Global Leaders

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

Global Leaders Program Hosting Free Virtual Conference on the Arts and Urban Development

01-20-2021

The Global Leaders Program is hosting a free virtual conference called “Sound Cities: Community Music Ecosystems” as part of its (Re)Setting the Stage series. Kicking off on January 18, the conference brings together interesting perspectives from city planners, music entrepreneurs, and cultural agency workers, who will discuss the roles they play in communities all over the world. Specifically, the conference explores how the arts have had a significant impact on urban development. There are sessions on January 20, January 27, and February 4, focusing on different countries and the impacts of their artistic communities. Check out their Zoom registration page to learn more, including how to sign up.

The Toki School of Music: A Living Legacy in Rapa Nui

11-04-2020

Rapa Nui, the most isolated inhabited place on earth, is the birthplace of the Rapanui people, who call their island “the navel of the world.” With deep, ancient roots, the island attempts to balance its past—including difficult recent memories of colonization in the 1860s—with its prosperous growth in the Western context. In this unique setting, music has played a pivotal role in building collaboration and coexistence between multiple cultures and lifestyles. In my opinion, no organization has embodied that balance more than the Toki School of Music, which celebrates its people’s authenticity in an increasingly modern world.

Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra: Opening Global Doors for Local Teacher Development

10-12-2020

In July 2020, I was scheduled to deliver workshops for the local teachers of the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Symphony Orchestra (ABYSO), the first youth symphony orchestra in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. The global lockdown as a result of COVID-19 abruptly put an end to work in person, and as the world started to embrace principles of working remotely, I began to think about whether I could turn this barrier into an opportunity: if I could demonstrate that teacher development does not necessarily need intervention in person, this could become a more sustainable model for ABYSO and for other similar organizations around the world. Over the following weeks, I developed a ten-week remote teacher development program, aimed at empowering local teachers to provide an inspiring musical education for children within their own community.

Shaping Curricula to Overcome Resource Scarcity

10-07-2020

The first time I smelled tear gas, it was a January morning around 10:00 a.m. I was sitting in the car alongside Franco Toro Contreras, the Music Director at Enrique Soro Music School in Quilicura, Chile. Franco picked me up every morning from Monday through Friday at the “Zona Cero” in Santiago, ten miles from the school. Against a backdrop of political and economic upheaval, we drove every morning through the smell of tear gas that had been deployed against protesters the previous night. Despite this troubled socio-political situation—and the fact that I was teaching summer classes—I noticed that attendance never wavered throughout my time at the school.

(Re)Setting the Stage Announces Eight New Sessions

09-15-2020

The Global Leaders Program, The Spanish Association of Symphony Orchestras (AEOS), Classical:NEXT, and Banco de la República (Colombia) have announced a second season of their industry panel series (Re)Setting the Stage. Taking place from September 24 – December 17, Season II will feature eight conversations with arts leaders and those on the front lines of our sector, focusing on a wide variety of topics designed to help participants adapt to the evolving landscape of performing arts. Among the many themes are “Digital Divide & Cultural Inclusion: Connectivity & Accessibility after COVID-19,” “On Stage to On Demand: Growing Audiences into Communities,” and “On the Brink!: Public Funding & the Recovery of Cultural Institutions.” Registration is free and simple; sign up here and join these ongoing conversations with thought leaders in our field.

Teaching Artistry as a Balance for Cultural Education Mentalities

09-02-2020

While living in Sweden over the past year, I observed that the education system excels at nurturing student autonomy. Sweden is a small country with only a handful of classical percussionists (or any instrument) at each university. Many professors teach part-time and are seldom on campus, particularly at my host institution, Örebro University. In response, students often initiate repertoire selections, schedule ensemble rehearsals, and coach themselves. Without the constant direction of teachers, they must formulate musical interpretations and direct personal growth.

Musicaustral Nurtures a Modern Latin Folk Music Community

08-05-2020

The story of Latin American folk music in 20th century Chile illustrates how artists reflect and impact societies. One of the most important figures of this period was Violeta Parra (1917-67), a visionary artist and activist known as the “Mother of Latin American Folk.” Parra led the Nueva Canción Chilena, a revival of Chilean folk music and traditions. Her life and work inspired generations of musicians who gave voice to social and political movements throughout Latin America.

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.

Orquesta Juvenil de Curanilahue: Reflecting on the 25-year History of One of Chile’s First Youth Orchestras

05-04-2020

When you arrive in Curanilahue, Chile, one of the first things you see is a large statue of an upright wooden hand. The smaller replicas available for purchase in town read, “Tengo las manos ásperas pero hay pan en mi mesa,” which roughly  translates to: “Though our hands are worn, there is bread on the table.” This blue-collar mantra embodies the economy, culture, and subconscious of the region. From an outsider’s perspective, people are humble and work hard when given the opportunity. Small sheet-metal houses line the streets, and nothing really stands out.

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