Who we are
An initiative of the newly founded Washington Heights and Inwood (WHIN) Music Project - El Sistema Uptown, in partnership with the United Palace of Cultural Arts (UPCA), and in a unique collaboration with the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music; the Washington Heights and Inwood (WHIN) Youth Orchestra is an innovative training and performing ensemble for young musicians, ages 7 to 23, with passion, discipline, vision and commitment to improve their lives and communities through music.
Our Inspiration : El Sistema
Inspired by the world renowned Venezuelan music program “El Sistema,” and founded by El Sistema Fellow (Abreu Fellow) David Gracia, WHIN Youth Orchestra provides a unique opportunity for young instrumentalists to further their potential in a musically dynamic & intellectually challenging environment. The musicians of this ensemble improve the cultures of their community through striving together in their studies and in providing public concerts with WHIN Music Project : El Sistema Uptown, a social music program.
* Frequent performances in the community and citywide will be an essential part of the orchestra’s activities.
Peer Mentors, Instructors & Collaborators
As well as being taught by dedicated instructors, WHIN Youth Orchestra members will also be mentored by experienced and renowned musicians from both the immediate community as well as internationall abroad. WHIN Youth Orchestra’s network includes The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New England Conservatory, and the Scandia Symphony.
Additionally, advanced students from Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music will have the opportunity to mentor less experienced musicians under supervision, which will help build leadership skills and offer students the chance to make a growing positive impact on their communities.
Schedule & Location
During the school year the WHIN Youth Orchestra will run for 36 weeks divided into three 12-week segments. At the end of each 12-week segment there will be a performance at the United Palace. Apart from these 3 concerts there will be additional performances in other locations throughout the community.
Rehearsals will take place once a week on Saturdays from 3-6pm at the United Palace, 4140 Broadway at W. 175th Street in Washington Heights, beginning in September.