January 16 Message

Dear Friends,

For those who missed last week’s association call, we had a lively discussion about the guiding principles for the proposed association. We discussed how we would define membership based on a variety of characteristics that programs share – social change mission, working with “at risk” children (also stated as “serving children regardless of need”), number of hours weekly, types of music taught, group learning, peer teaching and learning. It became clear that all of those on the call want to focus on the inspiration of El Sistema as core to the group.

Beth Babcock took the comments from our previous conference call and notes from final reports of the “Sudden Summit” in San Antonio a year ago (attached) and created a brief survey for everyone interested in the developing conversation to complete before Wednesday January 18, 11AM ESTThis survey should take 5-8 minutes to respond to and can be found here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CW7WBX6. If you are not able to be on the call, please participate by completing the survey so that your voice can be heard.

Your participation is more important than ever as we move closer to realizing a national association to serve the work that we are all inspired to do.

Upcoming Conference Call Agenda:

  • Definition of Core Membership – What is the primary mission of the organizations represented by core members?  What is their target population served?  What are their shared fundamental elements of intervention/approach?
  • Definitions of Auxiliary Membership – Will there be additional allowed members beyond core membership?  What will the categories of these additional members be?
  • Mission of Association  What is the primary purpose of the Association?
  • Name – What should the Association be called?
  • General Governance – What will be the voting rights of each category of Association membership? What will be the size and general composition of the board?

Conference Call Schedule

  • Wednesday January 18, 11:30am – 1:00pm EST
  • Wednesday January 25, 11:30am – 1:00pm EST

Conference Call Dial-In Number 760-569-0111
Participant Access Code 121767#

All documents, minutes, conference call schedule, and dial-in information will be recorded on a special website: https://musicassociation.wordpress.com. I encourage you all to freely comment and share this website with our peers.


About Stanford Thompson

Stanford Thompson is a musician and educator who is passionate about using music for social action and serves as the Founder and Executive Director for the El Sistema-inspired program, Play On, Philly! and the Chairman of El Sistema USA. He also serves on the boards of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Composers Forum, and as Chairman of The Curtis Institute of Music Alumni Network. He regularly contributes to the communities of TED, League of American Orchestras, and El Sistema-inspired initiatives around the world. For El Sistema inspired programs he has implemented, Stanford has secured over $8.5 million in funding which has impacted the lives of hundreds of children in Philadelphia. Trained as a professional trumpeter, Mr. Thompson has performed with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, Symphony in C and recorded on the Ondine label with Christoph Eschenbach. Stanford also appeared as soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Ocean City Pops Orchestra and the North Springs Philharmonic. He has lead residencies with Philos Brass in Milford, Pennsylvania and Atlanta, Georgia where they performed recitals and outreach presentations, presented master classes, and conducted clinics. In the jazz idiom, Stan has performed for the Berks Jazz Festival, performed on the Washington College Concert Series and presented for the opening gala of the Philadelphia Orchestra with the Rittenhouse Jazz Quintet. Stanford is a native of Atlanta, GA and holds degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory’s Abreu Fellows Program.
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