PACIFIC CHORALE LAUNCHES “EL SISTEMA”-INSPIRED AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAM
Date: March 21, 2014
Location: California, USA
Choir type: Professional Choirs
COSTA MESA, CA – Pacific Chorale is launching the pilot of an El Sistema-inspired, after-school program for two under-served elementary schools in Costa Mesa. The program is being offered to 4th -to -6th graders at Rea and Pomona Elementary School, both Title I schools in Costa Mesa. School music teachers will team with Pacific Chorale teaching artists to provide 2.5 hours of after-school instruction twice a week for 10 weeks. The curriculum will include training in vocal technique, ensemble singing and musicianship, and will be full of opportunities for performance, peer mentoring and fun.
The objectives of the Pacific Chorale Academy are many, including:
• Supporting the intellectual, emotional, and social development of students.
• Helping youth develop discipline, the ability to set and achieve long-term goals and a sense of social responsibility.
• Creating an environment that is safe, happy, fun — and promotes self-esteem.
• Ensuring leaders and teachers are committed to fostering a nurturing environment to create exceptional citizens.
• Engaging parents and the community so all feel a welcome part of the program.
• Nurturing students’ commitment to helping others through this art form, and develop them as veteran participants who mentor younger and newer students.
• Creating a community that embraces creativity and imagination.
• Fostering an appreciation for singing that continues into adulthood.
“Education is at the core of our mission,” said Mary Lyons, Education Chair and Chairman Emeritus of Pacific Chorale’s Board of Directors. “We have education programs for adults and high school students; now we are turning our attention to elementary school students.”
To give the program a jump-start, Pacific Chorale retained Eric Booth to help identify the artist teachers for the program. He is widely known as “the father of the teaching artists profession” and is a leading advocate and advisor for the burgeoning El Sistema movement in the United States. He has been referred to as one of the top 25 people in arts education in the country.
“It has been a delight working with the administration and teachers at Rea and Pomona Elementary Schools,” said Molly Pontin, the Director of Education & Community Programs at Pacific Chorale. “They are as excited about the opportunity for the kids as we are.”
El Sistema is the Venezuelan music education movement that came to prominence in the U.S. when notable alumnus Gustavo Dudamel took the podium at the L.A. Philharmonic. Founded in 1975 by economist and musician Jose Antonio Abreu, the original El Sistema envisions music as a vehicle for transforming communities, and has grown to become an international movement.
The pilot program, which launched on March 18, is underwritten by Phillip N. and Mary A. Lyons, Martin Hubbard, Margaret Gates, the Allergan Foundation, the Capital Group Companies, and George Reiss.