Thirty-three years ago in a parking garage in Caracas, Dr. José Antonio Abreu gathered together 11 children to play music. El Sistema was born. It now teaches music to 300,000 of Venezuela’s poorest children, demonstrating the power of ensemble music to dramatically change the life trajectory of hundreds of thousands of a nation’s youth while transforming the communities around them. (from El Sistema USA website)
From that remarkable program, El Sistema USA was born. Durham is fortunate to have a very dedicated group of individuals, led by a remarkable director, who have formed an El Sistema group for their city's kids.
The KidZNotes students recently had the experience of performing for and with the Durham Symphony Orchestra, something that these kids and their families will never forget. Maestro William Henry Curry of the Durham Symphony Orchestra & the NC Symphony Orchestra patiently posed with some of the kids prior to the performance.
"I studied music since I was 4 years old, and from that moment I became part of a family. That family has taught me things; not only musical things, but things I have to face in life."
"The orchestra and choir are much more than artistic studies, they are examples of schools of social life. To sing and play together means to intimately coexist."
- Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu
"The huge spiritual world that music produces in itself, ends up overcoming material poverty. From the minute a child is taught how to play an instrument he's no longer poor. He becomes a child in progress, heading for a professional level, who later becomes a citizen." - Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu
It was clear after the performance that the kids had a wonderful time. It looked to me like every child's family was in attendence that afternoon with cameras flashing wildly to capture these moments.