My name is Kelly Carter and I am a supporter of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. I am also the executive director of ACME – El Sistema Minneapolis.
Despite this ridiculous lock-out, I have had the pleasure of organizing 2 previous school presentations performed by Minnesota Orchestra Musicians and am fortunate to have 2 more in the works. These presentations were and will be performed at Nellie Stone Johnson and North High School – 2 public schools in North Minneapolis. The response from our audiences have been overwhelming positive and continue to grow.
This does not include their previous 18 concerts performed at schools and community venues across Minnesota, the El Sistema Instrument Ceremony, or the hours of support they provide to young musicians and educators by judging and performing at various youth festivals.
Without the support of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, El Sistema Minneapolis would not exist. Like Venezuela, El Sistema Minneapolis is a crime-prevention, social services program that fights violence with music. The program instills in children musician-learned values such as model training and preparation, deferred gratification to achieve long-term goals, and high-quality team generated results. They have personally provided a consistent, volunteer-based classroom. This means that there are musicians in our classrooms Monday through Thursday all year round – including summer vacation. And they’re all coming back to volunteer again for year 2.
The orchestra also greatly supports musicians at an amateur and semi-professional level by performing with and providing educational opportunities to other community orchestras; such as the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Youth Symphony, GTCYS and Young Musicians of Minnesota.
On this Monday, September 16th, Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra will perform “Magic of the Symphony” to support El Sistema Minneapolis. This concert will be performed at the North Minneapolis YMCA Youth and Teen Development Center – the only YMCA youth development center in the world. Here, audience members will learn with the orchestra and Manny Laureano what constructs a symphony. This is the 2nd annual concert ever performed in North Minneapolis and was completely musician-organized after the lock-out. Management was not interested in an El Sistema initiative nor reaching out to that community.
The musicians have been overwhelmingly generous to the community of North Minneapolis and El Sistema. They engage and keep in consistent communication with their local, national, and global audiences and donate their services and skills to improve the quality of life for all of them.
Management, despite thousands of letters and phone calls, do not want to listen or talk with their community or players! Unless of course, you’ve already paid for your $500 plate.
The musicians are already relevant to the hundreds of thousands of people they touch – and management doesn’t care.