Waterbury Symphony launches El Sistema-inspired program

Posted on: May 11, 2012

In Wednesday’s (5/9) Republican-American (Waterbury, Connecticut; subscription required), Brynn Mandel writes, “From Venezuela to Baltimore to Waterbury’s Children’s Community School, a model program that aims to develop well-rounded children through music education will make its debut in the Brass City this summer. Dubbed Bravo Waterbury!, the effort gives the term “musical movement” a new connotation, with ambitions to not only teach children on instruments, but also to uplift their entire lives in the process. The effort follows in the tradition of El Sistema, a celebrated, free national music training and youth orchestra program that has served nearly 300,000 youngsters. … ‘It’s pretty intensive and it will include an academic component’ and other elements, said Calida Jones, the recently hired director of Bravo Waterbury! who spent the past month observing a similar established program in Baltimore. Said [Waterbury Symphony Orchestra] Executive Director Steve Collins, ‘It’s not just another afterschool program, and it’s not your typical American music education program either.’ … Jones, Collins and WSO mestro Leif Bjaland will travel next month to Venezuela ‘to work within El Sistema and learn first-hand what makes the program so uniquely effective,’ said Collins.”

Posted May 11, 2012