New Collaboration Sends Miami Music Project Students to Interlochen Arts Camp

More than 45 student musicians from Miami’s most under-resourced communities have been admitted and will receive scholarships to attend the renowned summer arts camp in Michigan.



Interlochen, Mich., March 01, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Thanks to a generous donation, select Miami Music Project students will receive a full scholarship to attend the 2018 Interlochen Arts Camp. Made possible by the financial generosity of Daniel R. Lewis and M:X (Miami Experimental), the scholarship will cover all tuition, travel, boarding and uniform expenses. More importantly, it will offer a unique opportunity for this underserved student music population to hone their artistic skills.


Earlier this year, Miami Music Project students were invited to audition for the Interlochen Arts Camp. Close to two thirds of these young musicians were then admitted to the Camp in northern Michigan this summer.


“Having Miami Music Project students attend and experience the Interlochen Arts Camp means the world to us. There’s such little access to high quality opportunities like this one for students who, through no fault of their own, come from under-resourced backgrounds. It is unfortunate because the children we serve are just as talented as any other, but are restricted by their social status.” said Miami Music Project Executive Director, Anna Pietraszko. “Having the chance to audition for and experience the life-changing Interlochen Arts Camp tells them that anything is possible if they work hard and put their mind to it. And, as an added bonus, they will come back as mentors to their younger peers, inspiring and encouraging others to always reach beyond their limits and beyond their circumstances. This is how real change happens, and how the next generation of leaders is born.”


Founded in 2008, Miami Music Project reaches over 750 underserved youth (aged 6-18 years-old) with year-round after-school music education programs and additional enrichment opportunities, all free of charge. This independent non-profit organization’s outreach includes one of the country’s largest El Sistema-inspired orchestra programs, a four-week summer music camp, intensive orchestra boot camps, and training for professional musicians who aim to become teaching artists. Guests artists that worked with the students in the past include conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, James Judd, Stephane Deneve and Maximiano Valdes, composer Avner Dorman, New World Symphony Fellows and musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra.


“As of today, Miami Music Project has reached thousands of children and youth across Miami-Dade County, achieving national prominence as one of the largest, most successful, socially transformative music initiatives in the US.” said Pietraszko. “We are proud to offer free of charge, after-school programming to all students with no barriers to entry, regardless of race or economic status.”


Miami Music Project’s El Sistema-inspired orchestra is informed by the teachings of Venezuelan musician, economist and activist, Jose Antonio Abreu, based on a set of inspiring ideals that seek to effect social change through the ambitious pursuit of musical excellence. El Sistema focuses primarily on children with the fewest resources and greatest need.


“What we saw while in Miami was a real progression in student readiness,” said Interlochen Center for the Arts Director of Music, Kedrik Merwin. “The artistic growth that we witnessed is a testament to the talent and conviction of the Miami Music Project staff and teaching artists. I look forward to seeing many of these students again this summer in northern Michigan.”


This collaboration was made possible through financial support from Daniel R. Lewis and M:X(Miami Experimental). Lewis, a Miami-Dade County resident, has been an active proponent of increasing access to arts education and training across cultural and socioeconomic lines. He believes in driving social change through the arts, specifically through youth music education.


“M:X’s intent is to develop, invest in and inspire creators whose work improves the Miami-Dade County music ecosystem,” said Lewis. “In this case, the alignment of Miami Music Project’s interest in expanding the opportunities for its highest performing students, and Interlochen’s skill and commitment to developing children they have not previously served make this collaboration a compelling and exciting investment.”


“We often hear that the Interlochen experience can change lives. Through this wonderful collaboration, thanks in part to the hard work of the Miami Music Project and the generosity of Daniel Lewis, it is our goal that the lives of these young people will be changed for the better,” said Interlochen Center for the Arts President, Trey Devey. “These young people will enrich the global community that we gather at Interlochen, and it is our hope that they take with them a broader world view which will positively impact their own communities.”



About Miami Music Project
Miami Music Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit 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. Miami Music Project’s vision is to create opportunity and access through music for those most in need, improve the quality of life for children today and ultimately transform their lives, the lives of their families and their communities. Emerging as a model for music education programs nationally, Miami Music Project offers free of charge, after-school programming to all students with nobarriers to entry, regardless of race or economic status. As of today, Miami Music Project has reached thousands of children and youth across Miami-Dade County, becoming one of the largest socially transformative music initiatives in US.


About M:X (Miami Experimental)
Established in 2015, M: X’s purpose is to improve lives through the catalytic force of music.


About Interlochen Center for the Arts
The nonprofit Interlochen Center for the Arts is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the only organization in the world that brings together: a 2,500-student summer camp program; a 500-student fine arts boarding high school; opportunities for hundreds of adults to engage in fulfilling artistic and creative programs; two 24-hour listener-supported public radio stations (classical music and news); more than 600 arts presentations annually by students, faculty and world-renowned guest artists; a global alumni base spanning eight decades, including leaders in the arts and all other endeavors. For information, visit Interlochen online at .

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