January 2023

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

FOJI: Growing Orchestras across Chile


Chile is a unique country. Its territories are incredibly diverse, from the driest desert (Atacama) to the mountainous, brisk lands at the continent’s southernmost point (Magallanes, Aysén). This adds a layer of complication to our work at Fundación de Orquestas Juveniles e Infantiles de Chile (FOJI), where we strive to make it possible for musicians in every region to participate in ensemble music performance—even if it requires multi-day trips by sea, land, and air.

Raising Refugee Voices at the Tumaini Festival


At first, the participation of the refugee community was meager, because the idea of a festival in a refugee camp was almost inconceivable. After the first one, however, the community got a sense of what a festival is like and what possibilities and opportunities might come from it. News of the festival started spreading all over Malawi and abroad.

We Are All Contributors


I have asked contributors (students) to replace the words “music rehearsal” with other words of their choice that better reflect their values. Their responses are always varied and fascinating; they have ranged from “music jam,” “musical experience,” and “discovery session” to a “deep conversation” and “an exchange of ideas between my friends.” Words matter.

Teaching Mutual Understanding and Peace: The United World Colleges


What if there were an option for students—even those who could not afford additional years of school—to continue their “social development through music” journey? As it happens, there is one: United World Colleges (UWC), a consortium of higher education institutions that prioritizes—as does our field—peace, collaboration, and mutual understanding.

Scotland Choir Removes Barriers to Build Community


In Edinburgh’s iconic Usher Hall, the Love Music Community Choir is knocking down walls. Cofounded in 2006 by professional composer and educator Stephen Deazley, Scotland’s ambitious community singing program is now some 330 members strong—the nation’s largest community choir.

The Ambassadors’ Exchange: Improvising and Composing through an Online Relay


During the call, we attempted a composition relay where the entire group tried to create a melody by “passing the mic” to each player. Each participant could play as long as they wanted or bring back tunes from a previous musician. After a few trial rounds and a slight learning curve, we were able to record two of our compositions.


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