• Harmony Program Spring Gala

    April 16, 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.

  • Youth Orchestra Day

    April 16, 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.

  • New Choral Classes

    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.

  • Summer Camp in Four Boroughs

    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!

  • Playing Under Gustavo Dudamel at the National Take A Stand Festival in Los Angeles

    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.

  • Harmony Students Excel at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp

    August 24, 2018

    Six Harmony Program students received full scholarships to attend the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts for the first time this summer. Among these talented students, one was chosen as Concert Mistress, two earned principal chairs, and one was placed in an advanced ensemble. We are so very proud of these talented students and look forward to sending more of our young Harmony musicians to Interlochen in the years ahead.

  • Harmony Welcomes New Staff!

    August 24, 2018

    The Harmony Program is delighted to announce the arrival of two new staff members:

    Director of Education – Norma Núñez-Ruch
    Our new Director of Education is a native Venezuelan, who has been involved with Venezuela’s “El Sistema” for more than 20 years. She gained first-hand knowledge of El Sistema pedagogy as a student violist in the Venezuelan program for fourteen years. An accomplished violist, she played with Venezuelan orchestras for a decade beginning at age 10. After graduating from the University of Santa Maria in Caracas, Norma went on to work for the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela for over 7 years, in various administrative roles. Norma was named a Ford Motor Company International Fellow of the 92nd Street Y in 2011, becoming the first and only Venezuelan to receive this award. As an educator, Norma has taught viola in several El Sistema locations in her native Venezuela, and in 2014-2015, while studying for her master’s degree in Cultural Management at Universidad Carlos III, she coached the children of the Jonsui Children’s Orchestra in Madrid, Spain. For the last 3 years, she has been the Program Director of El Sistema Lehigh Valley, a program of the Allentown Symphony Association and also assumed the role of Education Director for the symphony. She is fluent in Spanish and English.

    Executive Assistant – Sean Craig
    Sean comes to the Harmony Program with a passion for music, community, and arts administration. In college, he studied music and theater, with a focus on ethnomusicology and performance’s role in social justice. He immersed himself in the DC arts community, working as a writer and theater practitioner and interning for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. After graduating, Sean worked for a research and consulting start-up in Washington, DC, and he is thrilled to bring his strategic experience to the Harmony Program. Sean graduated from Georgetown University in 2016, with highest honors in American Musical Culture, Theater and Performance Studies, and English. In addition to his work at the Harmony Program, Sean writes freelance music reviews and short fiction.