Thursday, February 18, 2010

Week 15: Arriving in Venezuela!

The moment the Abreu Fellows have been waiting for has finally arrived: we landed in Caracas to begin our two-month period of observation and study at various El Sistema sites throughout Venezuela.
As guests of FESNOVJIV (El Sistema) or the National System of Youth and Children's Orchestras of Venezuela, the fellows will stay together as a group in Caracas for the first 10 days and then will spread out in teams of 2 or 3 to visit three different nucleos in outlying areas to continue our observations, as well as help teach.

There are 180 nucleos operating in Venezuela, which are community-based and house choral and orchestral programs. Although the itinerary may change, Jonathan Govias and I are scheduled to visit the following communities, each for a two-week period: Maracaibo, Barquisimeto (home of Gustavo Dudamel) and San Felipe. Tomorrow we'll visit the Center for Social Action through Music and watch the Simon Bolivar Orchestra perform Mahler's Symphony No. 9 conducted by Dudamel! Until then...

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