Abreu Fellows immerse themselves in El Sistema

Posted on: July 13, 2010

In the first of a series of articles, Jeremy Eichler reports on El Sistema USA from Caracas, Venezuela in Sunday’s (7/11) Boston Globe, “In the southern reaches of this city, La Rinconada music center is buzzing with a happy sonic chaos as music spills from rehearsal rooms into the hallways. … Rebecca Levi, 24, and Lorrie Heagy, 45, swing into action, teaching two songs in Spanish … David Malek, 41, grabs a drum and lays down a beat. In minutes, all 80 children are on their feet, and the room churns with song and dance. The Venezuelan phenomenon known widely by its nickname—El Sistema, or ‘The System’—attracts many visitors, but none quite like this. Levi, Heagy, and Malek are members of the inaugural class of fellows from El Sistema USA: a handpicked group of young, monastically dedicated American musicians, based at New England Conservatory, and determined to bring this revolution in music education to Boston and other American communities. … The United States’ first 10 Abreu Fellows—named for El Sistema’s revered founder, José Antonio Abreu—spent two months visiting some 50 music centers or ‘nucleos’ across Venezuela.”

Photo of Abreu Fellow Stanford Thompson with a student in the Baltimore Symphony OrchKids program

Posted July 13, 2010