February 10 Message

Dear Friends,

As we move forward to take big steps forward in forming a national professional association for the El Sistema-inspired work that binds us together, Beth and I would like to thank everyone for their contributions so far and continue to encourage you to reach out to those that could benefit from being a member of the proposed association. We still have questions to answer while structuring the association in a way that remains inclusive and supportive of the work we are all doing at a local level.
Please take a moment to bookmark the website where we are hosting the guiding documents, meeting schedule, meeting minutes, and survey results: https://musicassociation.wordpress.com. We will continue to use this platform to post information to maintain transparency. You are all invited to make comments on every page and hope that you will make your voice heard!
Next Steps

We completed seven conference calls/meetings to date and the group so far has unanimously voted to move forward with building a professional association and organize a face-to-face multiple-day “Drafting Convention”. This special convening will allow us to take the endorsed guiding principles and documents and finalize a draft of bylaws of the association for the entire network’s consideration. As we plan for the Drafting Convention, it is crucial for all comments and ideas to be heard. The shape of the initial association will be a reflection of YOUR ideas. We need you to speak up!

Read The Proposed Steps ] The next six conference calls will be designed to finish designing the guiding principles, vet them, and create an outline for the first draft of the bylaws to be discussed at the Drafting Convention. The schedule and dial-in information for the conference calls is listed below. We will send out surveys for you to react to in preparation for the calls. If you are not available for the calls, completing the survey and providing comments will assure that your voice is heard. The conference calls will allow for us to discuss the survey results and any comments that are written for further discussion.

Drafting Convention – Proposed Location and Dates
At the Take A Stand Symposium in Los Angeles, we had leaders from Philadelphia, Chicago, Denver, Oklahoma City, and Allentown (PA) recommend their cities to host the Drafting Convention.  Those that are interested in adding their city to the list to be voted upon, please contact me directly by Wednesday February 15, 2012. The proposed dates for the convention is March 30 – April 1, April 27-29, or May 11-13. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind if you are considering hosting:

  • Large enough conference room space for a large group of approximately 30 people
  • Smaller spaces for break-out sessions (at least 3 rooms)
  • Access to a copier/printer
  • Conferencing ability (phone or digital/audio visual)
  • Audiovisual projection capabilities (for shared working on documents/materials)
  • Other perks that would be “nice” to provide: Meals, Housing, Other Recreational activities
  • For future surveys, we will only count one “vote” per organization. Since the list of individuals interested in participating in this process has grown rapidly, we are taking this step to ensure fair representation between organizations of different sizes and resources. We recommend that if multiple persons from a single organization wish to comment on surveys, they come together to select the voting representative and then combine their comments and suggestions in the responses of that one representative.
  • As always, attendance and participation on conference calls will be open to all interested parties.
  • We strongly recommend that no more than one representative per organization attend the Drafting Convention.
  • The size of the Drafting Committee, at the Drafting Convention, may need to be limited to 25-30 people so that we can be efficient with our time.
  • The work performed by the Drafting Committee will have to be ratified by the larger group before it is finalized. The Drafting Committee will not have the final “say”.
Conference Call Information and Schedule
Conference Dial-in Number: (760) 569-0111
Participant Access Code: 121767#
***Please note the time zones***
Wednesday February 22, 2012: 11:30am-1pm EST
Wednesday February 29, 2012: 11:30am-1pm EST
Wednesday March 7, 2012: 11:30am-1pm EST
Wednesday March 14, 2012: 11:30am-1pm EST
Wednesday March 21, 2012: 11:30am-1pm EST
Wednesday March 28, 2012: 11:30am-1pm EST 

Thank you for continuing to participate in the work of forming our new national association. As you heard in LA, the contributions you all have been making have enriched the discussions every step of the way and because of you, we are moving ahead much more effectively than might ever have been anticipated. We look forward to shaping this new association in a way that serves us all, furthers our cause, and will make us proud.

Beth Babcock and Stanford Thompson


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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