Launch of NAESIP

Dear National Alliance of El Sistema Inspired Programs Members,

In November 2011, several leaders of El Sistema-inspired programs began a conversation about creating added value to our local efforts by working together to achieve shared goals. With the guidance of Beth Babcock and dedicated faith you all have shown in the planning phase, this Alliance is structured to achieve three primary goals: 1) to assist in the sustainability of existing initiatives by adding value to these programs; 2) to encourage and nurture new programs; 3) to garner support for El Sistema inspired programs nationally.

I am humbled that our colleagues have elected me as Chair of the Board and I look forward to building relationships with each one of you. On the Executive Committee of the Board, I am joined by Richard Mukamal from Crescendo Detroit as Vice-Chair, Rey Ramirez from Soundscapes in Newport News, VA as Treasurer, Aurelia Rocha from the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio as Clerk, and Mark Churchill as a Member. We are supported by a fine group of leaders who consist of the remainder of the Board: Eric Barth of the Kalamazoo Symphony’s Kids In Tune, Laura Jekel of MYCincinatti, Camille Kolles formerly of the Carmel Bach Festival and current consultant, Albert Oppenheimer of the Peoples Music School’s YOURS Project, Anna Pietraszko of the Miami Music Project, Delia Raab-Snyder of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s Tune Up Philly, Mark Sarich of Orchestra Diversity; El Sistema St. Louis, and Patrick Slevin of Austin Soundwaves.

We will have an involved process to fully launch the Alliance and we are working as quickly as possible to build upon the great work of the planning committees. By the end of this month, you can look forward to the following:

  • Contact from your regional representative to help facilitate your communication to the Board
  • Completion of our incorporation process
  • Preparation to file an application for non-profit status
  • Each Member will receive a confirmation of membership once their dues (if applicable) have been transferred and/or deposited into our bank account.
  • A detailed plan of our first strategic steps based upon the priorities discussed in planning and needs addressed by our board.

I look forward staying in contact with all of you over the coming weeks as the work of the Alliance takes shape.

Stanford Thompson, Chair
National Alliance of El Sistema Inspired Programs

About Stanford Thompson

Stanford Thompson is a musician and educator who serves as the Founder and Executive Director of Play On Philly and Founding Board Chairman of El Sistema USA, bringing music education to students in underserved areas throughout Philadelphia and beyond. Recognized as a TED Fellow in 2017, Stanford believes that music education is a powerful tool for positive personal and community change. Mr. Thompson serves on the faculties of the Global Leaders Program, SAAVY Arts Venture, and Dean of the Sphinx LEAD program while regularly lecturing at major Universities and Conservatories about leadership, entrepreneurship and social justice. As a consultant, he has guided the development of dozens of El Sistema-inspired programs across the United States and collaborated with major orchestras and arts organizations to develop new strategies and initiatives that helps provide equitable access to the arts. As a professional trumpeter, Stanford has performed as soloist and section member with major orchestras around the world and continues to perform chamber music and jazz. Stanford is a native of Atlanta, GA and hold degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory’s Sistema Fellows Program.
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