Face The Music Youth Ensemble Concert


Sunday March 30th at 4:00pm, UCMP students will share the stage with the Union City High School Jazz band and the nationally recognized Face the Music ensemble! Bringing children and youth together through music! Come and show your support. See you there!!

Suggested donation is $5 and tickets can be purchased at the door.

2012 Sponsorship Package

Corporate and Promotional Sponsorship Opportunity at the Union City Music Project’s Second Annual Fundraiser Event

The UCMP is the most exciting new educational non-profit organization in this area and we invite you to be part of it by becoming our sponsor. In doing so, your company will have the great opportunity to align itself with an organization that has already attracted the interest of national and international news organizations such as Telemundo Network, CNN en español, Siempre Mujer Magazine, and El Diario La Prensa, among others.

Fill out this form and select a sponsorship level. And don’t forget to mark your calendar:

Wednesday, September 12th

Park Avenue Bar and Grill
3417 Park Avenue
Union City, NJ 07087

Please make Checks Payable to:
New York Foundation for the Arts,
memo line: Union City Music Project

Mail to:
Union City Music Project,
716 23rd Street, Suite 2,
Union City, NJ 07087

Yes, I want to become a Sponsor!

Please select a level of sponsorship:
 Platinum Gold Silver Bronze

Company Name

Contact Name, Last Name (required)

Street Adress (required)

City (required)

State (required)

Zip Code (required)


Your Email (required)

Please select a level of sponsorship:
Maestro Abreu Patron of the Arts
Ludwig van Beethoven Master Composer
Gustavo Dudamel Conductor
Arturo Márquez Concert
Promotional Product Give-Aways: Sole level in which your company may offer promotional product/literature give-aways at the venue. In addition, gift bags with the sponsor’s offerings may be distributed to press and guests. Yes No No No
Video Presentation/Title Card: Exclusive presence on UCMP’s video, which will be looped throughout the evening. Yes No No No
Posters: Primary placement on all event’s posters that will be displayed at all key, highly visible areas in and around Union City and at the Park Avenue Grill. (If logo is sent by 8/15/12) Yes Yes No No
Banners: Exclusive banner signage opportunities, which will be placed in the lobby and stage area of the Park Avenue Bar and Grill and roof terrace. (If logo is sent by 8/15/12) Yes Yes Yes No
Invitations: Placement on this year’s events’s invitations and postcards created by UCMP. Yes Yes Yes No
Programs: Page Placement on the event program dedicated to the lead UCMP sponsors. Page 1 Page 1 Page 2 Page 2
T-Shirts: Sponsor’s logo will be prominently placed on the back of UCMP t-shirts. Yes Yes Yes Yes
Publicity: Special acknowledgement of sponsor’s role mentioned on website and in all event’s public relations materials including newsletter, email blasts and press releases. Yes Yes Yes Yes
Complimentary Tickets: Number of omplimentary tickets to the UCMP fundraising event. 5 4 3 2

Summer 2012







Union City Music Project-Save the Date





This Summer Choose To Support Music For Social Change: Donate Now To The Union City Music Project!

Greetings from the UCMP!

Thank you so much for your continued support and for believing in the transformative power of music!

On Monday, June 25th, the UCMP launched its first ever one-month summer program at the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Early Childhood Education Center, in partnership with the Union City Board of Education. We are thrilled to be operating at full capacity in a very intensive program with 46 students, ages three to six. UCMP students are receiving three full hours of music instruction everyday and will have their very first student presentation on Friday June 29th. The summer program will finalize on July 24th and students will resume their music instruction in September.

If you would like to see this performance, please come this Friday June 29th at 2:00pm to the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Early Childhood Center! (Click for map) Please support the UCMP summer program by making a donation on our website or by sending a check. DONATE NOW!

The UCMP successfully ends its first session

Union City Music Project Parent Workshop

Catalyst Quartet violinist Karla Donehew Perez’s performs for the UCMP children. Click image to see photos.

