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Dr. José Antonio Abreu
(El Sistema Founder)

In 1975 in a parking garage in Caracas, Venezuela, Dr. José Antonio Abreu gathered together 11 children to play music.  El Sistema was born, starting a movement destined to change the way people think about music education.

El Sistema now teaches music to over 300,000 of Venezuela’s poorest children.  Nearly 1,000,000 children have progressed through a program that is changing the face of a nation.  Sir Simon Rattle, director of the Berlin Philharmonic, has said that there is no more important work being done anywhere in the world today in classical music than in Venezuela.  The world has taken note, and programs based on the El Sistema model are taking root in the United States and around the globe.

El Sistema is a system not only of music education and performance, but also of social change and community building.  It becomes a vehicle of reducing crime and poverty in any community where it is established.  The enrichment of the human spirit and the sense of identity that evolves in the children is invaluable to their intellectual development and social success.

By removing the economic barrier to entry that is common to the performing arts world, El Sistema opens the doors to those most in need of these opportunities.  Through free instruction and provided instruments, children are given a chance they would likely never receive or afford elsewhere.

The Fox Valley Orchestra is excited to partner with the Fox Valley Park District, Communities in Schools, Aurora School Districts 131 & 129, and Covenant Christian School to bring the first El Sistema program to our own Fox Valley Community.  Our program began in Spring of 2013 and runs for 20 or more weeks at each partner site during the school year.  The program has grown to include over 700 children at 16 partner schools today.  We will continue to expand this program to as many schools and needy children as possible!


We hope that you will consider joining our program sponsors to bring quality and life-changing opportunities to our area kids.  The success and growth of this venture is wholly dependent on funding for its operation.


Please contribute today!

Related Links:

El Sistema USA

Our Program Partners:


 We are a registered 501c3 charitable organization: view recognition letter here