“Reaching for the Stars: A Forum on Music Education” Features Conductor Gustavo Dudamel and El Sistema’s Founder Dr. José Antonio Abreu, Gillian Moore from London’s South Bank Centre and Cal Performances’ Director Matías Tarnopolsky Among Other Celebrated Panelists
Cal Performances continues its important program of orchestras-in-residence on the UC Berkeley campus with the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Orchestra Residency featuring Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra (SBSOoV) November 28 and 29. In recognition of the crucial importance of music education, a centerpiece of the orchestra’s visit is a two-day conference on music education, “Reaching for the Stars.” The conference, chaired by renowned teaching artist Eric Booth, features a panel of esteemed music educators and speakers from around the country and the world including Gustavo Dudamel and Dr. José Antonio Abreu with discussion and workshops focusing on El Sistema programs and methods in Venezuela and around the world.
The “Reaching for the Stars” conference and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra residency serves as an inspiration and launching point for Cal Performances to announce the start of TEMPO – Teens Empowered by Music Performance Opportunities – a new program designed to enrich the lives of teens by providing them with opportunities to create music and experience performances by the world’s most accomplished artists. In this inaugural session, students will encounter orchestral music and Venezuelan culture, make music together and attend a performance of SBSO.
The Orchestra Residency also includes performance opportunities for UC Berkeley’s University Chorus and the Pacific Boychoir, a master class with the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro Dudamel, a SchoolTime performance and the chance to experience Maestro Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela in two concerts at 8 p.m Thursday and Friday, November 29 and 30 in Zellerbach Hall. The concert program is a departure from the European orchestral canon, showcasing works from Latin America by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Carlos Chávez, Julián Orbón, Silvestre Revueltas, Esteban Benzecry and Antonio Estévez.
“During this residency we will discover for ourselves, through our conference on music education, ‘Reaching for the Stars,’ the essential nature of music education and how it transforms lives,” said Matías Tarnopolsky. “It is an honor to work with Gustavo Dudamel, Dr. Abreu and the musicians of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela as we explore how the amazing possibilities they have created with El Sistema might find root in our communities.”
“For the children that we work with, music is practically the only way to a dignified social destiny,” says José Antonio Abreu, the orchestra’s founder and a leader in the music education conference. “Poverty means loneliness, sadness, anonymity. An orchestra means joy, motivation, teamwork, the aspiration to success. Led by the charismatic Dudamel, a graduate of the El Sistema system, the orchestra is the embodiment of the power of music education to transform lives and future possibilities.”
Award-winning teaching artist Eric Booth leads “Reaching for the Stars: A Forum on Music Education” which also features renowned panelists such as conductor Gustavo Dudamel, Dr. José Antonio Abreu who is the founder of the resident orchestra as well as Venezuelan music education program El Sistema, Gillian Moore of London’s Southbank Centre, Leni Boorstin of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Stanford Thompson of Philadelphia’s Play on Philly in addition to Cal Performances Director Matías Tarnopolsky.
Affordably priced at only $15 per day, “Reaching for the Stars” was created with musicians and educators in mind and is also open to the general public.
The conference begins with “The Transformative Power of Music,” an overview of the music education landscape with contributions from practitioners from around the world, from 1:30-6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28, followed by “Bringing the Work Forward: The Possibilities for a Musical Education,” focusing on how to have an impact in local schools, from 12-6 p.m. on Thursday, November 29. The Thursday discussion will culminate in a workshop, “What’s Possible: El Sistema and What it Opens For Us.”
Registration and detailed information is available at calperformances.org