The UCMP successfully concluded its introductory Paper Orchestra session on June 15th. Over the course of three months, 50 children ages three to six received a total of 50 hours of musical instruction, which included live performances, 6 parent workshops (see photos from one of our parent workshops) and opportunities to attend music events. Our program was visited by different organizations such as the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Sphinx Organization, the Geraldine Dodge Foundation and individuals like author Tricia Tunstall and Telemundo’s on air talent Patsi Arias.

A big thanks to UCMP’s fabulous teaching staff: Samuel Marchan, our Music Director, and Graciela Barreto, our Music Immersion Teacher and Principal Adriana Birne for her unwavering support. We would also like to recognize all the parents for their involvement and commitment. This program would not have been possible without parental support. Our most heartfelt thanks to the 24 volunteer parents we had for helping us make this program successful.

UCMP is beginning to change lives!

Union City Music ProjectTo see pictures from our first session, please click here!

We have had parents say that they have noticed behavioral differences in their children as a result of their participation in the program, that they have seen them transform into happier and more engaged kids. The same is true for teachers who have reported improvement in students who were hyperactive and are now more focused. Other parents have said that their children cannot stop talking about what they learn during music classes and that they daydream about the day when they are finally given their real instrument. These are all qualitative measures that we will continue to track as the program expands in order to provide concrete results of our program.

UCMP in the media!

Union city Music Project Patsi AriasThe UCMP was featured in Telemundo’s Levántate morning show by Patsi Arias today, Wednesday June 27th. Click to go to Telemundo’s Levantate.

Union City Music Project Mamiversemamiverse.com, a website that focuses on the empowerment for Latina moms and families, published an article titled “Lessons from women who are living their dreams.” Please click here to check out their story.

Union City Music Project CNN Siempre MujerThe UCMP was featured on the Querer es Poder segment of CNN en Español, in partnership with Siempre Mujer magazine. Through this collaboration, CNN presents stories of people who make their dreams come true. Please click here to check out the videos about the UCMP.


Union City Music Project Samuel Marchan meets Maestro Abreu

Musicians of the Canaima Indigenous Youth Orchestra rehearsing for their annual performance in Canaima, Venezuela.

Starting next week, Mr Samuel Marchan, UCMP’s Music Director, will be traveling to the Venezuelan Amazon to hold a series of workshops with the Canaima Indigenous Youth Orchestra, the first indigenous youth orchestra in the world. He is going as part of the MESDA Group, (Music Education for Social Development Agency) a Harvard-based initiative, founded by a group of alums of the YOA Orchestra of the Americas. To learn more about MESDA, click here.

This has been a busy year for Mr Marchan. In April he had the opportunity to have a meeting with Maestro José Antonio Abreu, founder of El Sistema, to official present to him the work we have all been doing with the children of Union City. Maestro Abreu was very supportive and expressed great satisfaction about having the UCMP being the first El Sistema program in New Jersey.

In January, a latin jazz group Mr Marchan plays with, was recognized by Billboard with a 2011 best latin jazz arrangement award for Mark Weinstein and Aruan Ortiz’s El Cumbanchero.







Union City Music Project

Save The Date!

UCMP’s Second Annual Fundraising Event!


September 12th

Park Avenue Bar and Grill


3417 Park Avenue

Union City, NJ 07087

Click for more information.

Union city Music Project Samuel Marchan Maestro Abreu

In The News

UCMP’s Music Director, Samuel Marchan had the opportunity to have a meeting with Maestro José Antonio Abreu… Read more.

Union City Music Project Overpeck County Park

Upcoming Events

UCMP’s First Family Summer Picnic

On Saturday June 30th, the UCMP will have a family picnic at the Overpeck County Park (Click for map). Please mark your calendars and send an email to mgarcia@ucmusicproject.org if you have any questions.

