The Community Opus Project includes after school instrumental orchestra and band programs for students in Chula Vista. Musicians meet together with a team of Teaching Artists – all professional musicians and educators – for two hours of music instruction, twice per week. Classes meet at five elementary schools and are open to students from any Chula Vista school.
Students at each of the five Opus sites are divided two groups: Esperanza and Alegría. Our Esperanza musicians are the students participating in Opus for the first time. Alegría musicians have at least one year of instrumental experience. Each class for both Esperanza and Alegría musicians includes one hour of full ensemble instruction and one hour of sectional instruction. There are multiple opportunities throughout the year for the musicians to perform at concerts and other events.
Opus musicians who are in middle school and who have been learning music for at least two years are welcome to audition for chamber ensembles that rehearse for an hour each week and perform at various venues and events throughout the region. These musicians also meet quarterly to perform as a full-ensemble.
San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) believes every student deserves music education for the lifetime of joy it provides and the habits, skills and traits students acquire that will improve their academic, personal and professional lives. Unfortunately, public school budget cuts have made it inaccessible for many students. Determined to use its resources to reverse that trend, in 2010 SDYS adopted a long-term vision of “making music education accessible and affordable for all.” To achieve this goal, it launched the Community Opus Project to demonstrate the positive effects of learning music by providing free afterschool music instruction, engaging the parents, educating the community, and persuading school districts to reinstate district-wide music instruction.
For the pilot program, SDYS partnered with the Chula Vista Elementary School District, which had not provided school-day music instruction for more than 15 years. SDYS began by providing free afterschool instrumental instruction to 65 3rd graders. The positive effects on the students were apparent so quickly that in 2013 CVESD committed to reinstating in-school music instruction so that all of its nearly 30,000 students would be able to learn music.
SDYS, CVESD and other local partners continue to collaborate to make high-quality music instruction available for all students. Students, families and other residents from all parts of Chula Vista will come together around the shared joy of learning, performing and experiencing beautiful music.
I wasn’t really a musician. I thought I would do sports, but after a while it felt good and I felt happy that I was learning to play music.
Noor Alramadan, 11 yrs old, cello, clarinetWatch The Video
“Disrupting the Status Quo” – El Sistema, the Community Opus Project, and School Reform in the Chula Vista Elementary School District
California School Board Magazine | May 1, 2016
Community Opus Project Supporters & Partners
Chula Vista Elementary School District
Chula Vista Community Collaborative
California Alliance for Arts Education
Chula Vista Elementary School District
FOUNDATION AND CORPORATE
Arthur P Pratt & Jeanette Gladys Pratt
|Christopher C. Collins Foundation
Christopher Weil & Co
Clarence E. Heller Foundation
Crossroads II Corporation
David C. Copley Foundation
Ford Motor Company Fund/San Diego
County Ford Dealers
Goodrich/Rohr Employees Fund
James Irvine Foundation
James Lauer Fund at The San Diego
League of American Orchestras/Getty
Mandell Weiss Charitable Trust
|Masserini Charitable Trust
Nordson Corporation Foundation
Opus Community Foundation
Price Family Charitable Fund
Samuel H. French III and Katherine Weaver
Samuel I. & John Henry Fox Foundation
Sidney Stern Memorial Trust
Southwest Chula Vista Civic Association
The Parker Foundation
Thomas C. Ackerman Foundation
U.S. Bancorp Foundation
Union Bank Foundation
VH1 Save The Music Foundation
Walter J. and Betty C. Zable Foundation
Wells Fargo Foundation