The Global Leaders Program

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

Attention, Paid Forward


The idea of attention has gained significant traction in the last few years—in particular, the idea that we might be less able to pay attention in the new landscape within which our lives now unfold. While concern about human attention spans may be as old as black thread, there’s enough scientific evidence and lived experience to believe that the current focus on our perennial struggle to pay attention may be at an all-time high.

The Life of Jorge Peña Hen, Part I: A Giant of Our Cultural Heritage


Winter 2012, La Serena, Chile: an overcast but mild day, with a soft, chilly ocean breeze from the Pacific Ocean’s Humboldt Current. I was with Victor Hugo, a high school friend of mine who had put his trumpet aside to study law and journalism at the university before becoming the editor of a local newspaper. We were both accompanying Don Juan Orrego Salas, a 93-year-old gentleman who was visiting our city to pay a posthumous tribute to a dear friend of his, to whom he had never gotten to say goodbye in person. We bought a bouquet of flowers and entered the front gate of the cemetery without an exact knowledge of where we were going—which was not a problem, since everyone we passed knew the precise location of the memorial to Jorge Peña Hen.


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