Polyphonic will be publishing a lot of information about the El Sistema USA project, covering many of its myriad facets, in the next month. I arrived in Los Angeles last night for “Composing Change: YOLA and the El Sistema Movement” conference.
Today’s session, hosted by the League of American Orchestras, will be moderated by Eric Booth, and includes an invitational rehearsal with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic. (Tonight we’re attending their performance of Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique. I have a seat behind the orchestra, facing Maestro Dudamel — should be an interesting concert experience.)
Tomorrow is the official YOLA conference (Youth Orchestra of LA) and will include presentations by YOLA and other youth orchestras, as well as the 10 Abreu Fellows who have just returned from 2 months in Venezuela .
I recently interviewed NEC Dean Marc Churchill and Stephanie Scherpf, Managing Director of El Sistema USA, in Boston, and spent a few days in Baltimore with Dan Trahey, Nick Skinner, and Hillary Hahn observing the Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKids program.
Stay tuned here for blog entries over the next few days about what’s happening at the conference in LA, and for in-depth articles about the Abreu Fellowship program at NEC, an inside look at the OrchKids program, and an overview of other El Sistema USA programs around the country.