Join us for the ESC Concert Series Online! with guitarist, Alfredo Muro on Thursday, April 23 at 7:00 PM
Learning music isn’t the only way to lift our spirits! Join us for an inspired evening of classical guitar from the comfort of your own home. Alfredo Muro has generously agreed to share his talents with our students and our larger ESC family.
Alfredo Muro has presented concerts in many venues throughout the United States. He has been featured at the Kennedy Center for the Millennium Concert Series in Washington D.C, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, and The Smithsonian Museum.
Alfredo Muro shares the joy of his musical talent while performing, composing and teaching throughout International Guitar Festivals, concerts, lectures, and coaching/teaching at his Guitar Studio. These three passions provide the basis for the phenomenal success of this musician and his constant evolution.
Now more than ever, music has the power to unite us in our isolation. Don’t miss this concert, Thursday, April 23 at 7 pm.
From Caracas to Denver
El Sistema began in Caracas Venezuela in 1975, through the vision of Dr. José Antonio Abreu. He dreamed big, planning to provide quality music education to all children in Venezuela, no matter their background. Dr. Abreu believed, as we do today, that making music in an ensemble builds critical life skills and the groundwork for success.
At his first rehearsal, Dr. Abreu expected to have one hundred students. In reality, only eleven students showed up. Dr. Abreu could have been disheartened and stopped there. Instead, he continued forward—knowing that with time and heart El Sistema would grow. He believed his students would attain musical excellence, but through practice and the structure of the ensemble they would also develop collaborative skills and an ethical framework for life.
Beginning with one man’s vision and just eleven students, a global movement was born. El Sistema in Venezuela, now known as Fundación Musical Simón Bolívar, has 31 symphony orchestras, and more than 300,000 children attend their music schools.
Outside of Venezuela, there are El Sistema inspired programs throughout the world—including El Sistema Colorado. Here we aim to provide children of marginalized communities the same access to high-quality music education as their more privileged peers. We celebrate Dr. Abreu’s vision that music education can improve the life trajectory of children in poverty. At El Sistema Colorado we are committed to cultivating the whole child. We know instrumental and choral ensembles build students’ musical, social, and cognitive skills. We also believe by cultivating support for the whole family and greater community, we positively impact our young musicians’ growing self-confidence, social-emotional development, and leadership skills.
You can help support our mission to empower children by providing a music program that teaches the importance of teamwork, promotes self-confidence, and instills the value of social responsibility.
The world’s most renowned cellist and musical ambassador started his two-year world tour, in part by inviting the El Sistema Colorado (ESC) youth orchestra to join him on-stage at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, August, 1 2018. “When we got a call from him we thought, ‘He wants to connect with our kids’… but instead, it was to invite our kids to perform on-stage with him!” ESC Board Chair, Maritza Dominguez Braswell explained.
“It’s a big deal for her,” said Ron, one of ESC’s parents, who described the impact on his daughter, Nehemiah “At first they were just scratching the bow on the string, but now we hear music… It’s really nice to see these kids have a skill. It’s had a big impact on our family.”
Partner with us to provide daily afterschool ensemble music to Denver’s under-served youth, and for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
Help bring for 20 more kids into our after school program by January 1, 2020. Schedule your Colorado Gives Day gift early so you don’t forget!
It costs a minimum of $2,500 a year for a student to take weekly private lessons and participate in an orchestral or choral extracurricular organization.
What would happen if those costs disappeared for our city’s under-served communities? What would happen if everyone had access to the power of music?
El Sistema Colorado is making this a reality for Denver’s children.
We believe music has the power to change lives for the better by teaching perseverance, teamwork, and social responsibility through an ensemble setting. Our mission is to transform lives through music education by providing intensive in-school and after-school music programs.
By El Sistema Colorado Staff
El Sistema Colorado is excited to partner with the Colorado Symphony and the Denver Young Artists Orchestra to lead a discussion about access to quality music education for Denver’s at-risk youth, a goal that directly supports El Sistema Colorado’s mission. Team Tipton is facilitating the convening of dozens of Denver’s music education organizations, with funding support from Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and The Denver Foundation. The convening will take place October 3 & 4 with the goal of creating an action plan that addresses issues around music education in Denver, particularly inclusivity, diversity, and racial and economic equity.
