Children from The Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston

Children from The Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Venezuela At Last!!!


video

Click here to see why the world celebrates El Sistema!
To be here and see how this all happened is the culmination of this great Fellowship year!!

We have been in CARACAS,VENEZUELA observing
EL SISTEMA
for
4 days
and I am
COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY!
For anyone interested in RELEVANCY questions surrounding the art-form of music:

WELCOME TO A LAND OF TRULY GREAT MUSIC-MAKING BY 1000'S OF KIDS AND YOUNG ADULTS!!
300,000 TO BE EXACT...




HOW DOES THIS WORK SO WELL???
HOW DID THIS GO FROM 12 KIDS IN A GARAGE TO THIS?

BELOW: THE SIMON BOLIVAR B ORCHESTRA:
PROGRAM:
BARTOK MUSIC FOR STRINGS CELESTE AND PERCUSSION
DVORAK 8
CONDUCTOR: (a name to remember, she is a strong, musical and deeply committed Leader. She had 6 rehearsals ONLY with this program and a young orchestra that had never played this difficult Bartok before)

ALLONDRA DE LA PARRA
New York born and trained, of Mexican descent-
she gets my highest recommendation.

Our Caracas host has been Rodrigo Guerrero, the ANGEL of our trip. He is FESNIJOV's Deputy Director of International Affairs, he picked us up at midnight and stayed with us through airport customs and Hotel check-in by 2:30 am, came back for us by 9 am to go to the US Embassy for our kind but very scary security briefing....


MOST IMPORTANTLY:

Rodrigo, a very generous man, deeply committed and passionate about the growth and future of El Sistema world-wide, is currently our closest connection to the inner workings of El Sistema. On his amazing Blackberry, he also arranges all of our work and travel plans and answers all of our deep questions about El Sistema, or as they call it here: Foundation for Social Action Through Music.


NOTICE THE AGE-DIVERSE AUDIENCE BELOW. MANY KIDS COMING IN WERE CARRYING THEIR OWN INSTRUMENTS SUPPORTING MY

THEORY ON RELEVANCY:

IT IS VERY VERY EXCITING TO WATCH SOMEONE EXCEL AT SOMETHING YOU ARE TRYING TO DO. IF THESE "MASTERS" ARE YOUR FRIENDS and TEACHERS
(AS WAS EVIDENCED BY THE BEAUTIFUL CHEERING AND CLAPPING AFTERWARDS),
THEN THE
COMMUNITY OF PASSION
IS COMPLETE.
THIS IS RELEVANCY,
BECAUSE EACH MEMBER OF THIS COMMUNITY
IS IMPORTANT.
(THIS IS NOT UNLIKE ANY SPORTS CLUB, WHERE THE PROS FIND FANS TO TEACH AND THE FANS FIND TEACHERS TO ADMIRE AND ENJOY BEING CONNECTED TO)In VZ, THIS SAME ENERGY IS
SIMPLY ABOUT MUSIC ON A VERY GRAND SCALE.
FESNOJIV IS THE ACRONYM FOR THE "FUNDACION", AS PEOPLE SAY HERE.
THEIR BRAND NEW FACILITY "FOR SOCIAL ACTION THROUGH MUSIC" SERVES AS THE HEADQUARTERS FOR FESNOJIV and SERVES AS A NATIONAL GATHERING PLACE
FOR THE MUSICAL EFFORTS in the WHOLE COUNTRY.

IMPORTANT: THE YOUTH ORCHESTRA "NETWORK" IS NOT ONLY ABOUT THESE TOP ORCHESTRAS, ALTHOUGH CONSIDERABLE RESOURCES GO THERE AND THE NATION'S PRIDE IN SHOWING THESE ORCHESTRAS TO THE WORLD AS A SYMBOL FOR VENEZUELA, IS IMPORTANT.

CURRENTLY, there are 300,000 children enrolled in daily music programs in Venezuela. To Rodrigo this number is ONLY so many, (!!) as there are 24 million Venezuelans. There are plans to raise this number to ONE MILLION children. To this end, 6 more buildings of this size are in planning stages, throughout the country. El Sistema has grown UPWARDS for 35 years, making this center in Caracas symbolic for what has been achieved: a network of youth music programs that give free outstanding music education to any interested customer for the purpose of
SOCIAL CHANGE.
If extraordinary talent and interest arise in a child, there is a road to Caracas, where children can be trained BY THE BEST to be performers and teachers. As teachers, it is their obligation to go back to the "Interior" where they mostly come from, and bring back what was learned in Caracas.
Here some pictures of this gorgeous space. It is full of life yet so relaxed....I feel so very happy there!
3 OF THE 11 FLOORS

FELLOW FELLOW ADRIENNE TAYLOR, ANOTHER 3 FLOORS...

This Fundacion building is 11 stories high, with COUNTLESS REHEARSAL AND PRACTICE SPACES, EACH ROOM CAREFULLY DESIGNED ACOUSTICALLY TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ITS CUSTOMERS.
THERE ARE 2 CONCERT HALLS IN THIS BUILDING, ONE FOR 400, ONE FOR 800 PEOPLE. I LOVED THE SEATS:
COOL COLORS!!

TODAY, AHOY, VIAGAMOS A MERIDA, UN CUIDAD EN LOS ANDES!!!! IT IS A 12 HOUR TRIP ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS.....GORGEOUS!!


FELLOW FELLOW
PACO AND ME,....
THE NEXT WEEK IN MERIDA IS OUR CHANCE TO SEE THE INTERIOR WORKINGS OF THIS COUNTRYWIDE NETWORK OF MUSIC SCHOOLS FOR YOUTH. WE WILL SEE AT LEAST 3 DIFFERENT "NUCLEOS" (MUSIC SCHOOLS) IN THIS MOUNTAIN REGION.

I WILL BE BACK TO BLOG MORE SOON!

PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT BE CURIOUS ABOUT!
I AM IN THE RIGHT PLACE TO ASK FOR YOU....

GOOD BYE FROM A VERY HAPPY ISABEL
THANK YOU TO ALL WHOM MADE THIS JOURNEY POSSIBLE.
IT IS EXTRAORDINARY!

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