The inaugural class of Abreu Fellows celebrate their graduation outside the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA
After a whirlwind spring semester marked by two months in Venezuela and a month internship in Scotland, the inaugural class of Abreu Fellows held their graduation ceremony at New England Conservatory this past week. We are excited to put into practice what we have learned during this incredible year and thank New England Conservatory, TED and FESNOJIV for investing in us, this program and the El Sistema movement throughout the US and world.
It has been an honor to share this year with such a diverse group of people, who are all passionate about music and its power to effect change in our youth and communities. I've learned from each and everyone of them. TED posted a Prize Report on our graduation, as well as reflections from the past year. Here's where we'll be this coming year, leading El Sistema-inspired programs in cities across the country.
- Dan Berkowitz – was hired as Program Manager at Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA), the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s initiative to establish youth orchestra programs in underserved communities throughout Los Angeles.
- Lorrie Heagy – will launch a school-based El Sistema inspired program called Juneau, Alaska Music Matters (JAMM) at Glacier Valley Elementary where she will continue teaching as a music teacher and librarian.
- Rebecca Levi and David Malek – will co-lead an El Sistema inspired program at The Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston.
- Dantes Rameau – will be Executive Director of the Atlanta Music Project, a new organization serving school-age children.
- Alvaro Rodas – will be the Project Director of his own grassroots start-up, the Corona Youth Music Project/Núcleo Corona (Queens, New York)
- Stanford Thompson – will be the Program Director of "Tune Up, Philly!" a program of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra.
- Christine Witkowski – will be Program Manager for HOLA (Heart of Los Angeles), the LA Philharmonic’s second El Sistema inspired program site.
- Katie Wyatt – will be a founder and the Executive Director of KidZNotes, an El Sistema inspired in- and after-school program that provides orchestral music training in the poorest neighborhoods of Durham, North Carolina.
Irene Smalls for making my stay in Boston such a memorable one. I met this incredible children's book author as my landlady, but said goodbye to her as a friend. She autographed and gifted me a set of her books, which will bring joy to hundreds of school children in Juneau, Alaska when they find them on the library shelves at Glacier Valley Elementary School. Thank you, Irene!