Children’s Orchestra & Performing Arts Project @ North Palm Beach Elementary recently had twenty-eight orchestra students that blazed a trail to Durham to participate in an annual ‘Seminario’ or music seminar, playing with over 150 other musician-students. Kidznotes hosted this year’s East Coast Seminario, a 2-day gathering of all the El Sistema-inspired programs on the East Coast. Students from Florida to Connecticut arrived in Durham on May 2, 2014 to rehearse for a performance on Saturday, May 3 at the Holton Career and Resource Center for a special concert which was free to the public.
The idea of bringing El Sistema to North Carolina was born in the minds of three women, at nearly the same time. Lucia Powe, Kidznotes co-founder and North Carolina philanthropist was inspired by a 2008 “60 Minutes” special on the phenomenon of El Sistema in Venezuela, and its early adaptation in the United States. Lucia quickly told friend and child advocate Kathie Morrison about the special, and discovered in her a love of Latin America and children.
El Sistema participants from seven different programs around the southeast gathered to work in ensemble groups and play in the massive orchestral event. Culminating in a performance conducted by Scott Laird – Instructor of Music at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, students performed Devorak’s New World Symphony.
The twenty-eight young musicians in grades 2 – 8 from North Palm Beach Elementary dazzled the audience with technique and style. Fifth grade student Janae Cameron said, “It was a dynamic experience…I improved my level of playing by working with older student musicians during the seminar. It was very exciting!” In addition to the concert, COPA students visited the campus of Duke University, seeing the landmarks, meeting students, and dreaming about their futures.
The COPA Symphony orchestra program has grown from 60 students in 2010 to over 250 this year. Moving into a brand new facility in the fall, the program will expand to more than 350 student-musicians, studying and playing beautiful music.
(See list below for more information regarding the instrumental music programs of El Sistema)
REF: SDPBC (Press Release) Public Affairs Office, May 2014