Union City Music Project Get Involved
Get Involved: The UCMP is a unique afterschool program that aims to change the lives of at-risk children through music.There are a number of ways you could get involved in the UCMP. Click to see the ways you can get involved now!
New york Foundation for the Arts
The Union City Music Project is a sponsored organization of the New York Foundation for the Arts, a 501 ©, tax-exempt organization. Contributions on behalf of the Union City Music Project must be made payble to the New York Foundation for the Arts, memo line: Union City Music Project.





Copyright © 2012 Union City Music Project, All rights reserved.






Spring 2012


The UCMP Launches Today, March 19th!


Papaer Instrument WorkshopWe are truly excited to inform you that the UCMP officially launches today, March 19th, at the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Early Childhood Education Center.


We will begin our program with a Paper Orchestra music immersion session that will last 12 weeks. Children will have classes Mondays and Fridays from 3:45-4:45PM.

A Paper Orchestra teaches children the fundamentals of playing in an orchestra with instruments made out of paper-mache. For younger children ages 3-6 entering an orchestral program, it is important to have a period of preparation that introduces them to the instrument, posture, and performance. During this time, students acquire basic musicianship skills and develop an appreciation for their instrument. Moreover, the physical creation of the paper instruments gives children and their parents a sense of ownership over their music education and helps to instill in them a sense of community within the program  


The application process began the first week of February and in just five days, we received close to 200 applications! A student selection committee reviewed all the applications and began to evaluate the students to determine their readiness for the program. The UCMP had initially planned for this session to be open for just 30 children, but after evaluating students and receiving many requests from parents, it was evident that we would have to let more children be part of this program. Starting today, 50 students from preschool through kindergarten will participate in this session that will finalize with a student recital. Once students finish the Paper Orchestra, they will transition into real instruments. 


Choosing only 50 children from such a big pool of applicants was a very difficult task. However, at this time, we cannot jeopardize quality for quantity. If your child did not make it this time, please know that he or she will have the opportunity to be part of the program in September. A very special thanks to Mrs Adriana Birne and her staff, and Superintendent Stanley Sanger for all their help and support in bringing this program to our community.  


We would also like to thank all the parents for their enthusiasm and commitment to making the UCMP a great success!


Please remember to like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!


Thank you so much for your continued support and for believing in the power of music to change lives and transform our community!


Make a Donation Now!   


UCMP Happenings

Paper Instrument Workshop Paper Instrument Workshop I

On March 12, the UCMP held its first workshop on how to build paper instruments with participating children and their parents in preparation for the launch of the program. The evening began with welcoming remarks by Principal Adriana Birne and UCMP’s founder Melina García followed by a live performance by UCMP’s Music Director Samuel Marchan, violinist Luis Casal, and violist Peter Borten. After the presentation, the eager parents and children started working on cutting the models of the violins and assembling some of the parts of their instruments. This workshop will be continued today. Take a look at some of the pictures from this very exciting evening.

Union City Music Project UCMP Has a Brand New Website
Please take a moment to look at our new website, which has lots of information, photos and videos. It was designed by Wilbert Gutierrez, UCMP’s Art Director. Please take a look and send us your feedback!



Take a Stand Symposium UCMP at the Take a Stand Symposium

From January 30 through February 1, 2012, the UCMP was part of the Take a Stand Symposium, a conference organized by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bard College, and the Longy School of Music which brought together all El Sistema-inspired programs in the US and from abroad. As many as 300 music and social change advocates from 27 states and 13 countries were part of this conference, which included a surprise keynote presentation from Maestro José Antonio Abreu, founder of el El Sistema. Please click here to see more photos. 




We are happy to announce that the UCMP was invited to submit a proposal to the Geraldine Dodge Foundation for a chance to receive a $25,000 grant. And in January, the UCMP received a grant from the Swyn Family Foundation. We continue to work on finding ways to raise funds. If you are familiar with fundraising and or grant writing, please get in touch with us by sending an e-mail to info@ucmusicproject.org 


Please click here to make a tax-deductible donation now.


Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel Changing Lives, a new Book about El Sistema

If you would like to learn more about El Sistema, please read Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema and the transformative power of music, written by Tricia Tunstall. Please click here to get a copy today!



The Ensemble, El Sistema USA Newsletter

The Ensemble is a monthly newsletter that covers El Sistema programs in the US. It’s published by arts educator and author Eric Booth and author Tricia Tunstall. Please download it here and share it! (PDF)


Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter

Fall 2011

Fall Update on the Union City Music Project

Union city Music Project photos


Greetings from the UCMP. Thank you so much for your interest in this wonderful program that seeks to change lives through music. Once selected to participate in the UCMP, your child will have a wide-range of opportunities: academic support, pathways into new passions, field trips, and of course, opportunities to learn, create, perform and explore the limitless world of music.

The orchestra is at the center of this program because it embodies a collaborative and caring community; each child is essential as an individual orchestra member, yet no child can play a symphony alone. Once the program starts, your child will be interacting with many other students from around the neighborhood from the moment they walk into the door and have the opportunity to be guided by top music instructors who will also serve as their mentors. We are excited to create a program that will guide your children through their school years and beyond!


Application Process

We are still working on setting a date for the application process to begin and as soon as the information becomes available, you will be notified. We apologize for the delay.


UCMP’s First Benefit Event
As part of our promotional and fundraising efforts, the UCMP is having it’s first event on November 16th. Please join us and help us spread the word! Tickets start at $50 dollars but if you cannot contribute that much, please give anything you can. As parents, it is very important that you be involved and that you support all our efforts. 



Saludos Melina; 


Saludos del UCMP. Muchas gracias por su interés en este programa que busca cambiar vidas a través de la música. Al ser seleccionado para participar en el UCMP, su hijo (a)  tendrá acceso a una gran variedad de oportunidades: apoyo académico, incentivos para encontrar nuevos horizontes, excursiones culturales y, por supuesto, oportunidades para aprender, crear, interpretar y explorar el maravilloso mundo de la música.


La base de este programa es la orquesta, pues, ella representa a una comunidad que 
colabora y cuida de lo suyo. Como miembro individual de la orquesta, cada niño es clave. Sin embargo, una sinfonía no puede ser ejecutada por un solo niño.  Desde el momento en que su niño (a) comience a ser parte del UCMP, interactuará no solo con otros estudiantes de la comunidad sino que también se beneficiará al tener maestros de alto nivel de experiencia musical que además servirán como mentores. ¡Estamos contentos de poder crear un programa que guiará a sus niños (as) durante los años escolares y mucho más allá! 


El proceso de inscripciones aún no ha comenzado. Tan pronto estemos listos les notificaremos immediatamente. Disculpen la tardanza.

Primer Evento Benéfico Anual del UCMP
El 16 de noviembre, el UCMP llevará a cabo su primer evento benéfico anual con el fin de recaudar fondos para el programa. Por favor, particípe y ayúdenos regando la voz entre sus amigos, familia y otros miembros de la comunidad. El precio de los tickets es de $50, pero si no puede contribuir con esta suma, por favor contribuya lo que esté a su alcance. Es muy importante que como representantes y miembros de esta comunidad participen y colaboren con lo que sea posible. 

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter 

This email was sent to mgarcia@ucmusicproject.org by info@ucmusicproject.org |  

Union City Music Project | 509 32nd Street, Suite 3 | Union City | NJ | 07087

El Sistema in the New York Times: Venerated High Priest and Humble Servant of Music Education

AS he slowly walked through the adoring and bubbling crowd of young people, the frail elderly man brushed a cheek, clasped an arm, bestowed a smile. He lingered affectionately with members of a choir composed of disabled youngsters.

For anyone who observed Pope John Paul II in action amid third-world crowds during the later years of his papacy, it was a familiar sight: the charisma, the smiles, the contrast of stooped holy man and spirited youngsters, the solicitousness for the weak.

