Young Musicians Receive National Invitation

We’re proud to announce 23 Miami Music Project students have been recognized by the National Take A Stand Festival, a joint initiative of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Aspen Music Festival, and Longy School of Music of Bard College that is taking the first steps to creating a national youth orchestra inspired by social transformation. Miami Music Project is the only program to send their students to both Bard College in New York and Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado. Eighteen will be participating in the orchestra while five have been chosen to be alternates for the festival.

National Take a Stand Festival, is an initiative that creates a unified national platform for El Sistema-inspired programs throughout the United States. World-renowned conductors, guest artists, and master teachers will bring their artistry and mentorship to students from underserved communities who have been learning in El Sistema-influenced programs. An international team of top teachers, working together with faculty from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Longy School of Music of Bard College, Aspen Music Festival and School and Venezuela’s FundaMusical, will lead the youth orchestra camps.

Cesar Jesus Fernandez Ramirez, Bassoon – Cypress Bay High School
Chris Gonzalez, Trombone – Citrus Grove Middle School
Dereck Sangunio, French Horn – Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center
Eduardo Clavijo, Oboe – New World School of the Arts
Jose Espejo, Violin – Mater Lakes Academy
Ruth Joseph, Trombone – The Young Women’s Preparatory Academy

Benjamin Bush, Cello – Homeschooled
Bobby Bush, Clarinet – Homeschooled
David Vallejo-Lozano, Viola – Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center
Franklin Araque, Flute – Miami Springs High School
Grace Bush, Flute – Florida Atlantic University
Isabella Ortiz, Violin – Conchita Espinosa Academy
Juan Florez, Violin – Pembroke Pines Charter Middle
Juan Rodriguez, Bass – Belen Jesuit Preparatory
Marcos Alvarez, Clarinet – South Miami Middle
Martin Mayo, Oboe – New World School of the Arts
Ricardo Mendez, Violin – St. Brendan Elementary
Roy Rosales, Clarinet – Miami Arts Charter

Bard Alternates 
Amber Jones, Trumpet – The Young Women’s Preparatory Academy
David Mora Carrera, Violin – George Washington Carver Middle
Lucia Rodriguez, Bass – Doral Academy Preparatory
Pablo Espinal, Cello – Dr. Rolando Espinosa K-8 Center
Sophia Lehrmann, Oboe – Eugenia B. Thomas K-8 Center

“I had an amazing time at the National Take A Stand at Bard College that I will never forget for the rest of my life. I bonded even more with my fellow Miami Music Project musicians and I created life-long relationships with people in other programs. I felt extremely happy and excited when I got the opportunity to learn and experience the music with Juan Felipe Molano and Leon Botstein. This was an amazing experience and I recommend it to all students who have the opportunity to audition.” Juan Rodriguez

“My experience in National Take a Stand at Bard College far exceeded any expectations that I previously held. We didn’t just play our instruments, we were also given a well-rounded musical education. We participated in writing classes, which helped stimulate our creativity and critical thinking and we also learned to sing which helped improve our musicianship. I also learned that creating music is not just about playing an instrument; it’s about being able to understand the emotions that music exudes and having the ability to project it properly.” Grace Bush

“It was a fun experience and I felt that I grew more as a musician. We all had a great time and it was great to meet new people. The orchestra sounded amazing and I hope to do it again next year!” Marcos Alvarez

“National Take A Stand at Bard College was an amazing experience! The music we played, the friends we made, and the fun we had were priceless. The rehearsal was a bit rough at first, but we managed to get much better. We all made friends along the way, and before we knew it, it was concert time. We even improvised at the end of the performance. Being at Bard College was a truly great thing, and I’m extremely grateful for being able to go. I will never forget this amazing experience.” David Vallejo