National Forum: Follow-Up and Discussion

Dear Friends,

The National Alliance of El Sistema Inspired Programs (NAESIP) helped to convene a group of US El Sistema organizations and individuals to meet when the Executive Director of Fundamusical Simón Bolívar (El Sistema), Eduardo Mendez, offered to travel to Boston last month. This meeting was organized as the first step of many to open up a wider dialogue with all contributors to the field: local program directors, teachers, board members, and organizations of all sizes, who actively contribute to the growth of the El Sistema movement in the United States.

We deeply regret that our limited time and funds did not allow us to extend invitations to the 100+ programs and dozens of individuals and organizations who equally contribute to the shared success of the movement. Many people were in contact with NAESIP to express their feedback to this convening, and we enthusiastically encourage everyone to contribute to this ongoing discussion which was started in Cambridge last month.

We hope that you will take a moment to read the complete Meeting Notes from the National Forum and provide feedback through our online discussion forum. You can sign in using your Ning account (registration is free and open to anyone) or you can sign in using your Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, or Yahoo! accounts. In addition to the online discussion forum, you can join one of the three upcoming conference calls, which will be hosted by members of the NAESIP Board of Directors. Those calls will be recorded for playback by anyone at anytime – instructions will be posted on the online discussion forum within 48 hours of the conference call dates below.

Meeting Notes Overview: The first two pages summarize Outcomes of our final discussion on Day Two. Pages 3-11 document the Process discussions we had during both days, leading up to our conclusions at the end of day two. Finally, page 12 is the Communication Plan for disseminating the proceedings of the Forum in a fully transparent and inclusive manner.

Online Discussion Forum:

Conference Calls: October 3, 8, and 10 from 12pm-1pm EST
Conference dial-in number: (760) 569-0111
Participant Access Code: 121767#

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail us at

National Alliance of El Sistema Inspired Programs


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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