News and Resources
The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.
News & Resources
Project 440 will host its fourth annual free college fair for musicians virtually, Tuesday, November 10 – Thursday, November 12. This fair brings together representatives from universities, conservatories, colleges, and summer music festivals from across the country to connect directly with emerging youth leaders interested in music. Inclusive in this three-day event are workshops on financial aid, admission processes, different careers in music, and more. Students and adults can both register; learn more here.
To honor the four decades of service that Leni Boorstin has dedicated to the Los Angeles Philharmonic in shaping their community and learning programs, with a central role in launching YOLA, the L.A. Phil has created The Leni Boorstin YOLA Administrative Fellowship. This is a paid annual fellowship for two young people, to provide YOLA graduates an even greater role in shaping its future. Working alongside staff members at the new Beckman YOLA Center at Inglewood, they will contribute to the learning programs and build connections in the community.
As a result of the pandemic, El Sistema programs are launching initiatives that aim to share their learning more widely. Play On Philly is opening its resources and programming to students in non-Sistema programs across the country—not just in Philly. Read more about how they’re doing it here. Similarly, the Harmony Program in New York has developed an original series of YouTube-based beginner music lessons for learners ages 7–10, called “Harmony at Home.” This free, year-long series consists of weekly, 30-minute lessons in music fundamentals from prominent artists, including Joshua Bell, Anthony McGill, Jamie Bernstein, and Imani Winds. No instruments necessary.
Three new podcasts have been launched to broaden your musical perspective. First, Garrett McQueen has co-created a classical music podcast called Trilloquy with Classical MPR host Scott Blankenship. The podcast seeks to explore and uplift classical music of all cultures beyond the Western European canon. The Lewis Prize has also announced the launch news of Original Score, an Indigenous perspective on music, a new podcast produced by Navajo composer and Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP) teaching artist Michael Begay. Read more and share widely using their Announcement Toolkit. And finally, the Atlanta Music Project has launched a podcast series hosted by Cofounder and CEO Dantes Rameau. Titled The Next Movement, it features in-depth video interviews with artistic luminaries that culminate in Q & As with AMP students and faculty. Watch Episode 1 here.
The Lewis Prize for Music has expanded its website to feature essays about “Responsive and Collaborative Leadership” by its three 2020 Accelerator Awardees: Brandon Steppe, Ian Mouser, and Sebastian Ruth. The three essays give insight into these leaders’ and their programs’ focus on building trusting relationships with young people, using creativity to support youth mental health, and rethinking the Euro-centric norms of classical music to foster more egalitarian and inclusive musical practices.
Microgrants of $200 are available for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) artists and arts administrators impacted by COVID-19, from the Arts Leaders of Color Emergency Fund of Arts Administrators of Color.
From August 10–14, El Sistema USA and the Collective Conservatory partnered to host the Northeastern Seminario, this time with a special focus on blues music. Eight programs from the Northeast participated in this virtual Seminario, providing the 60 participating young musicians with many opportunities to connect and collaborate. Their week of jamming and improvising together will be presented in a live “Drop Party,” taking place Thursday, October 8, at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Check out ESUSA’s Facebook page for the watch link, which will be accessible after the event as well.
Things are (always) busy over at Sphinx. Registration is open for SphinxConnect, their annual convening of artists and leaders who advance diversity in music learning. Happening January 28–30, 2021, this year’s theme will be Unity. Also, applications are open for the next LEAD cohort, due by October 20. LEAD (Leaders in Excellence, Arts & Diversity) is a two-year professional empowerment program that annually selects ten arts leaders of color to work with a distinguished faculty; LEAD includes mentorship, networking, and leadership retreats at top institutions nationwide. Finally, now is the time to apply for the 24th Annual Competition for young Black and Latinx classical string players. The deadline to apply is October 20, 11:59pm EDT.
A new initiative has launched to promote the composition of original works for remote performance, intended to amplify the work of women and composers of color: The Youth Orchestra Commissioning Initiative. Many of the initial compositions in this project are intended to be recorded separately and assembled as a video performance. Youth orchestras who join will be required to contribute at least one original composition and will have cheap access to the entire library of works. Click here to begin an application and learn more about current members.
ArtPlace America celebrates its 10th year as a collaboration among foundations, federal agencies, and financial institutions that support and strengthen a field of creative placemaking—the field that increasingly uses artists in planning and developing equitable, healthy, and sustainable communities. To celebrate, ArtPlace is offering its annual Summit virtually (October 26-30) and for free this year (you must register); it includes over 50 sessions, and affinity groups you can join to engage personally.