But on this February day at the Teresa Carreño Theater here, the center of attention was not a pope. It was José Antonio Abreu, the founder and influential leader of a classical music education program called El Sistema. Mr. Abreu was showing off some of its orchestras to visiting Americans in an elaborately choreographed showcase.

The endless explorations of El Sistema, in articles, documentaries and books, give little attention to one of its more striking aspects: a similarity to organized religion and, more specifically, the Roman Catholic Church.

Venezuela is not especially a deeply Catholic country, and El Sistema’s top rank of musicians do not display piety. But through the influence of Mr. Abreu, who professes deep religious devotion, the trappings of a church have emerged, even if the similarities are only a question of atmospherics. It is possible to extrapolate that a good part of El Sistema’s success is due to these trappings, or at least to the single-minded focus on spreading the gospel of social action through music.

El Sistema absorbs hundreds of thousands of young Venezuelans into orchestras and other ensembles, providing intensive musical training as an antidote to the ills of poverty, an enveloping reality in this country despite its oil wealth.

Founded in 1975, El Sistema has in recent years also begun producing a generation of talented musicians now competing on the international stage. Classical music educators, administrators and professional players around the world have clutched at its mantle, forming alliances with the movement, establishing Sistema-inspired music programs and engaging its top orchestras and their conductors.

Mr. Abreu is referred to by his loyalists as a father, a saint, a visionary, a philosopher or, most often, simply as maestro. There is a foundational story: his gathering of 11 young musicians in a garage in 1975 to start the whole project. Most of those founders, as they are called, have stayed with the organization or gone on to run parts of it with apostolic devotion. Its ranks are self-perpetuating: talented alumni inevitably go on to run music centers, called núcleos, or teach at them.

“El Sistema is a way of life for hundreds of thousands of people in Venezuela, the region and, I can say, the world,” said Maria Guinand, a Venezuelan choral conductor who works with Sistema orchestras.

Followers often tell stories of how Mr. Abreu came to them with special assignments, plucking them up and giving them jobs to do or núcleos to run, like a posting in a poor parish for young priests. He is said to dictate career moves among the top echelon of musicians.

El Sistema has its musical scripture: Tchaikovsky’s “1812” and the finale of his Symphony No. 4; the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah”; Venezuela’s unofficial national anthem, “Alma Llanera”; and other core works that the student orchestras play in arrangements at varying levels of difficulty.

Mr. Abreu and his inner circle are persistent evangelizers for El Sistema, proclaiming its advocacy of social justice with the zeal of missionaries. Mr. Abreu travels the world, touring with the program’s top orchestras, visiting similar programs, receiving honors, often meeting with other music educators and administrators.

“It’s important that our principle of action be known not only in Venezuela but in Latin America and the world at large,” he said in an interview last month. “We need to be messengers,” he said, of the “social mission of art.”

He added, “I’ve dedicated all my efforts to have the poorest, the ones most excluded, have access to musical education.”

Sitting slightly hunched in a leather chair in a tiny Sistema office here Mr. Abreu granted an audience to reporters, who were ushered in one by one for about 20 minutes each. His right-hand man, Rodrigo Guerrero, who oversees international affairs and institutional development, fluently translated Mr. Abreu’s flowing sentences. Wearing his ever-present gray wool overcoat, Mr. Abreu gesticulated expressively and showed no sign of flagging despite the long morning.

He called El Sistema an antidote to violence. “So when we perform abroad, we are messengers of peace but also for social justice,” he said. He was unperturbed when it was pointed out that Venezuela has become one of the most violent societies in the world. Violence is a global problem, he said: “Orchestras and choirs are incredibly effective instruments against violence.”

Moments later Mr. Abreu imparted one of the aphorisms that are often repeated: “The most holy of human rights is the right to art.”

Mr. Abreu, 73, has degrees in keyboard and composition, and he studied conducting. He followed a parallel career as an economist and served in past governments as a member of Parliament, an economic adviser and a culture minister.

