Latin America

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

Orquesta de Peñalolén:  A Source of Community Pride in Santiago, Chile

06-02-2019

The Peñalolén Orchestras Program began in 2000 as a social program dedicated to the ideas that children are most important, and that their instruments are the bridge to improve their quality of life. With a very small budget, we are installed in a municipal school in the neighborhood of Lo Hermida, the Antonio Hermida Fabres School.  Formed as a result of the eradication of the most vulnerable neighborhoods from more affluent communes, Peñalolén is a populous low-income community with serious problems of poverty and vulnerability.

Preserving Traditional Venezuelan Music

04-13-2019

For many years, El Sistema in Venezuela has placed an emphasis on studying, teaching, and playing the rich folk musics of the country.  Now a new article in Smithsonian Magazine highlights those folk traditions and describes the importance of preserving them.  The article, “Venezuelan Music: A Light in the Darkness,” is by Patricia Abdelnour, who was Deputy Director of Internal Relations for Venezuela’s Fundacion Musical Simon Bolivar, and more recently, Executive Director for Acción Social por la Música, an El Sistema program in Spain.

The Ambassadors’ Exchange, April 2019

03-31-2019

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The Ambassadors’ Exchange, March 2019

03-01-2019

On 9 February, the Orchestra of the Filipino Youth (OFY), led by their conductor Joshua Dos Santos, performed a pre-Valentine’s Day concert titled “Musika at Misyon” (Music and Mission) at the Sun Life Amphitheater in the BGC Arts Center in Taguig, Metro Manila. They played an eclectic mix of pieces, from classical works such as Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No. 8 and Wagner’s Rienzi Overture, to fun pieces such as the “Mission Impossible” theme and “Mambos” by Toussaint and Perez Prado, as well as classic Filipino favorites. What made this concert special was that for a few pieces, the Orchestra of the Filipino Youth and the Ang Misyon Children’s Orchestra performed as one ensemble for the first time.

EDITORIAL: Inspiration from Venezuelan Master Teachers

03-01-2019

The U.S. El Sistema-inspired movement felt like “a field” at the El Sistema USA National Symposium in Detroit, Michigan this past January, as we honored our lineage together and shared new ideas about how to advance our practice. The symposium brought together more than 200 Sistema colleagues, representing 80 organizations and hailing from 28 different states, for a day and a half of intensive dialogue and interactive demonstrations.  Elsewhere in this issue we will report on some of the key features of the Symposium, but this editorial focuses on one distinctive aspect of El Sistema:  Venezuela.

Join the Global Leaders Program

03-01-2019

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Save the Date: Make Music Day will be 21 June

02-10-2019

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La Red, in Medellín, Colombia:  Paths of Movement and Transformation

02-01-2019

La Red is transforming. Based on the achievements of twenty-two years of experience, and on the recognition of its work on improving the quality of life in Medellin, we take on the wonderful challenge of exploring other ways to continue building citizenship through art. The city is a living organism in constant movement, and some of the concepts that nourish our program (childhood, youth, citizenship, and social transformation, among others) are closely related to the rhythm and dynamics of our cities. It is our responsibility to be, rather than perceptive, sensitive to the different realities, since those determine the coherence and relevance of the actions of our program.

2019 Cohort of Global Leaders Program Gathers in Chile

02-01-2019

Thirty-eight members of this year’s Global Leader Program cohort traveled to Chile for two weeks last month to learn, collaborate, build relationships, teach, and put into action their passion for harnessing the power of music to serve community and education.  Each one came away with a deeper commitment to their aspirations and heightened zeal for their work as cultural agents, social entrepreneurs, and teaching artists.

#RetrospectivaNEOJIBA

12-31-2018

NEOJIBA in Brazil honored their 2018 accomplishments with a week-long Facebook campaign called #RetrospectivaNEOJIBA (NEOJIBA Retrospective). The program posted about the most memorable moments that marked 2018, from benefit concerts and trips to features of new projects. One such post:

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