Student Voice & Leadership

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

Technical Magic: 11-Year-Old Grace Moore Debuts Composition with the New York Philharmonic

01-06-2021

On October 9, 2020, Brooklyn 7th-grader Grace Moore stood in front of an audience of New Yorkers. At 11 years of age, she was debuting her first composition, “Summer.” Grace is a participant in the Very Young Composers (VYC) program, a now-international program initiated by the New York Philharmonic over two decades ago. In the VYC, students are empowered to compose and notate their own original works while guided and supported by Philharmonic Teaching Artists. In this alone, the VYC already echoes the spirit of El Sistema, but that is not what made Grace’s debut remarkable. It was momentous because her work was performed, in its debut, by musicians in the New York Philharmonic. This is the standout element of the Very Young Composers program: young participants get to see and hear their work performed by Philharmonic musicians—and sometimes, the full orchestra.

YOLA National Festival Opens Auditions for the 2021 Season—deadline Mar. 1

01-05-2021

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.

Carnegie Hall Offers Free Workshop for Young Songwriters

12-16-2020

You probably have several secret (or not-so-secret) young songwriters in your program—pass this resource along to them. Carnegie Hall has posted a five-part workshop on “How to Write a Song,” led by songwriter and performer Bridget Barkan. The series explores the power of songs and provides a step-by-step approach to crafting a song that expresses ideas and emotions; finding inspiration; writing a chorus, verse, and bridge; and making sure that the song has the communicative power of personal voice.

Grace Moore Became the Youngest Composer Performed by NY Phil

12-01-2020

Last month, Brooklyn, NY native Grace Moore became the youngest composer to have their composition performed by the New York Philharmonic. Grace is a 7th grader who recently participated in the Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers program. Grace talks about her upbringing, her passion for music, and the significance of being a young woman composer of color in this feature article from PIX11.

The Orchestra of the Americas Launches Virtual 2021 Orchestra Training Program This Spring—Deadline 12.1.2020

11-18-2020
The Orchestra of the Americas is hosting its orchestra training program (OAcademy), happening January–June 2021, over the Internet. As described on their website, participants will experience a transformative curriculum that will guide them in becoming global artists in the field. They will connect with industry icons, participate in performance collaborations, and work on cross-disciplinary projects over the course of the six-month academy. This is the last call for candidates; applications for this immersive experience are due December 1. Find more details here.  

El Sistema Venezuela: Academic Strategies in Times of Confinement

11-04-2020

As the new school year takes off, we think it is a good moment to reach out to our friends in Sistema-inspired projects around the world, to share our experiences in teaching and caring for our kids throughout the months of quarantine.

Ambassador Talks: Tricia Tunstall

11-04-2020

Aside from working together on projects and publishing updates about their respective Sistema programs, Ambassadors are given the opportunity to receive various forms of enrichment throughout the year. This month, they met with Tricia Tunstall, who cofounded The Ensemble and The World Ensemble newsletters and authored the seminal book Playing for Their Lives: The Global El Sistema Movement for Social Change Through Music.

Early-childhood Music Program for Families with Infants

11-04-2020

Big Note, Little Note is a new early-childhood music program for families with infants. Designed by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in partnership with local community centers and organizations, the new ten-week music class offers a range of experiences for families to engage with their babies through musical play, singing, songwriting, instrument exploration, and more. The program is offered free to families around the world to support family well-being, early child development, and parent-child connection.

Applications Open for Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Ensembles

11-04-2020

Applications are now open for Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Ensembles. Please let your most promising students know about NYO2, a free orchestra program of intensive training and performance opportunities with a track record of recruiting musicians from communities underrepresented in classical music. The National Youth Orchestra of the United States (NYO-USA) deadline is November 12 ; the NYO2 application is due December 1; and NYO Jazz is due by January 21. All are free and led by distinguished artists.

Ceding the Floor to Young People in Crisis Times

10-07-2020

Have you ever wondered what the future will be like? Will future leaders be more aware and empathetic? At El Sistema Greece (ESG), such questions never cease to concern us. How do we help our young people become the leaders they’re capable of being?

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