Take a Stand Symposium 2012 with the LA Phil
At the beginning of this month I attended a week long conference in Los Angeles, California. The Take a Stand Symposium was hosted by the LA Philharmonic, Longy School of Music and Bard College as part of an initiative to promote action in and unite representatives of social change through music programs called El Sistema that originated 37 years ago in Venezuela. Maestro José Antonio Abreu began the program in 1975 in Caracas with only 11 musicians at the first rehearsal and today the program in Venezuela reaches more than 310,000 children in 280 teaching locations, called núcleos, throughout the country. About 500 orchestras, choirs, and other ensembles, from pre-school paper orchestras to the world-class Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra are united in the El Sistema family and share the same mission to use classical music to fight poverty and crime risks while upholding a high level of musical excellence which directly reflects a strong sense of self worth, pride, and positive action in the community.
(Here I am with my orchestra and Batuta in Colombia this past Summer 2011)
The programs have recently come the the United States in the past five years and other El Sistema-inspired programs in various countries throughout the world are beginning to emerge. I have been involved directly playing violin in the orchestral programs, teaching and conducting in various countries such as the United States, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia, which has the second largest program in the world apart from Venezuela which just celebrated 20 years. Much of my involvement with El Sistema has been through my participation with Traveling Notes International Youth Orchestra since 2007. Traveling Notes and involvement with the El Sistema programs from Venezuela and around the world have fueled my passion for social change through music, to always strive for a high level of musical excellence, and have allowed me to experience and live the magical uniting power of a shared sense of great pride for your self and for your art.
After graduation in May 2012, I will be fully dedicating myself to teaching, participating, and planning in the El Sistema inspired programs. I am very excited for what the future will bring.
In the words of Maestro José Antonio Abreu…
… a sense of perfection, therefore of excellence - a road to excellence. What is it that the orchestra has planted in the souls of its members? A sense of harmony, a sense of order implicit in the rhythm, a sense of the aesthetic, the beautiful and the universal, and the language of the invisible, of the invisible transmitted unseen through music. “
(Me with Maestro José Antonio Abreu who I met in LA at the Symposium)
Much peace, love and music always,
♫ ♫ ♥