August 11, 2019
This summer was a rousing success for the Harmony Program, as we were able to offer 5 full weeks of an all-day, intensive summer camp. Beyond just instrument classes, our students had classes in music theory, improvisation, and new musical styles like fiddling. What’s more, they were joined by a a diverse slate of guest artists who offered new musical perspectives for our class of summer students.
Thank you to all who helped make our summer camp possible; making sure our students have the chance to play year-round is an instrumental part of our model.
May 29, 2019
On May 29th, the Harmony Program held its fifth annual All Stars Concert in partnership with the New York Philharmonic. This year’s collaboration also welcomed students from Bronx-based UpBeat NYC. The All Stars were selected through two competitive rounds of auditions, the second of which was adjudicated by musicians of the Philharmonic. Selected All Stars received formal coaching throughout the year by Philharmonic musicians and were invited to attend several Young People’s Concerts by the Philharmonic at David Geffen Hall. Their final performance took place in the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center before a packed house and featured a range of repertoire for chamber ensembles and a string orchestra.
Congratulations to all of our 2019 All Stars!
April 16, 2019
We are pleased to announce that the Harmony Program has expanded its programming beyond instrumental music lessons to include choral training this year. Our school partners include PS 59 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, PS 155 in East Harlem, and PS349 and MS358 in Jamaica, Queens. We will be establishing additional choral partnerships this fall and look forward to sharing news of our students’ progress with our Harmony Program community in future newsletters and at upcoming events.
March 14, 2019
The 2019 Harmony Program gala was a heartwarming celebration of music that brought Harmony Program students together with our honoree, the superb Joyce DiDonato, who captivated the entire room with her warmth, artistry, and genuine appreciation for our mission. The opportunity for our students to share the stage with her, in both performance and conversation, is one they (and we) will never forget.
Our host, Rob Kapilow, led the evening effortlessly as pianist, conductor, and commentator, and our young Harmony Program performers were the highlight of the evening. The gala featured the whole spectrum of our student and alumni population — from first grade to college age, from beginner to advanced, from chamber musician to orchestra member, and from instrumentalist to vocalist. We congratulate them all and extend our appreciation to Harmony Program parent, Donald Wheby, for sharing the inspiring story of his daughter Victoria’s musical journey.
We thank the Warner Music Group, lead sponsor of the evening, and all of our supporters who made the gala such an auspicious start to the Harmony Program’s second decade of service. To view photos of the evening, please visit us on Facebook.
March 2, 2019
On Saturday, March 2nd, 75 Harmony Program students from Jamaica, Queens, Chinatown, the South Bronx, and Washington Heights came together to play in our annual Youth Orchestra Day. Participating students spent the day studying in sectionals with members of the West Point Band, learning the cultural significance of the pieces they were rehearsing, and bonding with their fellow musicians before performing publicly for family and friends. For some of our students, Youth Orchestra Day represented their first experience playing within a full orchestra.
The Harmony Program thanks all of the parents, teachers, and staff who made this special day possible and congratulates our students on their fine performance.
August 24, 2018
This year’s Harmony Program summer camp was the best yet! Nearly 200 of our students in four boroughs received four weeks of music lessons – all day, every day. Our full-day program included orchestra, band, and choir rehearsals, group instrument lessons, music theory and composition classes, and fiddling/improvisation ensembles. We also presented a guest artist series, featuring musicians from different backgrounds performing a variety of genres. Highlights included New York Philharmonic violinist, Anna Rabinova; Juilliard violinist, Jonathan Miron; professional tap dancer and hip hop artist, Leo Manzari; and electro-acoustic violist, Martha Mooke.
We thank all of our participating students, teachers, and families for an exciting and productive summer season!
August 24, 2018
Four of our Harmony Program students – on violin, cello, bass, and trombone – qualified this year for the National Take A Stand Festival of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The National Take A Stand Festival is an opportunity for students from El Sistema-inspired programs throughout the US to perform as part of a top-tier national youth orchestra. This year’s festival also included a teaching intensive and symposium, which four Harmony Program teachers attended on full scholarship. The Festival concluded with a performance by the 140-member student orchestra of Zequinha de Abreu’s “Tico Tico,” conducted by Maestro Gustavo Dudamel.