Teach children the beauty of music
And music will teach them the beauty of life.
--Maestro Joseph Abreu, Founder of El Sistema
If you don't know about Boyle Heights, you've been missing out.
If you don't know about the Boyle Heights Community Youth Orchestra, you're in for a wonderful discovery!
We are ready to launch this exciting project to the world, and we want YOU to be in the audience for our biggest and best concert yet.
A Gift to Our City:
We are the Boyle Heights Community Youth Orchestra--the only after school orchestral music program that's free and accessible to kids who live in this neighborhood just East of downtown LA.
Boyle Heights is one of the poorest parts of Los Angeles. Families in our area simply can't afford to pay for music lessons.
That's why we exist.We believe that children deserve opportunities to learn music and express themselves regardless of socioeconomic status.
We are on Indiegogo to raise the funding to double the number of children we can teach by hiring more instructors, repairing old instruments, and increasing the number of inspirational professional concerts our orchestra kids can attend. We also aim to raise funding for a very special series of public concerts that will bring everyone together, old and young, from all parts of Los Angeles, to celebrate Boyle Heights and give back to our community.
The rich history of Boyle Heights can be embodied in music as storytelling. In the past century, Jewish, Japanese, Italian, Mexican and other Central and South American immigrants have all left their mark on this neighborhood. For our concert, we will sing and play an instrumental program that represents the past and speaks to the hopeful future for our neighborhood as a microcosm of the global community. We also hope to feature guest artists--musicians who inspire us and who came from this area such as will.i.am, Los Lobos, Quetzal, or Ozomatli.After we perform our initial big community concert in a local venue, we plan to take our concert to schools, family shelters, nursing homes, public parks, hospitals, and community fairs.
Music brings people together. Everyone will have a sense of pride as our orchestra performs the music of the community for the community.
How you can help:
Your donations will go to instrument repair, orchestral instruction, buses to transport the children, marketing/publicizing the concert performance, microphones and amplification equipment rental, printed programs, choral instruction with accompaniment, and professional music arrangement, and instrument purchase as needed.
We appreciate your donations in any amount. Really. This is about building community and investing in the potential of our children. We want you to be part of this.
What's in it for you?For your TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation you’ll receive:
1) A new group of friends aged 6-13 who promise to send you videos of their work and invitations to their concerts. Trust us, they are better than Prozac. You will always be in a good mood.
2) A sense of satisfaction that you helped create beautiful music that shapes young lives for the better.
3) A front row seat to one of the most exciting social movements happening in the world today. Music programs in 25 countries around the world have been modeled on the El Sistema"nucleos," to transform the lives of children through music.
4) Lessons in Classical Music. We promise to share our knowledge and curriculum with you through our social media feeds. Did you once play an instrument? Always wanted to? Whatever the case, use us to pursue your dreams and expand your artistic horizons. We aim to educate.
5) Tangible gifts like limited edition Boyle Heights Community Youth Orchestra T-Shirts and conducting lessons...depending on the level of your commitment. We’re even offering private concerts at your home or office. Imagine a group of adorable children performing at your next holiday party, anniversary celebration, or birthday party!
More Details about where your donations will go:1) Teaching. Your money will pay for instruction to ensure the highest quality performance possible.
2) Instruments and equipment. We have only a limited number of instruments. If a student wants to play the clarinet and all four of ours are being used, then she has to pick a different instrument. Also, clarinetists need reeds. Violinists need strings. Instruments need repair. And we need to purchase sheet music. We also need a large portable speaker with a microphone for singing solos and speaking from the stage.
3) Recordings. We will hire a professional videographer to record the entire concert and edit it into an entertaining historical keepsake.
4) An audience. We need money for marketing in order to get the word out about our concert and fill the hall. We hope to save one of those seats for you!
What’s At Stake:
If we don't reach our entire goal, your donations will still go towards these same needs, children will learn and be happy, but cutting corners will be reflected in the quality of the student's experience. For instance, 12-year-old Kevin will continue to play a cello with strings that go out of tune during the concert instead of a new ones that holds their pitch. Not as many people will know about the concert, the hall won't be full, and it won't have that WOW impact of a special gift to the neighborhood.
