On 6 June 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank announced the granting of a US$150 million loan for the construction of seven regional centers of El Sistema throughout
. Many bankers within the IDB originally objected to the loan on the grounds that classical music is for the elite. In fact, the bank has conducted studies on the more than two million young people who have been educated in El Sistema which link participation in the program to improvements in school attendance and declines in juvenile delinquency. Weighing such benefits as a falloff in school drop-out rates and a decline in crime, the bank calculated that every dollar invested in El Sistema was reaping about $1.68 in social dividends. Supported by the government, El Sistema has started to introduce its music program into the public-school curriculum, aiming to be in every school and to support 500,000 children by 2015. Venezuela
In the midst of that poverty, the system uses classical music to instil in the kids self-esteem and confidence. Popular music, Rafael says, wouldn't work.
"What they have on at home is popular music all the time. Their father, who drinks every day, he gets drunk with that music," he told Simon. "So you have to give them something different. When they sit in one of these chairs in the orchestra, they think they're in another country, in another planet. And they start changing."
We were so lucky to be at the BBC Proms concert on Friday, 5th August - amazing performance of Mahler's Second Symphony ( Resurrection) by the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. We went to queue at 6:15 am and had a day long chat with some very interesting music lovers. The 74 year old was No.4 and C.C. was No. 8! One went to Bayreuth in 1963!!! One is a budding conductor!!!
Royal Albert Hall certainly broke all rules and brought a chair and even tea for No. 4.
The whole performance was electrifying!!!
The concert is available on iPlayer until 12 August, broadcast on BBC4 on 28 August at 7.30p
And behold, it is no judgment;
there are no sinners, no just….
There is no punishment and no reward.
An overwhelming love illuminates our being.
We know and we are.