By Emil Stefanutti, Miami Music Project
On June 6th, Miami Music Project (MMP) celebrated its 2011-12 season with a sold-out “Fantastic Season Finale” concert, full of smiles and great music. The Miami Music Project Orchestral Academy (MMPOA) started in Doral less than two years ago, with a small orchestra of 15 young musicians and dreams of transforming children lives through music. The program has now grown to almost 300 students in both Doral and their new chapter in Little Haiti.
The Wertheim Performing Arts Center of FIU got filled with various levels of great music with performances featuring musicians as young as age 4 all the way up to 18, who excitingly showed the audience what they worked so hard on throughout the season.
Dr. Orlando Garcia, Director of FIU School of Music, welcomed the audience of 600, and announced a new partnership between FIU’s College of Architecture and the Arts and MMP. “We believe in the mission of Miami Music Project and are very excited about this partnership” said Garcia, and added “starting next season FIU will provide great music instruction to MMP’s musicians through some of the most talented graduate students from FIU School of Music.”
Beside the great melodies composed by Mozart, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky, Miami Music Project shared exciting news about how they will be composing better lives during the 2012-13 season, starting in August. “MMP’s new alliances with FIU, New World Symphony, Miami Symphony Orchestra and stronger than ever partnership with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools will offer great opportunities for our students to become better musicians and citizens” said Anna Pietraszko, Executive Director of MMP, then she added “the work will continue this summer with our first ever MMP Summer Music Camps in both chapter locations in Doral and Little Haiti, and we have great events planned for the upcoming season, including our fifth performance at the Adrienne Arsht Center”.
Miami Music Project is a non-profit organization that uses music as an instrument for social transformation, empowering children to acquire values and achieve their full potential, positively affecting their society through the study and performance of music. Despite being a young organization, with the great help of the Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge grant, MMP has gone through an explosive growth, reaching 25,000 students of Title 1 public schools with performances and mentoring and increasing their participation in MMP’s Orchestral Academy by more than 900%.
“As excited as we are about the growth of our programs, we are even more excited about the development of the children in the communities we serve” said Emil Stefanutti, Vice-Chairman of MMP, “this season we witnessed tremendous musical improvement from our students and were proud to see 85% of them become Honor Roll students at their schools, proving the benefits of having music in the lives of our youth.”
MMP’s program children and youth is based on El Sistema model, started by Jose Antonio Abreu 37 years ago with participation of over 360,000 young musicians in Venezuela and thousands more around the globe. This year Miami Music Project joined El Sistema USA and has, in fact, become the second largest program of its kind in the country.
MMP’s new season will start next August and will open many more spaces for kids and youth of Doral and Little Haiti to participate. For more information about MMP and to learn about ways for you or your kids to get involved, please visit www.miamimusicproject.org.