Latin America

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

Teach a Man to Fish: Sonidos de la Tierra and the Power of Community Autonomy

07-02-2019

It’s 4:30 on a Thursday afternoon in Quiindy, and the Gaete household is humming. Silvia is humming Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 while she prepares dinner for the family with her husband, Juan, who taps along rhythmically as he sets the table.

Announcing the launch of Music In Action Journal: A Knowledge Hub for the Frontlines of Music-For-Social-Action

06-15-2019

When cultural historians reflect on the late 20th and early 21st centuries, one of the most significant paradigm shifts noted will be the explosion of music-for-social-action initiatives across the globe. Inspired by the work of pioneering figures including Jorge Peña Hen, José Antonio Abreu, Ana Milena Muñoz de Gaviria, Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg, Ricardo Castro, and others, largely in Latin America, the centuries-old platform of the symphony orchestra has found renewed purpose at the epicenter of grassroots transformations from inner-city Port-Au-Prince to rural Canada, from Scotland to Kenya, from Jamaica to Honduras.

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

Zohra and Dream Orchestras met two days before the concert to rehearse, eat, and laugh together. The young musicians had many experiences to share. One just came from his homeland, while another escaped four years ago. One took an instrument instead of a weapon to fight for what she loves, while another chose to migrate.

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.

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