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.

The Abreu Chamber Choir

01-06-2021

The Abreu Chamber Choir (ACC) is a vocal group formed by young Venezuelan singers who grew up in El Sistema programs but are currently residing in several countries in Europe. The group was founded because of a desire to return to making music with colleagues and friends. We have organized a number of concerts, collaborative learning days, and training workshops for young singers and conductors, continuing the legacy and visionary teachings of Maestro José Antonio Abreu.

A Musical and Communal Journey in Lesotho and South Africa

01-06-2021

The story of music education as a catalyst for social change in South Africa and Lesotho is long and complicated. The history of human struggle and social unrest in southern Africa is well documented, but it gave birth to a new era of growth and potential for its people. One might say that in the wake of South Africa’s newfound freedom from Apartheid, democracy opened many doors to Black South Africans. Within that greater context, I share my own musical journey as a snapshot of three decades of music, equity, and opportunity in South Africa and Lesotho.

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.

A Letter from the Founders

01-06-2021

Let’s bring in the new year with a quick look back. We launched The Ensemble a decade ago to help strengthen the emerging movement of United States and Canadian programs inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema. Five years later, we realized the global Sistema-inspired movement was developing so fast it required a newsletter of its own, and we started The World Ensemble. We started these newsletters because we wanted you to hear one another’s voices. And we wanted the world to hear all of your voices. It’s a continuing joy to help programs in far-flung places connect with, support, and learn from each other.

Introducing the 2021 World Ensemble Ambassadors

01-06-2021

The World Ensemble Ambassadors are a group of youth musicians representing different Sistema-based programs around the globe. We are pleased to announce the third cohort of Ambassadors, who hail from eight countries and nine programs. 

An Interview with Dream Orchestra Founder/Director Ron Davis Álvarez

01-06-2021

Last month, the Royal Swedish Academy of Music recognized Dream Orchestra Director (and El Sistema Sweden Artistic Director) Ron Davis Álvarez with the Göran Lagervall Pedagogy Prize for “his activities in 40 cultural schools, where he renewed the pedagogical orchestral tradition with his experience from Venezuela.” Just days later, Álvarez conducted a performance for the Global Teacher Prize Award Gala, hosted digitally this year. A former candidate for the Global Teacher Prize himself, Álvarez conducted 70 students from ten countries in a performance of Sara Bareilles’ song “Brave.” Afterward, Álvarez was kind enough to sit down with The World Ensemble to discuss his busy week, his experiences with the Dream Orchestra, and his pedagogical philosophy.

El Sistema USA Invites Sistema Europe to Participate in Upcoming Virtual National Symposium and Seminario

01-06-2021

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 yourproposals by 13 January 2021 by email to marshall@sistemaeurope.org and maria@sistemaeurope.org. Ten to fifteen lines will be ideal to outline what you would like to present.

NAMM Offers Digital Believe in Music Week

01-05-2021

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.

Young Musicians Rally Around Rock Music to Build Bridges—premiere Dec. 19

12-16-2020

Music Connects is premiering a new documentary on music’s role as a universal language. It shares the story of young people who seek to heal ethnic divides in regions still plagued by the Yugoslav Wars. The uniting force? Rock music, which serves as the soundtrack to this story of bridging cultural differences.

Looking Out Foundation Offers Grants to Serve and Amplify Organizations in Need—deadline Feb. 1

12-16-2020

The Looking Out Foundation seeks to amplify the impact of music by empowering those without a voice, funding causes and organizations that often go unnoticed. Grants range between $1,000 and $5,000, and application deadlines are February 1 and August 1. Additional information about the Foundation is here and the application guidelines are here. Starting in 2008, multiple GRAMMY-winning artists Brandi Carlile and Tim and Phil Hanseroth banded together with fans, nonprofits, and corporations “to translate voices of song to voices of action”—$1 from every concert ticket sold goes directly into this fund.

Share

© Copyright 2021 Ensemble News