January 2019

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

The Greater Sistema Vision

01-01-2019

In 2015, the Mass Cultural Council created the SerHacer program, a granting opportunity focused on intensive, ensemble-based music programs that use music as a vehicle for youth development and social change. Inspired by the work of El Sistema, the program supports a wide variety of in-school and community organizations, to expand access to social and artistic music-making opportunities.

From the Editor, January 2019

01-01-2019

In the time-honored tradition of pausing on the cusp of a new year to look both forward and back, I’ve been reflecting this week on two questions. How has our Sistema-inspired movement made progress, and what areas are most in need of improvement? Here are my thoughts.

Teaching the Future

01-01-2019

The majority of the American music teaching workforce is white. This would not be an issue if it matched U.S. school demographics. However, in city schools where the general population is majority students of color, the music student population is considerably more white. While there are multiple factors contributing to this, it may be best understood as a lack of access to quality music education that provides opportunities for students of color to choose careers in music teaching. The fact that students of color do not see music teachers who look like them is a form of social injustice.

Updates and Letters of Love from Sistema Greece

12-31-2018

On December 16th, El Sistema Greece was proud to be part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center’s “Christmas World” concerts, playing festive music from around the world. They were joined by the Latin Brass Connection, an ensemble consisting of members of the Venezuelan Simon Bolivar Trumpet Ensemble.

#RetrospectivaNEOJIBA

12-31-2018

NEOJIBA in Brazil honored their 2018 accomplishments with a week-long Facebook campaign called #RetrospectivaNEOJIBA (NEOJIBA Retrospective). The program posted about the most memorable moments that marked 2018, from benefit concerts and trips to features of new projects. One such post:

El Sistema Japan Plans World Sistema Festival in 2020

12-31-2018

Some exciting news from El Sistema Japan: they are planning a music festival in April 2020 as a pre-event for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2020 in Tokyo. They will bring together over 200 children from the worldwide El Sistema family, bridging differences in nationality, religion and ability.  The festival represents a celebration of social inclusion—an element essential to open the door for lasting peace. “This is a great opportunity to contribute to world peace by sharing the power of music,” says Yutaka Kikugawa, the founder and executive director of Friends of El Sistema Japan.

Ghetto Classics End-of-Year Concert + Video

12-31-2018

Ghetto Classics in Kenya held a special concert on 18th November at St. John’s Community Centre in Korogocho. Students had the opportunity to showcase all of the work they had done this year. In lieu of ticket sales, attendees were encouraged to bring school supplies and clothes.

FEATURE: Introducing The World Ensemble Ambassadors

12-31-2018

Are young musicians in El Sistema programs aware of the global Sistema movement? Some have met through joint performances, but what about students in countries that are farther away? Do students in Brazil, for example, know of their music peers in New Zealand or Kenya?

EDITORIAL: International Visitors and El Sistema Programs

12-31-2018

Many El Sistema programs have the opportunity to host high-profile or international visitors, which can be a great opportunity. In Kenya, our experience with visitors has been mixed, with some very positive and some negative experiences, largely depending on the circumstances of their visit. As a result, over the years we have been more selective with potential visitors and careful with the invitations we offer. I imagine this experience is similar to those of other programs, so we want to share our learning, in the hope that it helps others avoid mistakes!

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