In a collaborative venture, the Oquirrh Mountain Symphony will be bringing a new music education program to the children from the American Preparatory Academy. The joint venture, which was announced Monday afternoon at a press conference at the academy’s West Valley City campus, will help build musical skills as well as social skills and self esteem to local at risk youngsters.
Called Crescendo! the program utilizes the principles of El Sistema to bring music to young students who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity or means to be exposed to it. El Sistema was developed by Venezuelan musician and educator José Antonio Abreu 36 years ago. When he started the program there were only a handful of kids, but the program has grown tremendously since its humble beginnings. Today, El Sistema has helped more than three million at risk youngsters, nearly 75 percent of whom live in poverty. The program is now being used in 43 countries worldwide. “This is a world wide movement and it’s instrumental in bringing change to the world,” said David France, an El Sistema/Abreu fellow who is developing the program for the American Preparatory Academy.
This is the first such program in Utah said LeAnn Hord, executive director of the Oquirrh Mountain Symphony. “This is a pilot program here and I’m excited to be bringing it to Utah.”
Students from the academy will spend three to four hours daily in the program. The Oquirrh Mountain Symphony will provide music lessons and instruments for the students. Repertory Dance Theater will also be involved in the program by providing dance and movement lessons. Classes are scheduled to begin in June.
For more information log on to http://omsymphony.org/elsistema/.