Friday, March 2, 2012

Caracas, Venezuela!

Hola! Today finds me in Caracas, Venezuela!

In my last post, I was spending Thanksgiving in Chicago with family, and concluded that trip by visiting the YOURS project, one of the oldest El Sistema inspired programs in the United States. Since Thanksgiving, I have spent the winter in China with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas as part of the administrative staff as they toured the country. In February, I presented, along with the other fellows, at the first ever national conference for El Sistema in the united states, hosted by Take A Stand- a partnership of Bard College, the Longy School of Music, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Here is a link to the slides we used assisting our presentation: - wait for it to load, and then click through!
Now, a month after our presentation in LA, the fellows are starting their 5 week residency in Venezuala! We are so excited, estamos muy emocionados, to be studying the inspiration at the source. I am striving to enter this experience with an open mind and heart, ready to observe and absorb. I will attempt to blog regularly throughout our time here in VZ, so please check back in and travel with us! 
Here are some videos created from the experiences of the first 2 days by my fellow fellow, David France. 
Day 1
Montalban Nucleo:
A montage with reflections on the experience- 

Also, fellow fellow José Luis Hernández-Estrada wrote a beautiful post on his experience in Montalban: 
Day 2
Sarria Nucleo: 
Rafael Elster, now a national level administrator of El Sistema, worked with the Sarria Nucleo for 10 years and has been working within El Sistema for 30 years. 
A violin teacher’s thoughts and reflections: 
Another fellow fellow, Aisha Bowden, sharing her thoughts on video- towards the end of the video she engages a number of the students at the nucleo in conversation, ending with a song! 
Also, Jose-Luis’s reflections regarding his experience at Sarria: 


  1. albert your passion and your enthusiasm inspires excites and delights me to know and my 15 yro twins are going to follow you Fellows you on this journey of life your love of children and you love of music praying for you safe return to the states where we are. Continue to do what you do for US ALL!


  2. I love that you put so much effort and passion into your blog posts, you like for people to relate to what your saying. I enjoyed reading your blog on another occasion a few months back.