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  • LAPA
  • Oct. 1, 2015
  • Symposium will focus on “Raising the Bar,” encouraging attendees to elevate expectations and goals as a unified El Sistema-inspired field

    The National Take a Stand Festival will be designed and implemented by the LA Phil, Venezuela’s FundaMusical, Aspen Music Festival and School, Bard College, and Longy School of Music of Bard College, in cooperation with El Sistema USA.

    Los Angeles - (October 1, 2015) – The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association hosts the fourth annual Take a Stand symposium in Los Angeles, Tuesday, October 6 and Wednesday, October 7, 2015, which marks the official launch of the National Take a Stand Festival (NTASF), an unprecedented initiative which will create a national youth orchestra comprised of children from El Sistema-inspired programs throughout the United States, uniting the field and establishing the proper framework for success and future growth of music education throughout the United States.

    Take a Stand symposium highlights include:

    ·         Keynote by LA Phil violinist and community activist, Vijay Gupta

    ·         Exploration of “Raising the Bar” across the landscape of El Sistema-inspired programs both socially and musically – a driving concept at the core of the National Take a Stand Festival

    ·         Sessions about the NTASF regional camp locations and partnerships, led by Aspen Music Festival and School Vice President and General Manager Daniel Song and Longy School of Music President Karen Zorn

    ·         Facilitated discussion groups focused on “Crafting a Vision for Social Excellence, “Reaching New Levels of Musical Excellence,” and “Defining Holistic Measures for Student Achievement”

    ·         Music-based and socially-based workshops, panels and conversations with a strategic focus on program design/structure, repertoire selection, instrument-specific workshops, student leadership, mentorship in classrooms and more

    ·         Side-by-side concert with YOLA, SBSOV and Teaching Artists at Walt Disney Concert Hall – this concert is free and open to the public

    To view the agenda for the Take a Stand symposium, please visit:

    The National Take a Stand Festival (NTASF), in partnership with Venezuela’s FundaMusical, Aspen Music Festival and School, Bard College, and Longy School of Music of Bard College, is a three-year project that begins with a teacher training and development of a pilot program, taking place October 2 – 4, 2015, prior to the Take a Stand symposium. During the teacher training, the 12 members of the NTASF International teaching faculty will sculpt teaching philosophy and curriculum for the NTASF regional youth orchestra camps, and implement a one-day pilot program at YOLA at EXPO. The regional youth orchestra camps take place at the Aspen Musical Festival and School, June 24 – 29, and Bard College, Aug. 16 -20, 2016.

    The NTASF International teaching faculty represents El-Sistema inspired programs from across the country – including Boston, Portland, Miami, San Diego, Los Angeles and Baltimore – and includes teachers from Venezuela’s FundaMusical. NTASF culminates in a seven-day national youth orchestra camp in Los Angeles in 2017, featuring a performance led by LA Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel.

    More information about the National Take a Stand Festival is available at:

    The powerful message of El Sistema, Venezuela’s revolutionary music education program, is spreading across the United States and igniting a movement that engages thousands of children and families in music making and community building. To support this pioneering field, Bard College, the Longy School of Music of Bard College, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic have formed Take a Stand, an innovative national initiative that supports social change through music. Key project areas include annual conferences for the field of El Sistema-inspired programs world-wide and a Masters of Arts in Teaching program, situated at an LA Phil YOLA site, with a focus on infusing El Sistema philosophy into music teaching practices.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall ( and the Hollywood Bowl ( The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through May, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.

    The Aspen Music Festival and School is the United States’ premier classical music summer festival, presenting more than 300 musical events during its eight-week summer season in Aspen. The institution draws top classical musicians from around the world for an unparalleled combination of performances and music education. Many events are free and seating on the lawn is always free. More than 630 music students from more than 40 U.S. states and more than 40 countries come each summer to play in five orchestras, sing, conduct, compose and study with approximately 130 renowned artist-faculty members. Many students have already begun their professional careers, others are on the cusp. Renowned alumni include Gil Shaham, Renée Fleming, James Levine, and Alisa Weilerstein.


  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422
    Lisa Bellamore,, 213.972.3689
    Photos: 213.972.3034