A note from Sistema Fellow David France during his Venezuelan residency:
“Greetings from Coro, Venezuela. If I don’t return from Venezuela, you can find me in a small neighborhood in Coro called Panela. It is the most dangerous neighborhood in town, and here you will find a small music initiative founded less than one year ago by Isandra Campos. Since starting with five kids in her living room, she has moved out of her home and is now living with her mother so that the neighborhood kids can have orchestra rehearsals every day of the week in her former house.
Today when I arrived, there was no room for me to have violin lessons, so a neighbor across the street let me and three kids practice in their living room. By the end of our time the entire family was in the living room listening, and a crowd of kids fought for space in the window to listen to the music. At the back of her house Isandra keeps chickens, selling the eggs for one bolívar each to buy music for the students. It has been a profound week.”
Read more in the April edition of The Ensemble, Tricia Tunstall and Eric Booth's monthly publication about the growing El Sistema-inspired movement in the United States.