Tricia Tunstall

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

2021: A New Chapter in Our Work Begins

02-03-2021

Does the phrase “international economic development” put you in mind of high-powered farm equipment and global trade policies? Think again—it may also refer to community-centered ensemble music education.

A Letter from the Founders

01-06-2021

Let’s bring in the new year with a quick look back. We launched The Ensemble a decade ago to help strengthen the emerging movement of United States and Canadian programs inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema. Five years later, we realized the global Sistema-inspired movement was developing so fast it required a newsletter of its own, and we started The World Ensemble. We started these newsletters because we wanted you to hear one another’s voices. And we wanted the world to hear all of your voices. It’s a continuing joy to help programs in far-flung places connect with, support, and learn from each other.

Student Voices Take the Lead during YOLA National at Home

09-01-2020

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.

Athens to Texas: “We’re With You”

01-08-2020

Over the past few months, some El Sistema activists in the United States have been mobilizing resources to launch an El Sistema program this month for immigrant children in Tornillo, Texas, who are living in the acute stress of the border crisis. Raising money for this has been a challenge; a music industry charity, the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation, recently came through with sufficient support, with help from the Leonard Bernstein Foundation, but many funders with deep pockets don’t understand how ensemble music learning can alleviate a humanitarian crisis.

Meet “The Queen of Paradise Orchestra”: A New Program in Papua New Guinea

01-08-2020

In 1975, the year El Sistema was founded in Venezuela, a tiny new country was founded on the other side of the world: Papua New Guinea. One of the world’s least explored and most rural nations, PNG would seem to have little in common with the homeland of El Sistema. But in 2019, El Sistema came to Papua New Guinea.

Transition Time: A New Home for The WE

10-02-2019

It’s exhilarating to make something new. Anyone who’s ever started a “music for social change” program, or any kind of new program, or even any work of art or craft, knows that feeling.  For us, starting The World Ensemble in January 2016 (as a companion publication to The Ensemble, which we started in 2011) was exhilarating—it was downright thrilling, in fact—because we knew were creating a medium for communication and exchange for the worldwide Sistema movement. We were creating something needed and helpful where before there had been nothing.

FROM THE EDITOR September 2019

09-01-2019

On November 1, 2011, Eric Booth and I published the first issue of The Ensemble newsletter. In my inaugural editorial column, I quoted our Venezuelan friend Rodrigo Guerrero, who had said at the first gathering of U.S. Sistema practitioners: “Look around you. Look to your right. Look to your left. These are the people who are going to help you. Networking is incredibly important.”

FROM THE EDITOR August 2019

08-01-2019

Dr. Bettina Love, the author and cultural philosopher whose riveting keynote speech kicked off last week’s YOLA National Symposium in Los Angeles, teaches her education students at the University of Georgia a course called “Black and Brown Excellence.”

Editorial: July 2019

07-01-2019

I went last week to Side By Side By El Sistema Swe- den, an intensive international music camp spon- sored by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in partnership with the city and El Sistema Sweden. Let’s start with the statistics.

FROM THE EDITOR, June 2019

06-01-2019

When a famous conductor finishes an artist residency at a storied Ivy League university, he should be given a proper sendoff, right?

The members of the El Sistema New Jersey Alliance, which includes all the Sistema-inspired programs in the state, thought so. So they brought in a 250-piece orchestra to do the job.

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