Portland, December 22nd, 2014. Young musicians from the BRAVO Rosa Parks program were showcased in the lobby  of the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall before the  Comfort and Joy Concert by the Oregon Symphony. They were welcomed by  Symphony musicians Ines Voglar and Jen Arnold. The kids are taking part in a new nonprofit program launched this fall which originated in Venezuela.

Established in 1975 by Jose Antonio Abreu, El Sistema “The System” is Venezuela’s national system of youth orchestras serving each year more than 400,000 children, over 80% of whom live in poverty. El Sistema-inspired programs are now operating in more than 50 countries around the world, and there are over 75 affiliated programs in the United States. BRAVO is the first in Oregon and the program’s Executive Director is Seth Truby.

BRAVO students started the program back in September by making paper mache violins with the help of their parents/guardians. They painted their violins bright colors and used them for the first week of practice, before graduating to real violins in week two.

BRAVO students started the program back in September by making paper mache violins with the help of their parents/guardians. They painted their violins bright colors and used them for the first week of practice, before graduating to real violins in week two.

Studies have shown that participation in El Sistema programs improves children’s outcomes in school attendance, academic performance, and even general health and wellbeing. Venezuela’s flagship program has positively impacted the lives of over 2 million children.

The big group photo is our BRAVO Rosa Parks After-school Orchestra and Chorus, plus some staff and community volunteers. These forty students meet every day after school for two hours of choral singing, stringed instrument practice, and orchestra rehearsal.

The RAVO Rosa Parks After-school Orchestra and Chorus, plus some staff and community volunteers. These forty students meet every day after school for two hours of choral singing, stringed instrument practice, and orchestra rehearsal.

BRAVO’s first project is the tuition- free classical music program for nearly 200 students at Rosa Parks School in North Portland, one of the district’s priority schools.

The project components include:

School day violin instruction for thirty minutes twice a week for all students in K-1 (approx. 150)

Daily afterschool string orchestraand chorus for forty students in grades 2-3 (10 hours/week)

Regular performance opportunities in the school, in the surrounding neighborhood and in the wider Portland metro area

US. BRAVO’s key partnerships are with Portland Public Schools (Rosa Parks) and Regence Boys and Girls Club. Our other collaborators include Home Forward (Housing Authority of Portland), Metropolitan Youth Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, Portland State University, and the Portland Youth Philharmonic.

For more information about the program is available a the website: http://www.oregonbravo.org/.

 

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