The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.
News & Resources
You probably have several secret (or not-so-secret) young songwriters in your program—pass this resource along to them. Carnegie Hall has posted a five-part workshop on “How to Write a Song,” led by songwriter and performer Bridget Barkan. The series explores the power of songs and provides a step-by-step approach to crafting a song that expresses ideas and emotions; finding inspiration; writing a chorus, verse, and bridge; and making sure that the song has the communicative power of personal voice.
Last month, Brooklyn, NY native Grace Moore became the youngest composer to have their composition performed by the New York Philharmonic. Grace is a 7th grader who recently participated in the Philharmonic’s program. Grace talks about her upbringing, her passion for music, and the significance of being a young woman composer of color in .
A new initiative has launched to promote the composition of original works for remote performance, intended to amplify the work of women and composers of color: The Youth Orchestra Commissioning Initiative. Many of the initial compositions in this project are intended to be recorded separately and assembled as a video performance. Youth orchestras who join will be required to contribute at least one original composition and will have cheap access to the entire library of works. Click here to begin an application and learn more about current members.
Brazil to the Silk Road, Handmade Drums to Pro Tools: How two youth music organizations in the UK are maintaining engagement and exploring new territory
Matthew Jones, England
With the continuation of lockdown halting all live music activity, orchestras and ensembles are becoming more and more accustomed to this new ‘Zoom’ reality. In this article, I mention two recent online musical events I’ve been involved with, specifically the National Orchestra For All’s (NOFA) Online Summer Course and Jubacana’s Summer School. I also contribute my own observations about each occasion given that both events were the first of their kind for the respective organizations.
Pedro Ramos, California, USA
This year, despite the ongoing pandemic, students at the Harmony Project exercised their creativity while participating with the Collective Conservatory, an organization that offers immersive and meaningful musical-making experiences for communities to improve youth-development, restorative practices, and wellness.
Tricia Tunstall, Executive Editor, The Ensemble Newsletters
For close to a decade, the month of July has meant national Sistema gatherings hosted by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and this year was no different—except that it was extremely different, because it was all virtual: YOLA National at Home.
At BRAVO Youth Orchestras, there are ongoing conversations about the impact of introducing collective composition–composing together as a group–often focusing on how it impacts the staff, our students, and our community, and on what it means to facilitate and support a collective musical voice. There’s an active effort to establish equitable practices that reinforce a supportive environment for BRAVO students during creative projects. BRAVO’s central goal is student empowerment to discover what it is they want to say through their music.