skip to Main Content

IMPORTANT: Please see our COVID-19 Updates

0 Favorite

, 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

Joseph Conyers

Presenting: "Music-A Tool for Good": February 15, 12:10 pm ET

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…

read more
, El Sistema USA

Dalanie Harris

Presenting: "The Equitable Path Forward: Abandoning Classical Music Escapism and Redefining Excellence": February 17, 1:15 pm ET

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…

read more
, El Sistema USA

Matthew Emerzian

Presenting: “You Matter - Embracing how much and why you matter to yourself, your community, and the world”: February 19, 2:30 pm ET

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…

read more

Our international partners that will be joining and presenting are:

El Sistema Venezuela

Sistema Europe

Batuta Colombia

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 and Schedule

Monday, February 15

  • 12:00-1:00 pm:
    • Keynote Address by Joseph Conyers, “Music – A Tool for Good” with opening remarks from Dr. Armand Hall, Chair of the Board of Directors, El Sistema USA and Executive Director, ROCMusic, 2021 National Symposium and Seminario Chair Trina Christensen and Director, Sistema Utah, and Katie Wyatt, President and CEO, El Sistema USA
  • 1:15-2:00 pm
    • Building a Thriving Virtual Community: Celebrating our Diverse-City: Kalamazoo (MI) Kids in Tune
    • Using the National Core Arts Standards in El Sistema-inspired Programming by Mariam Kaddoura, Matthew Gallegos, Kateri Lirio, Monique Van Willingh (Longy School of Music Masters of Arts in Teaching)
  • 2:30-3:30 pm
    • Social Curriculum: Beyond Social Growth by Andres Tucci Clarke and Alex McLeod (Sistema Toronto)
    • How to Create Inclusive, Culturally Responsive Virtual Gatherings by Angelica Durrell and Scott Hill (INTEMPO, CT) – Sponsored by Open Curtain
  • 3:30-4:30 pm
    • Open Curtain Demo Zone
  • 8:00-9:00 pm
    • Networking Social and “What We Will Be” Premiere, composed by Danielle Williams of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids, performed by the 2021 ESUSA National Seminario Orchestra – Sponsored by Noteflight

Tuesday, February 16

  • 12:00-1:00 pm
    • Equity-Centered Pedagogy Virtual Working Group: “Pillars of Holistic Teaching Practices”
    • Then. Now. Next – Prepare to re-visit the goals and objectives of your organization’s plans in
      reference to the impact of COVID-19 and social issues of 2020.
  • 1:15-2:00 pm
    • ESUSA Chief Executives Forum Virtual Working Group with special guest, Vu Le 
    • Public School Partnerships Virtual Working Group
  • 2:30-3:30 pm
    • “El Sistema, a model of adaptability and transformation through Music, with more than 46 years of history”, from the leadership of El Sistema Venezuela
  • 3:30-4:30 pm
    • MINDFULNESS & MOVEMENT: Create Calm and Cultivate Strength by violinist and mindfulness teacher Natalie Frakes and Gabriel Colby of the Collective Conservatory

Wednesday, February 17

  • 12:00-1:00 pm
    • “All Change! – exploring European Sistema strategies at a time of challenge” presented by the leadership of Sistema Europe
  • 1:15-2:00 pm
    • Keynote Address by Dalanie Harris, “The Equitable Path Forward: Abandoning Classical Music Escapism and Redefining Excellence”
  • 2:30-3:30 pm
    • “The Magic of Music Mentoring Around the World” by the World Ensemble Ambassadors
    • “Fundraising through a Crisis,” Soundscapes (VA)
  • 3:30-4:30 pm 
    • Engaging Young Musicians: Positive Youth Development in Music Education

  • 5:30-7:30 pm
    • Observation opportunity of the 2021 National Seminario, facilitated by Accent Pontiac and featuring guest artists Traveling Through Time String Quartet
  • 8:00-9:00 pm
    • Networking cocktail hour and give-away door prizes!

Thursday, February 18

  • 12:00-1:00 pm
    • Regional Meetings for Members of El Sistema USA: West, Midwest, South, Northeast
  • 1:15-2:00 pm
    • PRESTO Cohort Presentation on the core values of El Sistema USA, an “El Sistema 101”
    • “How Music Teachers Help” by psychologist and violinist Dr. Edmund Sprunger
  • 2:30-3:30 pm
    • “Enhancing student and family engagement through meaningful programming: Reimagining the future of Tocando” by Alejandro Gonzalez Beltran, Jessie O’Hara and Claudia Saldana (El Paso Symphony)
    • Curriculum Design that places Socio-cultural Awareness and Cultural Humility at the center: Assets-based and student-based approaches by Dr. Ndindi Kitonga, Lauren Shelton and Monique Van Willingh (Longy MAT)
  • 4:00-5:00 pm
    • COLLEGE FAIR!
  • 5:30-7:30 pm
    • Observation and Question and Answer session on the 2021 National Symposium and Seminario, facilitated by the Collective Conservatory and featuring guest artists WindSync
  • 8:00-9:00 pm
    • Networking dinner with the Board of Directors of El Sistema USA and a conversation about the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion journey of El Sistema USA

Friday, February 19

  • 12:00-1:00 pm
    • Networking session with the Suzuki Association of the Americas
    • Performing Live Over Zoom with Angélica Negrón’s “Marejada” by Nicholas Kanozik (Oakland School of the Arts)
  • 1:15-2:00 pm
    • El Sistema USA’s Annual Meeting and presentation of the findings from Duke University’s 2020 Census of ESUSA Membership
  • 2:30-3:30 pm
    • Closing Keynote by Matthew Emerzian, “You Matter – Embracing how much and why you matter to yourself, your community, and the world.”
  • 3:30-4:30 pm
    • Closing networking session and announcement of 2022 plans
  • 5:30-7:30 pm
    • Observation opportunity of the 2021 National Seminario, facilitated by OrchKids and featuring guest artists Venezuelan Brass Ensemble

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
Back To Top

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get updated on the latest news, events, resources, job postings and more!