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Rhythms of the Heart: Transforming Lives through Music

Leader Dr. Anne Klaeysen and Music Director David Gracia

In 1975, Venezuelan economist, politician, conductor and composer Dr. José Antonio Abreu founded the first National Symphony Youth Orchestra of Venezuela as a part of his dream to provide an environment in which music students could come together and practice. This orchestra soon gained international recognition, served as an influential attraction to young Venezuelans, and became a successful way to reach audiences such as lower-income youngsters. It became known as El Sistema, a system of ensembles that provides Venezuelan children from challenging socioeconomic backgrounds with access to free instruments, intensive musical training and orchestral experience.

Inspired by El Sistema, David Gracia trained as an Abreu Fellow and founded WHIN Youth Orchestra to provide an opportunity for young instrumentalists in Washington Heights and Inwood to further their potential in a musically dynamic and intellectually challenging environment.

The musicians of this ensemble make a difference in their communities and will demonstrate how they "shape melodies, harmonize lives and orchestrate dreams" when they perform for the NYSEC community.


Entry to our 100-year-old building and meeting rooms is available for most wheelchair users with prior arrangements. Please call ahead  [masked] x 107) for setup of our portable system and plan to arrive one hour before start time. 

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