Music Matters: The Orchestra as a Tool for Social Change

May 08, 2015 12:15pm
Dr. Adele Diamond: Research Chair and Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, University of British Columbia and Fellow at Royal Society of Canada; Maestro Juan Felipe Molano: Conductor, Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles and Professor at Longy School of Music; Stanford Thompson: President, El Sistema USA; Founder and Artistic Director, Play on Philly!

In 1975 a musical revolution started quietly in the slums outside Caracas, Venezuela. 11 children gathered in an abandoned garage to form a small orchestra. 40 years later, "El Sistema" now serves half a million children each year in a national system of music schools in poor neighborhoods, and it has inspired a worldwide movement of social change through music in over 55 countries. There are over 100 affiliated programs in the US, and BRAVO Youth Orchestras is the first in Oregon.

BRAVO Rosa Parks launched in September 2013 with 40 students at Portland's poorest public school who had never played an instrument and couldn't read music. Now, 18 short months later, they have performed onstage alongside the Oregon Symphony with Carlos Kalmar conducting. BRAVO students have played for the Governor, the Mayor, and City and County Commissioners. BRAVO has even shown a significant positive impact on reading assessment scores.

During this forum, you will learn from our expert panel how intensive orchestral education in underserved communities can be an effective tool to change life trajectories and build a more just and equitable society.

Sentinel, 614 SW 11th Ave., Portland, OR
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