Philadelphia will be the setting for the Social Action Through Music Symposium, held at West Philadelphia Catholic High School from December 3 to 5. Co-hosted by El Sistema-inspired organizations based in Philadelphia, Virginia, and Baltimore—Play On, Philly!, Soundscapes, and OrchKids—the symposium will encompass three days of leadership seminars and workshops exploring how to build music programs for social change. On the last day of the symposium there will be a concert at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center by the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, led by Gustavo Dudamel. Facilitators and presenters will include conductor and music educator Benjamin Zander, who will give the keynote address, “Education Without Limits: The Art of Possibility.” Elisabeth Babcock, president and CEO of the Crittenton Women’s Union, will facilitate the leadership seminar. Workshop leaders include Stanford Thompson, CEO of Play On, Philly!; Daniel Trahey, director of artistic program development of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which runs the OrchKids program; and Rey Ramirez, co-founder and program director of the Virginia-based Soundscapes program. For more information, visit

Posted November 16, 2012