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2021 National Symposium & Seminario

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, El Sistema USA

Save the Date for El Sistema USA’s 2021 Virtual Symposium!

February 15-19, 2021

We are so excited to bring you our 1st ever VIRTUAL El Sistema USA National Symposium and Seminario. The event will take place February 15-19, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET, and will focus on three main areas: Racial Diversity and Cultural Understanding, Musical Excellence during the pandemic, and Team and Family Support pre- and post-pandemic.  

This year’s theme is “Connect, Adapt, Thrive!” We will be connecting with programs not only around the country but from around the world. It is of the utmost importance to connect, support one another, and learn from each other. There will be sessions on virtual programming as well as how we can successfully connect with our children when we can be back to in-person learning. It will be a time of inspiration and fun as we will also have numerous networking events that you can attend as well. 

All sessions will be recorded and archived – with your registration you can catch up on the sessions you missed and save the sessions you loved forever!

We hope you will join us!  

Keynote Speakers

, El Sistema USA

Dalanie Harris

Presenting: "The Equitable Path Forward: Abandoning Classical Music Escapism and Redefining Excellence"

Dalanie Harris is a double bassist, podcaster, and Black music and culture enthusiast from Los Angeles, CA. She began her musical studies with piano at age 7, and later switched…

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, El Sistema USA

Matthew Emerzian

Presenting: “I Matter, You Matter, We Matter”

Matthew Emerzian is founder and CEO of Every Monday Matters (EMM), a not-for-profit organization committed to helping people and organizations understand how much and why they matter. The EMM K-12…

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, El Sistema USA

Joseph Conyers

Presenting: "Music-A Tool for Good"

Joseph H. Conyers, was appointed assistant principal bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2010 and has been acting associate principal bass since 2017. Conyers joined the Philadelphia Orchestra after tenures…

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Our international partners that will be joining and presenting are:

El Sistema Venezuela

Sistema Europe

Batuta Colombia

Esperanza Azteca

World Ensemble Ambassadors

Virtual Seminario

El Sistema USA’s Symposium will include virtual seminario featuring a video collaboration of our ESUSA organizations and World Ensemble Ambassadors. The piece that will be performed is “What We Will Be” by Danielle Williams. We would like to have as many of our ESUSA member organizations participate as possible!

Please complete the student proposal to participate in the national seminario here before December 31, 2020. This will be a proposal of your students, so please do not confirm with these students yet. We will assign parts the first week of January and be in contact with you then to confirm the students that will be participating. Anyone that you propose will also agree to join us for the seminario on February 17-19, 2021 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. EST.

College Fair

This year’s symposium will also include our first virtual college fair! ESUSA students and parents can virtually meet with representatives from music schools and conservatories from all over the country as they begin their college application process.

We ask that each ESUSA member organization complete a questionnaire so that we can better shape our college fair and best serve our students.

Symposium Website Photos

We will be featuring photos of our El Sistema USA member organizations on our symposium website. We invite each organization to submit one photo and complete the submission form here before January 15, 2021.

Featured Sessions

  • “All Change! – exploring European Sistema strategies at a time of challenge” presented by Sistema Europe
  • Presentation on the mission and history of El Sistema in Venezuela and worldwide by the leadership of El Sistema Venezuela
  • “The Magic of Music Mentoring Around the World” by the World Ensemble Ambassadors
  • Networking session with the Suzuki Association of the Americas
  • PRESTO Cohort Presentation on the core values of El Sistema USA, an “El Sistema 101”
  • El Sistema USA’s Annual Meeting and presentation of the findings from Duke University’s 2020 Census of ESUSA Membership
  • From the Kennedy Center Virtual Stage to Your Virtual Stage: How to Create Inclusive, Culturally Responsive Virtual Gatherings
  • Mindfulness and Movement: Create Calm and Cultivate Strength by violinist and mindfulness teacher Natalie Frakes
  • How Music Teachers Help by violinist and psychologist Dr. Edmund Sprunger
  • Regional meetings for Members of El Sistema USA
  • Deep-dive sessions of our Virtual Working Groups Equity Centered Pedagogy, Public School Partnerships, Third Friday Forums, Chief Executive Forums
  • Networking coffee breaks, dinners, and cocktail hours every day!

ESUSA Member-led Case Studies and Peer-Learning Opportunities:

  1. Enhancing student and family engagement through meaningful programming: Reimagining the future of Tocando
  2. Building a Thriving Virtual Community: Celebrating our Diverse-City: Kalamazoo (MI) Kids in Tune
  3. Social Curriculum: Beyond Social Growth: Sistema Toronto, Canada
  4. Fundraising Through A Crisis: Soundscapes, VA
  5. Performing Live Over Zoom with Angélica Negrón’s “Marejada” and the Kronos Quartet: Oakland School for the Arts
  6. Curriculum Design that places Socio-cultural Awareness and Cultural Humility at the center: Assets-based and student-based approaches: Longy School of Music of Bard College MAT Program
  7. Using the National Core Arts Standards in El Sistema-inspired Programming: Longy School of Music of Bard College MAT Program
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