices for Community in Africa

Levi Wataka, Musical Director, National Youth Orchestra of Kenya

The survival needs of underserved populations in rural areas and settlements across African cities, where basic sustenance overrides concepts of heritage, identity, and culture, have led many to interrogate the arts’ role in building social foundations for community.

Nevertheless, many community-based instrumental music programs have been founded to preserve those very foundations. Though these programs tend to work in isolation, there is much to be gained from creating corridors among them in Africa.


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