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Catamount Arts’ EPIC Music is an after school strings program, modeled on El Sistema, a global movement of youth development and social change through music. Hallmarks of the program include inclusivity, intensity, accessibility, and fun! Students meet from September to June for group instruction and orchestra rehearsals and performances.
Watch EPIC Music students perform with the Grammy- and Emmy-winning group Time for Three. The students were prepared by EPIC Music instructors, including Artistic Director Jason Bergman of Barnet, VT; Roy MacNeil of Greensboro, VT; and Marshall Meade of North Haverill, NH. This performance took place at Fuller Hall on Sunday, December 10, 2023.
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 or low cost instruments, 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.