An official history of El Sistema calls him its “soul and guiding light.” He is unmarried and lives what many call an ascetic life completely devoted to the program. In comments quoted in the history, “Venezuela Bursting With Orchestras,” Mr. Abreu describes himself as a deeply devout Catholic and calls himself “a priest, a humble servant of Jesus Christ” who aspires to be “an ideal, noble and invincible servant of God.”

Mr. Abreu runs El Sistema with aspects of a society-improving religious cult, said one Venezuelan who has known him for decades. “The ones that are converted think of him as a saint,” said this person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid jeopardizing their relationship. “The ones that are not converted think of him as a very incredible man that has created this institution that has a lot of merit, but they do not see him as a saint, because they have felt his whip. When there are saints, there is no room for dissidents.”

A rising Sistema conducting talent, Joshua Dos Santos, acknowledged that Mr. Abreu has to show strictness and force of character for El Sistema to thrive. “He is the father,” Mr. Dos Santos said. “We are all his children.”

Another Venezuelan who has long known Mr. Abreu, Moisés Naím, a frequent commentator on national affairs, attributed the adulation for Mr. Abreu to pride in a country whose main claims to fame are oil, beauty queens and baseball players. “This is a country that has had a long string of failures, and then here comes a smashing success,” Mr. Naím said.

Much of the success is due to Mr. Abreu’s savvy at maneuvering through successive governments, including the current rule of Hugo Chávez, the populist president who has placed El Sistema under his office and cites it as an exemplar of his “Bolivarian revolution.” Some critics of Mr. Chávez have found fault with Mr. Abreu for what they consider excessive coziness with the Chávez government. Mr. Abreu rejected the notion.

“I’ve never felt any pressure of a political character,” he said.

Given Mr. Abreu’s grip on El Sistema, the question of succession has arisen. Supporters feel sure he has a plan, and some suggest Gustavo Dudamel, his protégé and El Sistema’s music director, will take on a greater role. Mr. Abreu said El Sistema will remain strong because of the presence of a generation of experienced leaders and expressed confidence that the executive director, Eduardo Méndez, his hand-picked administrator, would be able to carry on. “He’s a true social and artistic manager of the highest quality,” he said.

Foreign visitors who come through Venezuela to see El Sistema in action are often captivated. Mr. Abreu’s operation in Caracas is a well-oiled machine when it comes to welcoming outsiders.

The effort was on full view last month, when the Los Angeles Philharmonic came for a week of concerts under the leadership of Mr. Dudamel, who is El Sistema’s best-known product and is famous in his own right in Venezuela. The connection has produced close ties between the Philharmonic and El Sistema. The orchestra’s president, Deborah Borda, is a firm convert and has become one of El Sistema’s most prominent American boosters.

Los Angeles musicians, between rehearsals and concerts, visited El Sistema’s main rehearsal and teaching center to give master classes, traveling in buses under close police and private-guard supervision because of Caracas’s pervasive crime.

At many of the master classes Sistema students put on spectacular displays of talent, rehearsed to within an inch of their lives. Part of El Sistema’s philosophy is to expose youngsters to constant performance from the earliest years.

Toward the end of the visit the orchestra as a whole, staff members, patrons and members of the news media were treated to a series of performances, by a brass ensemble, choruses and orchestras at the Teresa Carreño Theater complex. Each orchestra seemed to grow larger, with the biggest numbering 640 members. They played with extravagant precision and almost scary intensity, not to mention volume. All the parts were memorized.

“We are simply overwhelmed,” Ms. Borda told Mr. Abreu and the young Venezuelan performers. “You have worked a miracle, and we are so honored and humble to be a part of it.”

Lavishly financed by the government, El Sistema has 280 centers around Venezuela and 310,000 students. It counts roughly 500 orchestras and other ensembles.

