Thirty very excited students received brand-new violins at a special event in October as part of the inaugural year of El Sistema@Rainey, a comprehensive after-school orchestral music program launched by the Rainey Institute and Cleveland Orchestra violinist Isabel Trautwein with the 2011-12 school year. The Cleveland Orchestra with its partner Conn-Selmer are the official providers of Scherl & Roth violins for the El Sistema@Rainey program.
In its first year, El Sistema@Rainey is providing ten hours of weekly group violin instruction and educational support to 30 children in Cleveland in grades 1-4, with plans to expand to more students in future years. Young musicians will also have opportunities to perform onstage at Severance Hall and participate in masterclasses with Cleveland Orchestra musicians. Isabel Trautwein, who serves as the artistic director for El Sistema@Rainey, was granted a year-long leave of absence from the Cleveland Orchestra last season to participate in a formal training program to study the methods of El Sistema (“the system”) in Venezuela and Boston, with the goal of building an El Sistema “nucleo” in Cleveland. El Sistema was founded more than 35 years ago in Venezuela by economist, musician, and social reformer Dr. José Antonio Abreu. Today, the enormously successful program serves more than 350,000 children through neighborhood-based daily music instruction. Through music education, students learn conflict management skills, peer interaction, non-verbal expression, self expression, and interpersonal skills.
El Sistema@Rainey joins El Sistema programs worldwide, including those based in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.
El Sistema@Rainey is also supported by Cleveland Orchestra Education Partners Royalton Music Center and Thomastik-Infeld Strings