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Photo credit: Paul Hayes, Caledonian-Record

EPIC Music is a program of Catamount Arts, in partnership with the Northeast Kingdom Community Orchestra, St. Johnsbury School, and Northeast Kingdom Classical Series. Lessons will be taught by Jason Bergman, string instructor at St. Johnsbury Academy, private music instructor, and conductor of the Northeast Kingdom Community Orchestra; and guest teaching artists. It is inspired by the El Sistema music program.


In 1975, economist and composer Dr. José Antonio Abreu created a music program in Venezuela that was transformational for children living in poverty. El Sistema (The System) has inspired similar programs throughout the world, each creating remarkable social change and producing extraordinary student musicians. The programs are open to any child with the enthusiasm and commitment to learn. Programs offer free instruments, free intense musical instruction, and significant experience working in ensembles. The two most important aspects of El Sistema-style programs are inclusivity for all students, and joy in making music.

Learn more about El Sistema here:

El Sistema USA is a documentary in process which highlights the El Sistema-inspired program Play on Philly!

This video show an exuberant performance by the original El Sistema youth ensemble, Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, a former El Sistema student:


In this video, Maestro Abreu explains the importance of equitable access to high-quality music education: 

You may read the current issue of the EPIC Music newsletter here.


The Neave Trio, one of the finest emerging young chamber ensembles, will be performing in a benefit concert to support Catamount Arts' EPIC Music program. The Trio has performed all over the US, in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Jordan Hall, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center/La Jolla Music Society, Rockport Chamber Music Festival (as their “Rising Star” Ensemble),and the Los Angeles Music Guild. Tickets are available here.



We are looking for violins of any size, but particularly 1/8-3/4 size. We can repair instruments. If you have a violin you would like to donate, please contact Anne Campbell at 802-748-2600, ext. 108 or


We are looking for volunteers, high school-aged and up, to help teach, repair instruments, organize, raise funds, and promote EPIC Music. Click on our Volunteer page for more information [add link: Volunteering at Catamount Arts]


In order to provide a free program for all interested students, we need funds to help pay for teachers, renting and repairing instruments, and administrative support. If you are able to make a gift of any size, please write a check to Catamount Arts and make a note that it is for EPIC Music, or make an online donation here: Donating to Catamount Arts

Thank you!