Mr. Abreu has relentlessly sought to keep it growing. The Inter-American Development Bank has granted Venezuela a $150 million loan to help pay for regional centers around the country. Plans are moving ahead to expand El Sistema’s new central structure in Caracas, including the addition of two concert halls. Frank Gehry has been asked to design a center and hall in Barquisimeto, a city about 220 miles west of Caracas and the hometown of Mr. Abreu and Mr. Dudamel. The internationally known acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota will work on both projects, Sistema officials said.

Meanwhile El Sistema’s influence on the international classical music scene is expanding. The conducting career of Mr. Dudamel, El Sistema’s star graduate, is growing by leaps and bounds. He has eight CDs on Deutsche Grammophon, mainly leading El Sistema’s flagship Simón Bolívar Symphony orchestra; seven iTunes releases with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; and at least nine more recording projects planned for the next few years.

Other Sistema conductors are taking on jobs outside Venezuela. Last year Diego Matheuz was named principal conductor of the Fenice opera in Venice and Christian Vásquez, chief conductor of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra in Norway.

Most symbolically important, El Sistema’s flagship orchestra, the Simón Bolívar Symphony, has dropped the word “youth” from its name, a sign of its maturity and professionalization. The new group for teenagers, the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra, is represented by Askonas Holt, a major British artist management company, for tours. A Simón Bolívar String Quartet has been formed and is also recording with Deutsche Grammophon.

But in the tradition of El Sistema, the newly minted stars stay closely connected to the mother ship, returning often to conduct and teach.

“We can have external careers as conductors, but we will always go home to support El Sistema,” said Manuel López-Gómez, a Sistema podium talent with a budding international career. “It’s something ethical. We have to help the next generation.”

By DANIEL J. WAKIN for the New York Times.
Read the original article here.

Winter 2011

Happy Holiday Season!


Happy Holiday Season!

The UCMP would like to wish you all the love and happiness this season can bring, and for it to follow you throughout the upcoming New Year. Thank you for your support!

UCMP First Benefit Event
Click to see the pictures of UCMP’s First Benefit Event

This has indeed been a very exciting year for the UCMP. It was only a short year ago that the idea of creating the UCMP came to life after watching this TED video. Since then, we have been working very hard to make this a long-lasting project that will benefit not just children and families but the entire Union City community.

The UCMP was incorporated in the beginning of October as a non-profit organization and two weeks later, after submitting an application, the UCMP was awarded a fiscal sponsorship by Artspire, a program from the New York Foundation for the Arts, one of the country’s most respected arts institutions. Thanks to this fiscal sponsorship, the UCMP can receive tax-deductible donations and apply for public and private grants. And this past November, the UCMP put together two very special events, which you can read about below.

We are truly looking forward to starting 2012 as we gear up to launching the first two sites at the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Early Childhood Center and at Veterans Memorial School.  We are working out the details to begin the application process as soon as possible. The start date is solely dependent on funding, so we highly encourage you to continue supporting us by spreading the word or becoming involved. This is a community-based organization and we need all members of the community to be supportive in whatever way possible. If you would like to volunteer your time or if you have suggestions in terms of fundraising or contacts you would like to share, please get in touch with us and e-mail us at info@ucmusicproject.org.

Also, please remember to like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

UCMP videoUCMP’s Video 


This is a video we showed during the UCMP’s event. If you have not seen it, please do so here and share it with family and friends. Word of mouth is also a great way you can support us!

Watch the video now!



Thank you so much for your continued support and for believing in the power of music to change lives and transform our community!

Make a Donation Now!


On the News!

The UCMP has been featured in the media through different news organizations. Please take a look and share the latest article written by Gennarose Pope from the Hudson Reporter. Click here.

UCMP Happenings!

UCMP hosts Brazilian Youth Orchestra at the Union City High School  

Brazilian Youth Orchestra Mariuccia Iacovino
Brazilian Youth Orchestra Mariuccia Iacovino performing at the Union City High School. Click to see al the pictures.

