North America

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

From the Editor

06-01-2017

Here’s a question. When your program is in high gear and the teaching is strenuous, the leadership challenges are complex, and the students’ needs seem to be changing constantly (i.e., all the time), is your first impulse to spend an entire Sunday in a room with your colleagues, talking?

Meet, and Join, Sistema Connect

06-01-2017

If you work in an El Sistema-inspired program, chances are high that you experience some sort of struggle on a daily basis, whether it’s a grant deadline, finding quality teachers, or fixing a broken instrument moments before a concert begins. Without diminishing the weight of these struggles, we should be aware that there are emerging Sistema programs across the globe with greater challenges than anything we might face in our own backyard. These are programs with no instruments; no access to quality teachers for hundreds of miles, except for the founder who volunteers his or her time; and, for some programs, the psychological impact of war and famine, or refugee camps filled with children who have never felt a sense of belonging.

José Antonio Abreu: A Remembrance and Celebration

01-02-2016

I was in a car on Saturday, March 24th, when in highly Venezuelan fashion, I was texted through WhatsApp with the sad news.  Maestro Abreu had passed.  My knee-jerk reaction was a professional reflex, one honed after many years in Maestro’s office:  confirm the news, get the facts, make a plan, offer assistance… For the rest of the ride, I was furiously typing and calling making sure the information was handled correctly and in as respectful a fashion as he merited.  The sniffling and tears were set aside; there was work to be done.

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