The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
By Geraldine Lopez, Miami Music Project
With the Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Center for the Performing Arts of Florida International University (FIU) jammed packed, Miami Music Project (MMP) marked the end of its 2012-2013 season with a breathtaking concert on Sunday, June 2nd. The show was titled Fantastic Season Finale, and fantastic it was!Whether it was dancing, singing or playing an orchestral instrument, every one of the more than 300 talented children of MMP’s El Sistema Miami (ESMIA) showcased his or her talent during the event to a diverse audience. Miami Music Project clearly was set to accomplish the mandate of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Challenge America Fast-Track grant, awarded to MMP earlier this year, to extend the reach of the arts.
Amidst the celebration and the joyful cheers of an enthusiastic crowd, several orchestra members served as hosts to award their fellow musicians in the first ever MMP Kid’s Choice Awards. The winners, honored with certificates and conductor batons, were deemed Superheroes, Sidekicks and Best Friends (among other categories) for excelling in leadership, teamwork and outstanding commitment throughout the entire season in their respective ensembles.
There was no doubt the children supported one another; they all were really excited for the achievements of their friends. Julian Recio, the sophomore level orchestra concertmaster and winner of the Best Leader award, said, “being a leader is not only about leading your section or leading yourself, but about communicating with the rest of the section leaders so that the whole orchestra sounds great.”
The special highlight of the concert took place as FIU’s in-residence, award-winning Amernet String Quartet, played side by side the young musicians of Miami Music Project’s ESMIA Leaders ensemble. Their masterful performance of Libertango and Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla brought a magical touch to the evening that left the audience wanting more.
“I cannot wait for the next season to begin already!” said concertgoer, Carmita Juarez.
With support in the likes of the National Endowment for the Arts to Miami Music Project, community members can be confident in organization’s positive impact as it continues to grow in more partnerships, more concerts, more wonderful musicians and more ambitious goals for seasons to come!