the world ensemble

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

Editorial: Music, Standing Still

08-05-2020

A guest editorial during a global pandemic. What to write, what to say? For every person and every organization dedicated to bringing people together with music: what does this pandemic mean for our work if we are literally prevented from bringing people together with music?

Concert at Your Door: Moments of Solidarity between Eswatini Students and Korean Musicians during Lockdown

08-05-2020

The lingering pandemic has reminded us how capable we are of influencing each other’s lives. We have seen that without kindness, love, and patience, we can never achieve true justice and unity in our global society. In these past months of solitude, communities are naturally turning to music as a universal language, sending love, hope, and empathy to people all over the world. In the small, landlocked southern African country of Eswatini, we have witnessed miraculous moments of solidarity between musicians in South Korea and Eswatini through our program, Africa Ntjilo Empowerment.

Raising a New Generation of Musicians in Afghanistan

08-05-2020

Afghanistan, a land that weaves a vibrant tapestry of cultures and peoples, continues to undergo conflict even after decades of unrest. Its people keenly feel the heartaches of incalculable loss but continue to persevere. Through this war-weary land, a river of cultural, musical, and artistic heritage flows from the civilizations of the Persia-Central Asia region and the Indian subcontinent. That river was forced to become subterranean in the late 20th century, when the country was embroiled in civil war, but it is now rising to the surface once more.

Creating the COVID-19 Community Response Fund

07-01-2020

The Lewis Prize for Music, a philanthropic foundation established in the United States in 2018, is guided by the mission of partnering with leaders who create positive change by investing in young people through music. We were only two months past announcing our inaugural awards when the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders took effect. At the time, we were finalizing our internal evaluation and identifying lessons learned. We were excited to nearly double the time frame of our process by opening the 2021 Accelerator Award letter of interest in late spring.

Ambassador Updates, July 2020

07-01-2020

These past three months have been quite a challenge. We have experienced increased country-wide unemployment, gender-based violence, murder cases, robbery, and much more throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. The Ghetto Classics programs in all centers were closed, and that meant no music for us because most of us depend on the program’s instruments.

Superar Celebrates Ten Years of International Music-Making

07-01-2020

What can we do to exert a positive impact on society?

That was the question asked in 2009 by our three founding organizations in Vienna—the Vienna Boys Choir, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and Caritas of the Archdiocese of Vienna. The response was to envision a place where music would be the joining element, the core engine to reach equal opportunity, and the key to reenergizing what is most essential in society: justice, personal realization, and solidarity.

Strengthening Our Shared Humanity through Music

07-01-2020

This school year and concert season end in strange circumstances for all of us around the world. For me, this momentous—and for so many, catastrophic—“pause” is, in part, a time to reflect on the value and nature of the work I do. I feel very fortunate in my many professional activities; it is as a choral conductor, however, that I am most invested in trying to make a difference in the world.

Sangeet4All: Celebrating Multiple Musical Cultures

07-01-2020

Sangeet4All is a music education program that connects children in India with Indian classical and folk music in a fun and meaningful way. I started the program with my husband, Shubhendra Rao, in 2014; our first students were 15 girls in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Delhi. The Sangeet4All program now runs in 18 schools in the regions of NCR, Gujarat, and Punjab.

Positive Fatalism and Social Music Projects in Kinshasa, DR Congo

07-01-2020

In Kinshasa, the majority of the population, which is close to 10 million, subsists on less than 2 USD a day—and this is in a place where life, at best, is expensive. Many people live in excruciating poverty. They exist in survival mode. Disease, hunger, and death are omnipresent. There is little prospect of improvement; on the contrary, the standard of living appears to be worsening for millions of people in Kinshasa. On top of the struggle to survive, they must also reckon with politicians, police, and soldiers, who may harass or rob them, or worse.

Prioritizing Families in NEOJIBA’s Virtual Programming

07-01-2020

NEOJIBA is a public El Sistema-inspired program in Brazil, founded by Ricardo Castro in 2007 and implemented by the State of Bahia through the Secretariat of Justice, Human Rights, and Social Development (Secretaria de Justiça, Direitos Humanos e Desenvolvimento Social). One of our most critical components is the Social Development Sector, which is composed of eight professionals with educational backgrounds in social work and psychology. These professionals work daily to ameliorate socioeconomic and educational inequalities that confront many of our students, and to provide full access to social rights. They also provide individual and/or group psychosocial appointments for students and their families. Through attentive and qualified listening, our professionals enable families to work through social circumstances and establish intervention strategies. These unfold in a set of actions, tailored to each individual or family, that help participants work through their specific issues.

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