In 2008, Harmony Program Executive Director, Anne Fitzgibbon, returned from a year in Venezuela inspired to bring the model of El Sistema to communities in New York City.
Nearly four years later, the Harmony Program is overjoyed to take part in a week of activities focusing on this influential model of music education, its flagship orchestra, and its visionary founder, Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu.
On Sunday, we were honored to host Maestro Abreu at our annual holiday celebration. The evening brought together program staff, participants, partners, sponsors, and distinguished guests, including United States Senators Charles Schumer and Maria Cantwell. We were honored to host them and to share some student performances of seasonal favorites.
Following the performance, Maestro Abreu was presented with a gift of appreciation from our students, and he spoke warmly to guests, expressing his appreciation for the accomplishments of the performers and for the instruction that their committed teachers have provided them.
The following evening, during the intermission of the live Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra broadcast from Carnegie Hall, WQXR featured the Harmony Program, including a brief interview with Ms. Fitzgibbon about her experience in Venezuela and efforts to adapt elements of El Sistema to New York City.
Listen to the concert, including the Harmony feature (at around 59:00)
And tomorrow, Wednesday, December 12th, students and teachers from the Harmony Program will participate in the first New York City “Seminario,” organized by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Our students will join over 100 children from other local El Sistema-inspired programs for a day of workshops and performances with members of the visiting Simon Bolivar Orchestra from Venezuela.
Read more about the Seminario on theCarnegie Hall website, and stay tuned for pictures and news in the week ahead.