The Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) has introduced the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL), a free string-ensemble program for children, in partnership with the Police Athletic Group (PAL) summer camp in New York City’s Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen districts this summer. This new program, inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema, marks a shift in direction for OSL’s community and education programs, which have evolved since OSL opened the DiMenna Center in 2011. Launching this week in the neighborhood surrounding the DiMenna Center, the program provides fifth graders with violins, and trains them in general music and ensemble skills with weekly group sessions and one month of choral instructions, working towards a final ensemble performance in August, and an intensive after-school program in the fall. “Many of our schools have eliminated music programs, and the families we serve have limited access to outside music instruction, yet our children are anxious to learn an instrument, play in an orchestra, or be a part of a choir. The partnership between PAL and OSL will fill this void, inspire our youth, and help them succeed academically,” said PAL Executive Director Alana Sweeney in a press release. The OSL will also expand current in-school music programs and reach beyond its immediate neighborhood. By supporting other after-school music programs across the New York City area, YOSL has plans to develop into a city-wide youth orchestra within five years.

Posted July 12, 2013