The Concert to Benefit El Sistema-Inspired Youth Orchestras in New York, New Jersey, and New Orleans


On Saturday, June 28, 2014, The Union city Music Project will be part of a concert at the United Palace of Cultural Arts in Washington Heights, New York.

5:30pm doors open

6:30pm youth orchestra


7:30pm professional orchestra

Online tickets: $25-$75;

VIP tickets with reception: $250;

FREE  for children under 18

Balcony tickets on sale day of show: $5-$15


WHAT: El Sistema, an innovative music education system, has been a breathtaking success both in Venezuela where it originated nearly 40 years ago and around the world. It has not only laid a musical foundation for millions of young people but also trained top-notch musicians such as the dynamic Gustavo Dudamel, who conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and bass virtuoso Edicson Ruiz, the youngest player to ever join the Berlin Philharmonic.

On June 28, in the collaborative spirit that has been a hallmark of El Sistema, 150 children from six programs in the New York metro area, including two hosted by the United Palace, will form a mass orchestra for a short performance. They will be followed by a professional orchestra of the city’s top freelancers, including Orchestra of St. Luke’s musicians, performing the inspiring and virtuosic Concerto for Orchestra of Bela Bartok.

This celebratory event is called “The Concert to Benefit El Sistema-Inspired Youth Orchestras in New York, New Jersey, and New Orleans” or just “The Concert” for short.

WHO: Jamie Bernstein, daughter of composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein, hosts an ambitious and festive evening performance by 150 children, followed by the Sheep Island Ensemble, an all-star cast of young professionals led by conductor James Blachly (2013-4 Zander Fellow) and renowned concertmaster Krista Bennion Feeney (Orchestra of St. Luke’s). The young musicians come from six El Sistema-inspired programs in the New York metro area: Corona Youth Music Project; Harmony Program; Union City Music Project; UpBeat NYC; Washington Heights and Inwood (WHIN) Music Project; Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

WHY: The concert will raise money for several intensive youth orchestra programs in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Union City, NJ – as well as Make Music NOLA, the program in New Orleans for which the New York City Summer Mahler Project was originally created. Each of these programs was inspired by the phenomenal El Sistema model from Venezuela, which has expanded over the past decade into a full-fledged global movement. The concert will raise awareness of classical music’s potential for revitalizing underserved communities.

Ticket sales and proceeds will be split evenly between the seven El Sistema-inspired programs in the New York metro area and New Orleans. (The students who are performing and their families will be admitted for free.) Orchestra and lower loge tickets are available online now from $25-$75. There are also a limited number of $250 VIP tickets that include a pre-show champagne reception with Jamie Bernstein. Children under 18 are FREE. To welcome a diverse audience and put the concert within reach of a larger audience, $5 and $15 balcony seats will go on sale at the box office the day of the show.

This event is part of Northern Manhattan’s annual Uptown Arts Stroll produced by the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance. Learn more about the over 100 events during June’s Stroll at

Don’t forget to make arrangements for dinner before or after the show!

The United Palace is located at 4140 Broadway at W. 175th Street
It is 1-block from the 175th Street A-train station.
Parking garages on Broadway b/w 176th & 177th Streets.