Postcards from Camp: Cris & Sofia @ National Take A Stand

Last month, two of our students had the wonderful opportunity to take part in the National Take A Stand (NTAS) Festival, a 7-day national youth orchestra camp where world-renowned conductors, guest artists, and master teachers mentor and teach students from across the United States!  

On July 15th, Cris and Sofia traveled to California to find their way to Soka University for the week. They spent most of their time learning from their teachers and preparing for Saturday's concert on July 22nd. During the week they were able to make new relationships, learn about careers in music and how to approach the college application process (seen in this video on the left). They also spent time in Los Angeles for some site seeing and to rehearse for their big concert with Gustavo Dudamel and Thomas Wilkins at Walt Disney Concert Hall!

Ms. Karina, our Administrative & Student Support Coordinator, also traveled to LA to catch up with Cris and Sofia and to learn more about NTAS. There she attended the NTAS Symposium and learned about all the other El Sistema inspired programs across the country and how they are working together to take music education to the next level!

"It was amazing to see all of the different programs like Music Haven working together to better the future of young musicians across the nation. Everyday we are all working to make these programs better and more efficient for our students to succeed in their future. It's important to continue supporting kids like them who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to participate in classical music programs.....An interesting conversation was had on the symposium day that I attended and I think it's a conversation more and more people need to start having: How do we begin intertwining classical music within our modern day society? In other words, how do we start expanding the population of people who attend classical concerts? Is it a matter of changing the feel of a concert, like allowing clapping or expression during the middle of a performance (as seen during rock concerts or spoken word performances)? Or is it the general idea that one has to dress a certain way for these concerts? A lot of very important points were brought up and it was very interesting to hear everyone's opinion on it. Everyone was eager to make a change and to make the integration of classical music a reality!"

Sofia & Cris on their fourth day at National Take A Stand; they were taking a lunch break after rehearsing for their concert with Gustavo Dudamel.  Photo Credit: Karina Irizarry

Sofia & Cris on their fourth day at National Take A Stand; they were taking a lunch break after rehearsing for their concert with Gustavo Dudamel. 

Photo Credit: Karina Irizarry

Post-concert reception.

Post-concert reception.

Below you will find two videos from Saturday's marvelous concert! The first is an excerpt of the National Take A Stand Orchestra performing "Mambo" from West Side Story with conductor Gustavo Dudamel. The second is a video of post-concert shenanigans as the kids celebrate their accomplishments at NTAS.

To see more into Cris and Sofia's week, enjoy the photo gallery below!