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 are taught by Music Director Jason Bergman, lead teacher David Fickes, and Dr. Frank Rudolph, along with guest teaching artists. It is inspired by the global El Sistema program.
WHAT IS EL SISTEMA?
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: https://www.elsistemausa.org/
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 latest issue of the EPIC Music newsletter here.
EPIC Music Starts October 29
The second season of Catamount Arts’ EPIC Music after school program will kick off on Monday, October 29 at St. Johnsbury School. Students in grades 2-6 will learn the fundamentals of playing violin in an ensemble, learning both by ear and by reading music. The program will meet Monday through Thursday from 2:40-4:45pm. Students with previous violin experience as well as students with no musical training at all are welcome to participate. Inspired by the global El Sistema movement, EPIC Music is free, and all instruction, instruments, and snacks are provided free of charge.
If you would like to be added to the EPIC Music email list or have any questions, please contact Education Director Anne Campbell at 802-748-2600 ext. 108 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW CAN I HELP?
DONATE A VIOLIN
We are looking for violins that are sized for children: 1/8 to 3/4. 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 email@example.com.
VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
Volunteers are the heart of EPIC Music! We are looking for volunteers, high school-aged and up, to help at the program once a week and build relationships with our students. We also need occasion help to raise funds and promote EPIC Music. Click on our Volunteer page for more information: Volunteering at Catamount Arts or contact volunteer coordinator Robin Bergman: firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-633-2871.
MAKE A FINANCIAL GIFT
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