El Sistema-inspired KidZNotes kicks off in Durham

Posted on: September 21, 2010

In Sunday’s (9/19) News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), Virginia Bridges writes, “Nearly 50 children marched into the community center’s auditorium Saturday, eyeing the shiny instruments that are intended to change their lives. … The day marked the official kickoff of KidZNotes, a program that aims to use classical music to inspire learning and break the cycle of poverty. The program will provide free music training to 60 Durham children from three elementary schools … Sponsored by Durham Public Schools, the Durham Symphony and the East Durham Children’s Initiative, the KidZNotes program is based on a model called ‘El Sistema’ that began in Venezuela. … In the Durham program, most of the children are kindergarten age, but about 20 third-graders are also serving as leaders and mentors to the younger participants, said KidZNotes Executive Director Katie Wyatt. … The kickoff drew an eager, hopeful crowd. The children, wearing bright red KidZNotes T-shirts, marched into the auditorium, where they were introduced to Durham Symphony Music Director William Henry Curry.” Katie Wyatt was an Abreu Fellow in the New England Conservatory’s El Sistema USA program; she is also an alumna of the Orchestra Management Fellows Program at the League of American Orchestras.

Posted September 21, 2010