Visit the Colorado Symphony website for an executive summary, survey results and research to-date.
We will post updates after this important gathering.
El Sistema Colorado celebrates its first after-school community hub, a thriving music center, ensuring equal access.
“…because music is a right, not a privilege.” ~ Maestro José Antonio Abreu
From El Sistema Colorado Board and Staff
We always knew we needed a central home.
One place to unite our orchestra.
One place to build stronger community.
One place for joyful music ~ a human right for all.
We have found that home in Denver’s Curtis Park neighborhood, thanks to a new partnership with the Denver Housing Authority. We are preparing it to launch programming in our new home to 75 students after school, Fall 2019.
El Sistema Colorado has served over 1,300 students since 2012. Now, this new, centralized community hub, located at 2980 Curtis Street, will welcome our current young musicians and families, as well as new ones. The center will be located one to three miles from our partnering Denver Public Schools: Garden Place Elementary Swansea Elementary and Bruce Randolph Middle and High School, which are located in the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, Cole and Clayton neighborhoods. And there will be plenty of room to serve more kids, both from our current partner schools, and from within our new Curtis Park / Five Points neighborhood.
Thank you to everyone who has supported El Sistema Colorado from the beginning. We could not have done it without you.
Every summer, the top students from Sistema-inspired programs from across the country audition to be a part of the National El Sistema Youth Orchestra at the National Take a Stand Festival in Los Angeles. This summer, our first high school student was accepted and attended the 10-day event.
Student Spotlight: Melvin, age 15
How did you learn about the National Take a Stand Festival (NTASF)?
“I first learned about it from Ms. Bennett, my band instructor. She thought it was a great idea for me to apply. I knew absolutely nothing about it at first, I just knew that it was in California and that I would be out of town playing music. I had never traveled before; I mean, I had been to Mexico with family, but not by myself. I had always traveled on a bus, but never on an airplane.”
“I was responsible for myself and had to advocate for myself in a lot of ways. I knew that I had to go to baggage claim, but I looked everywhere and I saw nothing — I was kind of still anxious from the flight. I’m very shy, so I really had to build up the courage to ask somebody, “Hey, where’s baggage claim? Can you lead me in that direction?”
“The program had 140 kids from 28 different places all over the US and Puerto Rico. The biggest surprise was the diversity of the students. Usually in an orchestra we think of caucasian people, but I was really surprised by the amount of people of color and people my race (hispanic) or different races. It’s good to see people that you have something in common with. You can get more motivated to do music when you see people like you.”
“There were a lot of kids who were really dedicated to music, and many who were at a higher level than me. We were expected to know our rhythms and notes so we could work more on musical expression. When you start noticing how hard these pieces are, and realize that you actually are talented, you start noticing that music is for you and you think of doing it for life.”
“Before NTASF I would always hate being last chair. When I got to NTASF and was last chair, I realized I’d have to step up my game to try even harder, to try to reach them [other students skill level], and I’ve noticed that has made me a better musician.”
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Because of NTASF I really learned to enjoy the music and listen to my tone and listen to hear if I was sharp or flat. NTASF has really inspired me to try my hardest and dream even bigger. Last year I auditioned for a local orchestra and didn’t get in, but this year it’s a goal of mine to actually get on the waitlist. Because of NTASF that I know that I am capable of doing it.”
Listen to this concert for free on CPR Classical on 88.1 FM in Denver or online at cpr.org. You won’t want to miss this special performance!
88.1 FM or at cpr.org
Students from El Sistema-inspired programs across the United States landed in L.A. this July to perform as part of a top-tier national youth orchestra at the National Take a Stand Festival.
For Melvin, our high school trombonist, it was a time of firsts: hopping on his first airplane, taking his first trip to California, first time traveling solo, first time performing at Walt Disney Concert Hall… oh, and his first selfie with El Sistema alumnus and Music & Artistic Director for the LA Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel!
Stay tuned for an in-depth interview with Melvin as he shares with us the life-long memories he created this summer in L.A.