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Your gift will have twice the impact this Colorado Gives Day!

Your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $15,000 on Colorado Gives Day!


Our impact:

  • 90% of teachers report that their El Sistema students have improved academic performance.
  • 98% of parents report that their student has improved teamwork skills.
  • In only 6 years, 11 El Sistema children have been accepted to the prestigious and nationally recognized Denver School of the Arts.
  • Cellist Yo-Yo Ma invited our young orchestra to play with him at Red Rocks, August, 2018. Impact: priceless.

Help turn $15,000 into $30,000, thanks to a matching gift from a generous longtime donor or El Sistema Colorado.

Your gift helps reach a total 2018 year-end goal of $50,000.

Schedule your gift today!

What is El Sistema Colorado?

El Sistema Colorado is inspired by a global movement started in Venezuela almost 45 years ago. Our mission is to transform lives through music education. Our model is: intensive, afterschool, ensemble music education. Children learn in an ensemble so they experience the value of teamwork, leadership, collective impact. Performance opportunities occur throughout the year with partners like Metro State University, the Colorado Symphony, the Denver Philharmonic and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra.

November 9th Fundraiser: Rollin’ Bowling Tournament

We’re on a roll with our upcoming events — the Rollin’ Bowling Tournament, sponsored by Visual Interest, will be on Friday, November 9th from 12pm-4pm. Get your tickets here: http://www.lightheartedvi.com/rollin/

Sign up a team, bowl the day away and enjoy the party, all while supporting an important cause. Visual Interest will match the proceeds raised from Rollin’. We ask that only adults attend, as there will be an open bar. Single $100, $500 per team of five.

October 20th Fundraiser: Big Band Swing Dance

The Big Band Swing Dance fundraiser, sponsored by Flatirons Jazz Orchestra, is just around the corner! Join us on Saturday, October 20th from 7pm-11pm. Get your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/big-band-swing-dance-fundraise…

Free swing dance lessons at 7:00pm, followed by 3 hours of live Big Band Jazz. Beginners and singles welcome — vintage dress encouraged! $50/couple, $35 single includes drinks.

See you there!

Student Spotlight: Melvin

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.”

Final Thoughts
“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.”

El Sistema Colorado to see Yo-Yo Ma at Red Rocks!

El Sistema Colorado is honored to be special guests of world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma this Wednesday evening at Red Rocks. This incredible opportunity was made possible by the generous support and partnership of the Colorado Symphony.

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!

Wednesday, August 1st
88.1 FM or at cpr.org

National Take a Stand Festival 2018

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.

Remembering a Volunteer

In memory of Tom Jensen
April 11, 1951 – June 6, 2018

Tom was a highly accomplished conductor, musician, radio personality and entertainer. He believed, as we do, that every child deserves music and beauty in their lives. Several months ago, Tom began helping young cellists and bassists at El Sistema become more confident on their instruments. He sat with them, bass in hand, side by side, as they played wrong notes, tried again, and found the triumph of making music together. He endeavored, every week, to set an example and inspire the children of El Sistema to work hard and dream big dreams for themselves. May his impact on the children be his enduring tribute and legacy.

Memorial reception will be from 6-8pm on Monday, June 18, 2018 at Olinger Crown Hill, Pavilion of Reflection. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donation be made to El Sistema Colorado, 789 Sherman Street, Suite 250, Denver 80203 or www.elsistemacolorado.org/donate

Núcleo Success!

It may be summer, but we are still glowing from our end-of-year showcase! What a way to wrap up a phenomenal school year.

We couldn’t do this important work without the many community members and partnerships we are blessed with. We are so thankful to Bruce Randolph School for hosting us; to From the Hip Photo for documenting the magic; to Christopher Dragon and Phillip Stevens from the Colorado Symphony and musicians from the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado for opening the world of being a professional musician to our students, playing alongside them, and inspiring them to be better musicians; to our partner schools Swansea Elementary School and Garden Place Academy; to our Board and donors for always showing up in full support; and to our teaching artists whose love and dedication was shining bright in the smiles of our students — from the bottom of our grateful hearts, THANK YOU!

Núcleo Concert — Thursday, May 10th

Join us for our end-of-year musical showcase, featuring students from the Elyria-Swansea and Globeville neighborhoods. Special guests from the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado will be joining us on stage, along with viola soloist Phillip Stevens from the Colorado Symphony, and Christopher Dragon, associate conductor for the Colorado Symphony.

Families and friends, we hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 10th, from 6-7pm
Bruce Randolph School
3955 Steele Street
Denver, CO 80205