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
Symphony is a new virtual reality film that offers a chance to experience classical music in a new way. Integrating two films by Igor Cortadellas, the project features Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in addition to 41 young people—making an ensemble of 101 people from 22 countries, performing pieces by Mahler, Beethoven, and Bernstein. The young musicians came together from Venezuela, Sweden, Spain, Argentina, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Colombia, and the U.S. for a two-day leadership development seminario in Spain in 2019. The film experience is presented in two specially outfitted mobile pop-up cinemas. The first film explores the power of music in three young musicians’ lives, in Colombia, New York, and on the Mediterranean coast; the second film is the immersive VR journey inside the orchestral experience. Symphony will tour the world for ten years, spending its first year in dozens of cities and towns in Portugal and Spain. If you are interested in possibly hosting a visit, write: email@example.com. This project comes from a partnership between the Dudamel Foundation (co-chaired by Dudamel and his wife, actress María Valverde) and “la Caixa” Foundation. Its goal is to provide a new way to excite people, especially young people, about the power and beauty of orchestral music.
The Aim High Grant supports out-of-school programs serving middle school youth in the U.S. Aim High works with eighth graders in need of significant economic support, helping them succeed in high school by supporting after-school, summer, and expanded learning programs. Programs must serve at least 75% low-income youth. One-year grants of $15,000 will support programs in their racial equity and social justice efforts; two-year grants ($50,000 or $100,000) will support programs in expanding direct services, technical assistance, and capacity amid pandemic challenges and beyond. The program is funded by the New York Life Foundation (administered by the Afterschool Alliance), and the application deadline is February 1, 2021. Learn more on the Afterschool Alliance website.
The Teaching Artist Guild offers a free professional development series addressing topics that are pertinent to music for social change teachers around the world. The “Youth Right Now = Truth Right Now: Listening to Young Artists” series will begin with a session titled “Adultism vs. Youth Voice” on Wednesday, January 20, 4:30–6:00 p.m. EST in the U.S. Youth artists will unpack the effects of adultist behavior on their lives and invite participants/practitioners to reimagine and adopt new ways of engaging with youth.
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.
There is a meeting place for future leaders in our field. Presented by Creative Generation, the Young and Emerging Leaders Forum is a gathering for “young scholars, emerging leaders, and new colleagues to the field of arts education.” The Forum creates a space to share work, participate in shared learning, and cultivate “leadership pipelines” for the global arts field. There are multiple participatory sessions in the series that started in December and will end in June 2021. If you or a colleague is 35 or under, or within the first five years of your career, consider signing up for the upcoming session on February 4 via Creative Generation.
Is this innovation something that your program or teaching artists might try? Carnegie Hall’s “Ensemble Connect” (EC) is a cohort of world-class young musicians who develop as teaching artists and musicians in their two-year intensive program. They are now inviting anyone to commission ($20) a personalized recording of a piece of music that fits their musical-emotional request, to be sent as a Valentine’s Day present. A personalized video of the performance by an EC alum is delivered by email. They are limiting the number so as not to be overwhelmed, so if you’re interested, reach out to them soon. Or maybe your program’s students could do this locally?
The fifth annual international SIMM-posium (Research Symposium on the Social Impact of Making Music), originally scheduled to occur in Brussels last month, has been postponed and reorganized as a nine-week series of online webinars beginning on January 12. The webinars are free and open to all. You can find detailed information on the full program on the SIMM website. Registration is on the Bozar website; you must register for each session separately.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Ten to fifteen lines will be ideal to outline what you would like to present.
The National Association of Music Merchants cannot host its gigantic annual national conference this year because of the pandemic, so they offer an online Believe in Music Week—a free global gathering during the week of January 18, to connect and support people who bring music to the world. Superstar speakers you know will be announced soon. Registration is free and open to all. Find out what the online conference offers here and register here.
The YOLA National Festival has opened its audition portal for its July 2021 orchestral training program. Open to students from all Sistema-inspired programs; students ages 12–18 are encouraged to apply for one of the two ensembles, the Symphony Orchestra (ages 14–18) or the Chamber Orchestra (ages 12–14). The intensive experience is tentatively scheduled to take place in person in Southern California, but an official update on in-person vs. virtual programming options will be shared no later than April 1. Applications are due March 1 and recommendation letters are due March 8.