“Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the Fasten Seat Belt sign. If you haven’t already done so, please stow your carry-on luggage underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin. Please take your seat and fasten your seat belt." "At this time, we would also like to welcome, a group of music educators from Boston dedicated to bringing El Sistema to the United States and around the world."

The fellows are in Los Angeles

On January 30th, we will be delivering a keynote presentation at the LA Philharmonic’s Take a Stand symposium on the state of the Sistema movement in the United States. The first picture of its kind, a reflection of the experiences, successes, and needs of the field. We interviewed programs across the country, experienced aspects of their work on the ground, and are now getting ready to report back to the national audience. Our program director Erik Holmgren, leaders from Longy and the LA Phil have all been involved in curating the process. For the presentation, it will be my task to illustrate aspects of our core values, a set of ideals that bring us together as a movement. It will be an honor to participate in this event.

I am also very excited about hearing the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela play in the Mahler Festival (take a look at their performance of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony live from the 2011 BBC Proms). And to meet with teaching artists, leaders in the arts, and a wide diversity of international educators. At the symposium, there will be participants from Santa Barbara to Philadelphia, from Colombia to Scotland--all inspired by the transformative power of music. As a designated learner of the Sistema movement, this will be a marvelous space to continue to grow as a musician.

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