On Thursday, January 8, 2019, the Los Angeles Philharmonic announced the creation of the National Take a Stand Festival, an initiative to create a unified national platform for El Sistema-inspired programs throughout the US.
The initiative will bring world-renowned conductors, guest artists and teachers to students in El Sistema programs around the country.
The National Take a Stand Festival is a three-year project, beginning in 2015 with a teacher training and pilot program. In 2016 the initiative will form two 5-day regional youth orchestra camps, to be held at Aspen and Bard College. The initiative culminates in a 7-day national youth orchestra camp in Los Angeles in 2017, with a final performance conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.
A partnership of teachers and faculty from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Longy School of Music of Bard College, Aspen Festival and School, and Venezuela’s FundaMusical will provide teachers for the regional camps. Robert Spano, Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and Leon Botstein, President of Bard College and Music Director of the American Symphony Orchestra, will conduct the regional youth orchestras in 2016.
The purpose of the National Take a Stand initiative is to move the El Sistema movement in the US from independent organizations to a cohesive network of programs that share a philosophy, best practices, resources and vision.
For more information about this national initiative, read the LA Philharmonic’s press release.