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About the 2020 El Sistema USA Regional Seminario in Durham, NC

In tandem with the El Sistema USA National Symposium January 31-February 2, 2020 El Sistema USA is hosting a regional ‘seminario’ – or a super-gathering of students from all across North Carolina and the Southeast for a 2-day intensive workshop in which 80 students will rehearse, learn in sectionals and perform a final celebration concert. Students will travel to Durham, NC for 2 days of rehearsal, collaborative performance, and an experience to last a lifetime! This Seminario will support and promote student leadership as high school students will lead their middle and elementary school peers in sectionals, team building, and music arranging.

Participating Member Organizations: 

  • Raleigh, Durham, NC — Kidznotes
  • Burlington, NC — Young Musicians of Alamance
  • Charlotte, NC — Charlotte Symphony Orchestra & Arts+ “Project Harmony”
  • Winston Salem, NC — Winston Salem Symphony’s Piedmont Learning Academy for Youth (PLAY)
  • Baltimore, MD — Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids
  • Washington, DC — DC Youth Orchestra Program
  • Newport News, VA — Soundscapes
  • Henry County, GA — Henry For Music, Inc.

2020 Seminario Guest Conductor, Scott Laird:

Scott Laird is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he completed his Bachelors and Masters in both Music Performance and Music Education. Scott is an accomplished violinist, educator and nationally recognized leader in the field of Music Education. An accomplished musician and educator, Scott’s work has taken him all over the country as a sought-out pedagogue and conductor. Currently Scott is the Fine Arts Coordinator, and Music Instructor at the prestigious North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, North Carolina. Currently Scott is a specialist for both Daddario Bowed Strings, and NS Design Electric Violins. Scott continues to participate in professional development having done Re-certification in Strings: Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood. Additionally he has completed Post-Graduate work in Music Education and Conducting at the University of Maryland College Park.

Scott was a Founding Board Member of North Carolina’s “Kidznotes”, Vice-Chair, and Chair of the Governance Committee all respectively with Kidznotes. Additionally Scott worked very closely with Kidznotes over the last 10 years including serving as the Conductor for the East Coast Seminario Orchestra. Scott brings a wealth of knowledge as a string pedagogue and was instrumental in providing any assistance needed with the string curriculum.

Scott has 30 plus years as a leader in string education. He is a noted string pedagogue and conductor of honor orchestras throughout the US. He has been an active member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and the National Association of Music Educators for over 30 years. He is currently serving on the National Board of ASTA. He has served as conductor at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp for the last 7 years. Scott maintains strong relationships throughout the national music education community including but not limited to ASTA, NAfME, state organizations, as well as local leadership. He maintains a strong background and commitment to arts leadership and administration, curriculum development, pedagogy, and community building.

2020 Symposium & Seminario Committee:

  • Calida Jones, Chair, El Sistema USA Symposium Committee*
  • Daniel Trahey, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids (Baltimore, MD)*
  • Armand Hall, ROCmusic Collaborative (Rochester, NY)*
  • Alejandro Gonzalez-Beltran, El Paso Symphony Orchestra’s “Tocando” (El Paso, TX)
  • Anne Campbell, Catamount Arts’ EPIC Music Program (St. Johnsbury, VT)
  • Trina Christensen, Sistema Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Vivian Gonzalez, Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer (Miami, FL)

Partner Feature: The Canales Project:

As part of the 2020 El Sistema USA Regional Seminario in Durham, NC, students will have the special chance to perform “Hear Our Song” an arrangement of the theme song of The Canales Project – arranged specifically for El Sistema USA Member organizations.


The students will also have the chance to perform alongside Carla Canales, Internationally acclaimed mezzo soprano and Founder of The Canales Project! In addition, Ms. Canales is the Keynote Speaker of the 2020 El Sistema USA National Symposium! 

Information for Students & Families:


ESUSA Seminario Overview Information

2020 Seminario Student Housing Information

2020 Seminario Student Schedule

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