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

Crossing Borders: A Musical Passport to the World

04-07-2020

Each spring, the students of BRAVO Youth Orchestras in Portland, Oregon take the stage alongside professional musicians with international backgrounds in a celebration of the world of music called Crossing Borders. BRAVO’s young musicians have played jigs from Ireland, lullabies from Morocco, bossa novas from Brazil, Latin pop from Mexico, a French-Canadian fiddle concerto, and so much more. Their professional collaborators have included jazz pianist Darrell Grant, electric looping violinist Joe Kye, Trinidadian neo-soul singer Blossom, and world-renowned Irish fiddler Kevin Burke, among others. Crossing Borders is a highlight of BRAVO’s program year and also serves as our primary fundraising event, generating needed revenue to support our rigorous after-school music programs in priority schools. Our audiences are delighted to see a full student orchestra (strings, winds, and percussion) playing music from so many traditions alongside their professional musical partners.

The Archipelago Project

04-07-2020

The Archipelago Project’s objective is to empower student creativity and ownership by supplying musical knowledge, performance opportunities, and professional models to inspire the next generation of engaged musicians. For the past 15 years, Archipelago Project’s iterative process in curriculum design has resulted in our Musical Leadership Academy, a summer music camp focused on providing a diverse population of students and teaching artists with opportunities to create music together, learn when to lead and to listen, and thrive in the ensemble as a metaphor for community.

Inspiring Film with Anthony McGill

03-03-2020

Here is an inspiring four-minute film with Anthony McGill, first African-American principal clarinetist with the NY Philharmonic, about how he got there. Share it with all your students.

A Blog Cites Trends in Philanthropic Giving

03-03-2020

A blog by Cynthia Adams of GrantStation cites trends in philanthropic giving, following up on her popular prediction blog from last year.

Grants for Growth and Development of Music Education from D’Addario Opens

03-03-2020

The D’Addario Foundation supports the growth and development of “high-quality sustainable music instruction programs on the frontline” to make music education more accessible for kids, helping them play early, frequently, and for as many years as possible. Grants average $2,500, and D’Addario awards product donations as well. Applicants should submit a letter of inquiry; invited grant applications will be due March 31, 2020.

Grants for Innovative Practices in K-12 Education

03-03-2020

The Braitmayer Foundation supports innovative practices in K-12 education in the US, especially curricular and school reform initiatives and professional development opportunities for teachers. Apply for seed grants, challenge grants, and matching grants of up to $35,000. Letters of inquiry may be submitted through March 15, 2020.

News and Notes, March 2020

03-03-2020

News and Notes from the Archives

Editorial: March 2020

03-03-2020

Institutional funders of El Sistema-inspired programs are typically limited to those dedicated to the arts and arts education. Foundations supporting social programs might think, “Why would we fund Sistema? That’s arts, which we don’t do.”

The 2020 El Sistema USA Symposium & Seminario

03-03-2020

Long before I joined The Ensemble newsletters editorial team a few months ago, I knew about El Sistema. I had read about it, listened to interviews, spoken with people inside the movement. But I hadn’t lived it—had barely seen it up close. I grew up playing jazz and orchestral pieces, but my professional background is as an editor, not a music educator. So I arrived in Durham for the 2020 El Sistema USA Symposium and Seminario expecting to listen to a language I barely understood.

Guest Perspective

03-03-2020

Two students who attended the El Sistema Seminario 2020, in Durham, NC last month, share their experiences at this super-gathering of student musicians from across North Carolina and the Southeast.

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