OrchKids

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

Youth-Driven Online Music-Making: Channeling innovation through the screen and into the global community

01-05-2021

For ensemble music learning programs, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic seemed at first to mean a mandate to compromise music learning, by squeezing and narrowing curriculums to fit into a suddenly two-dimensional space. As time went on, however, the field blossomed with creative initiatives. For our programs, the crisis was a call to action not only to channel innovation through a screen, but also to blow it open into a far-reaching, multi-dimensional, and globally expansive experience. The key? Collaboration—the kind that stretches to every corner of the globe the Internet can touch.

A Compositional Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement Launched by OrchKids

12-01-2020

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra OrchKids program is launching a compositional celebration of the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement, called Queens Unseen: Royals Without Crowns. The composition will focus on three main areas: representation, voting, and the future of democracy. The project will also explore the “intricate and contentious element of racism throughout the suffrage movement.” For its mid-December release, the composition will be accompanied by visual images captured by Johns Hopkins University Film students.

New Uniform Test 11-19-2020

11-19-2020

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Embracing the Unexpected

05-05-2020

It’s built into our DNA to think, plan, and act towards the future. Your brain is wired to do amazing things, right at this moment.

Guest Perspective

03-03-2020

Two students who attended the El Sistema Seminario 2020, in Durham, NC last month, share their experiences at this super-gathering of student musicians from across North Carolina and the Southeast.

News Notes, November 2019

11-05-2019

El Sistema USA recently announced the launch of the El Sistema USA Working Groups. These groups provide both a virtual and in-person space for leaders to come together to discuss and share best practices and challenges they face.

The El Sistema USA National Symposium

03-01-2019

It was clear that the 2019 El Sistema USA National Symposium was going to be special when, in the midst of a historic cold spell, over 200 attendees representing 80 different El Sistema-inspired organizations braved sub-zero temperatures to attend. Attendees arrived early for the welcome and filled the ballroom with the type of vibrant energy surrounding a convening of friends for their annual trip. Christine Taylor Conda, the ESUSA board chair, chose to forgo the typical welcome and, instead, immediately had the entire room singing a three-part song to meet and welcome one another, setting a tone of collaboration and camaraderie for the symposium.

Improvising with Visionary Young People

02-01-2019

I co-founded the Visionary Youth Orchestra (VYO) along with Jessica Jones in New York in 2010. The idea of our project was to provide a workshop/ensemble of young musicians to explore structured free improvisation in a large ensemble setting. The results have been remarkable – this innovative group has garnered great praise in its eight years, and recently had the honor of performing at the Cecil Taylor memorial in NYC.

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