June 2017

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

Professional Orchestras & Us


In 1992 I travelled to Caracas with my colleague Tania Leone, the wonderful Cuban-American composer, to begin plans for an American Composers Orchestra festival of Venezuelan music at Carnegie Hall. Tania knew all about El Sistema and José Antonio Abreu, and of course we paid him a visit. It was inconceivable to me then that the principles of El Sistema could ever take hold in America. But since the movement has in fact arrived, its impact on American orchestras has been profound. El Sistema has been an amazing spark, awakening orchestras to their enormous potential for playing an active role in creating a just society.

From the Editor


Here’s a question. When your program is in high gear and the teaching is strenuous, the leadership challenges are complex, and the students’ needs seem to be changing constantly (i.e., all the time), is your first impulse to spend an entire Sunday in a room with your colleagues, talking?


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