The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.
News & Resources
Back in 2018, the Friends of El Sistema Japan organization made a plan to host a “World Children’s Music Festival” in Tokyo in April 2020. Of course, the pandemic made this plan impossible. But the organization was determined to make it happen in 2021.
BRAVO Youth Orchestras (Oregon, USA) is staging its fourth Crossing Borders concert, happening online on April 18 at 6:30 p.m. PDT.
The fifth annual El Sistema Academy will happen online on January 30 and 31 and is free to all. El Sistema educators and colleagues across the globe will convene to discuss this year’s theme, “Motivation”—motivating students, teams, audiences, and more. Registration closes on January 27. Use this Google Form to register for this year’s session, and learn more about last year’s Academy in this 2019 World Ensemble post.
If you are an arts organization that works with juvenile incarcerated populations, consider joining a conversation about the intersection of the arts and juvenile justice systems and policy decisions. On January 21, at 2:00 p.m. EST, representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services and the State’s 30th district will discuss how to expand arts education in juvenile justice settings and support young people’s rehabilitation by engaging them on pathways forward. The conversation is being hosted by Arts Education Partnership, a national network of over 100 organizations dedicated to advancing arts education. Registration is still open on their event page.
Patrick Scafidi, Executive Editor of The Ensemble News
On October 9, 2020, Brooklyn 7th-grader Grace Moore stood in front of an audience of New Yorkers. At 11 years of age, she was debuting her first composition, “Summer.” Grace is a participant in the Very Young Composers (VYC) program, a now-international program initiated by the New York Philharmonic over two decades ago. In the VYC, students are empowered to compose and notate their own original works while guided and supported by Philharmonic Teaching Artists. In this alone, the VYC already echoes the spirit of El Sistema, but that is not what made Grace’s debut remarkable. It was momentous because her work was performed, in its debut, by musicians in the New York Philharmonic. This is the standout element of the Very Young Composers program: young participants get to see and hear their work performed by Philharmonic musicians—and sometimes, the full orchestra.
El Sistema USA Invites Sistema Europe to Participate in Upcoming Virtual National Symposium and Seminario
El Sistema USA invites Sistema Europe to take part in its upcoming virtual National Symposium and Seminario (February 15–19) by presenting a session entitled “All Change! – Exploring European Sistema Strategies at a Time of Challenge” on 17 February (EST 12 noon -1 pm, CET 6 -7 pm, GMT 5 – 6 pm). Sistema Europe program leaders and teachers are invited to submit a proposal to make a brief (5–7 minute) presentation about their program’s specific pandemic response initiatives and their context, results, and impact. Approximately four presenters will be invited to speak, with a particular emphasis on the diversity and originality of various responses. Please send your proposals by 13 January 2021 by email to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Ten to fifteen lines will be ideal to outline what you would like to present.
Sphinx Opens Calls for Sphinx Performance Academy and the SphinxConnect 2021 Conference—deadline Feb. 9
Sphinx is accepting applications for the Sphinx Performance Academy, a “full-scholarship intensive summer chamber music and solo performance program with a focus on cultural diversity.” In collaboration with the Curtis Institute of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and The Juilliard School, the program is offered to string musicians ages 11–17. Participating students will have a chance to learn from active and celebrated chamber musicians and university faculty from across the country. Applications are due February 9, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
With the holiday season coming to a close, enjoy these highlights from the San Diego Youth Symphony, who put together a virtual presentation of Ravel’s Bolero and excerpts from Dvořák’s New World Symphony. They used the platform Smart Music to practice recording and collaboration with their peers; check out the final product here.
Music Connects is premiering a new documentary on music’s role as a universal language. It shares the story of young people who seek to heal ethnic divides in regions still plagued by the Yugoslav Wars. The uniting force? Rock music, which serves as the soundtrack to this story of bridging cultural differences.
El Sistema Sweden Presses Forward with Open Call for Side by Side Orchestra and Choir Camp—deadline Feb. 7
This past year, El Sistema Sweden and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra demonstrated how effective virtual programming could be in hosting an all-digital Side by Side International Youth Orchestra and Choir Camp. Normally a summer hub for over a thousand young musicians from all over the world, the online camp still provided an intense week of youth empowerment and ensemble playing.