“The huge spiritual world that music produces in itself, ends up overcoming material poverty. From the minute a child is taught how to play an instrument, he is no longer poor. He becomes a child in progress, heading for a professional level, who'll later become a citizen.”
--Maestro Joseph Abreu
Proof That It works:This is real. Studies indisputably show that children who learn to play an instrument succeed in other areas of their lives. They graduate from high school, they go to college, they earn a living, and they contribute to the world—regardless of socio-economic status. (http://jrm.sagepub.com/content/54/1/73.short)
But mainly, music spreads beauty, within a person and from one person to another. Music from children is like a baby's first laughter, it makes us feel like the world is a good place. And when children are singing and playing instruments together, for their friends and families, the world is a very, very good place. Which motivates people like you to create even more opportunities for children to make music, which makes the world even better and so on and so on...
If all this makes sense to you, what else can you do?
Please take advantage of our many perks at the giving level you can afford. But most of all, spread this campaign to all your contacts. Give everyone the chance to feel great about the world and the possibilities for our future. The more children's orchestras we create, the more performances of beautiful music there are, and the better life is for everyone.
Sharing is Caring!
Use the share tools on facebook, twitter, google+ and get everyone you know to rally during this giving season. Help us ensure that these kids give the most valuable gift they have: their music.
And for you, our audience member, both the giver and the receiver, what you hear and see will be yours forever.
"Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music."
Meet Our Team:
We are passionate and dedicated professionals with years of experience in the arts:
Dr. Suzanne Gindin is the Music Director and Founder of the Boyle Heights Community Youth Orchestra. She has four advanced degrees from a bachelors to a doctorate and 20 years of music teaching and conducting experience. When Suzanne saw the power of El Sistema to inspire kids and their families through the story of Gustavo Dudamel and his meteoric rise to the top, she moved to LA. After attending three years of trainings at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, she started the BHCYO with a friend. The first day, 20 kids showed up. The next day, it was 40. The third day, they had to turn kids away when they hit 64. There was no more space! They donated their time, space and equipment for 75 hours that summer and continued the program for 4 hours a week the following school year. In addition to leading the BHCYO, Suzanne is a full time teacher of music at Hollenbeck Middle School, a Los Angeles public school in Boyle Heights.
Micah Layne is a teaching artist—a flutist and respected leader in advocating alternative teaching methods. He has taught with Dudamel’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, and is regarded as one of the talented young educators of his generation. Micah has extensive experience as a freelance orchestral flutist including the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Wind Symphony, Oak Ridge Symphony and Symphony of the Mountains. Micah is honored to be teaching children in the Boyle Heights Community Youth Orchestra who would not otherwise be able to afford music lessons. As someone who also grew up without much money in Southern CA, his determination and hard work in music has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. He not only teaches all of our wind instrument playing students, but he arranges the music and conducts our orchestra with infectious enthusiasm.
Joanna Friedman began her life in the arts as a painter and dancer before becoming a documentary film and TV director. For over fifteen years, she has been producing social justice documentaries, PSA’s and promo videos mostly focused on education reform, children’s issues, and public policy. She produces all of our orchestra’s videos and also mentors teenagers in writing and media production through various programs throughout the city. Joanna is thrilled to bring her storytelling skills and love of innovative education programs to her work with the Boyle Heights Community Youth Orchestra.
Jen Simone, violinist, moved to LA last October after living in Seattle for 19 years. While in the Pacific Northwest, she maintained a private violin/viola studio and taught at various schools. Highlights included being a part of Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Chamber Music in the Classroom program and SYSO in the schools project. She was also a founding member of Bella Sala quartet which played numerous concerts often benefiting local charities. Since moving to LA, she has continued to enjoy a balance between teaching and performing. In addition to coaching for BHCYO, she also teaches violin/viola lessons at Oakwood School and coaches beginning strings for Open Academy Youth Orchestra. An active freelance musician, she has recorded for numerous movie soundtracks, video games and rock CDs. Jen is honored to be a part of BHCYO because the enthusiasm and passion of the students is invigorating.
Christina Gonzalez lives in Boyle Heights and supports the orchestra as our family and community outreach connector. She has a masters degree in education and taught grades 2nd-7th for ten years. Most importantly, Christina is the incredible mother of three wonderful boys in the Boyle Heights Community Youth Orchestra.