On Tuesday November 22nd, the UCMP hosted the Brazilian Youth Orchestra Mariuccia Iacovino at the Union City High School. Eighty-eight young musicians from an underserved area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, delighted the audience with a wide range of music genres, including samba, capoeira and carnival marches. The musicians, who are between the ages of 11 to 18, were on their first U.S. tour to perform at Carnegie Hall and this was their only performance in NJ. 


The level of musicianship from this youth orchestra was truly remarkable. They captivated the audience from beginning to end and they in turn gave them multiple standing ovations throughout their performance. The grand finale included a magical transformation into a carnival festivity with costumes and colorful paper confetti that had audience members on their feet, dancing samba together with the musicians.


Named after the legendary Brazilian violinist and teacher, Mariuccia Iacovino, this orchestra is part of “Orquestando A Vida,” a 30-year-old social program, also inspired by El Sistema, which provides social development through orchestral and choral practice to hundreds of children and youth in Campos dos Goytacazes, in Rio de Janeiro. 


This event was made possible thanks to a unique collaboration between Azlo Music Productions, the Union City Music Project, Mayor Brian P. Stack’s office and the Board of Education. A very special thanks to Superintendent Stanley Sanger, UCHS Principal John Benetti and Mrs. Mirtha Serret, District’s Fine and Performing Arts Supervisor for all their support and hard work coordinating this event.


See all the pictures here.


UCMP’s First Annual Benefit Event   

UCMP First Annual Benefit Event
UCMP First Annual Benefit Event. Click here for more pictures

On November 16th, the UCMP had its first annual benefit event and it was truly a night to remember.  Over 150 people were present at the William V. Musto Cultural Center, which was beautifully transformed into a music wonderland with decorations made by Sara Foldenawer of Setsbysara, one of New York’s most sought-after stage and prop design firms, and lighting and sound by Michael Nazario from Space Sound Studios.

Guests enjoyed various cocktails and appetizers from Las Palmas Restaurant and musical performances by the Latin Jazz Element, violist and UCMP Music Director Samuel Marchan, pianist and Abreu Fellow David Gracia, harpist Rolnand Perez, violinist and violist Peter Borten, mezzo-soprano Bernadette LaFond, pianist Marina Korsakova-Kreyn and a very special performance by the Gilmore Children Choir directed by Graciela Barreto and young violist Rebecca Marchan.  

The night also included beautiful works of art by visual artists Leandro Comrie who created a beautiful portrait of conductor Gustavo Dudamel, sculptures by Colombian visual artist Lina Puerta and paintings by Colombian painter Alexis Duque. 

We would like to thank Mayor Brain. P Stack, Commissioner Chris Irizarry and Superintendent Stanley Sanger for all their support for this event. And a very special thanks to all the volunteers and people involved in making this event possible. Thank you so much!




We are happy to announce that the UCMP received its first grant from the Carvel Foundation last month. This is an important accomplishment for the UCMP, considering that we only became incorporated this past October. We are in the process of applying to various grants and approaching private corporations for sponsorships. If you have not done so already, please consider making a contribution to the UCMP. Any donation will help to bring music to a Union City child. Please help us make a difference! 


Please click here to make a tax-deductible donation now.


El Sistema USA Newsletter

The Ensemble is a monthly newsletter that covers El Sistema programs in the US. It’s published by arts educator and author Eric Booth,  Please download it here and share it! (PDF)



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Union City Music Project | 509 32nd Street, Suite 3 | Union City | NJ | 07087



Music and Dance Drive Academic Achievement

Here’s one of the many reasons why bringing the UCMP to our children is so important.

Opening Minds Through the Arts (OMA) is a student-achievement program that uses music, dance, and visual arts to teach skills used in reading, writing, math, science, and other subjects. The curriculum, based on brain-development research, is designed to engage specific skills targeted to each grade level. Independent research demonstrates that OMA has dramatically improved test scores and teacher effectiveness. Launched as a pilot program in 2000, OMA now thrives in more than 40 Tucson, Arizona, public elementary schools.

Read more here.