Our History

The Harmony Program was founded in 2003 by Anne Fitzgibbon as a privately funded project within the New York City Mayor’s Office. After a successful pilot period, the Harmony Program was incorporated as an independent non-profit organization in 2004, and in 2008, entered into a temporary partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY) to foster growth and sustainability.

The Harmony Program is inspired by Venezuela’s world-renowned system of music education, “El Sistema,” which the Harmony Program’s founder studied during a yearlong Fulbright Fellowship. Since then, the Harmony Program has adapted the model and philosophy of El Sistema to the unique needs of New York City’s communities, emphasizing community-based instruction and the social value of ensemble learning.