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National Take a Stand Festival Heads East for Five-Day Orchestral Program and Concert

Program Culminates with Free Concert on Saturday, August 20 at Bard’s Fisher Center

Eleanor Davis
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — In 2015, The National Take a Stand Festival (NTASF) was launched by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Venezuela’s FundaMusical, Aspen Music Festival and School, Bard College and the Longy School of Music of Bard College, and in cooperation with El Sistema USA. Having just completed the west-coast festival in Aspen this past June, NTASF heads East to Bard College from August 16-20 for the five-day regional youth orchestra program comprising of students aged 11-17 from Massachusetts to Florida and as far west as Los Angeles, culminating on Saturday, August 20, with a free public concert at Bard’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts.
Boston area students will commence the trip to Bard from the Longy School of Music campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts on August 16. Longy President, Karen Zorn said, “After the success of the National Take a Stand Festival at Aspen, we are excited to see the students come to the East coast and experience life on a college campus—especially one as idyllic as Bard. My hope is that this week will inspire them to see their own potential, and that with hard work comes great opportunities.”
Leon Botstein, president of Bard College and music director of the American Symphony Orchestra, will lead the Youth Orchestra in the festival’s culminating performance at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on August 20 at 1 p.m. The performance, which is free and open to the public, will include: Johannes Brahms - Academic Festival Overture; Camille Saint-Saëns, arr. Merle J. Isaac - “Bacchanale”; John Williams, arr. Robert W. Smith - “Star Wars Epic – Part II”; and Astor Piazzolla, arr. Lito Valle - “Libertango.”
The initiative offers young people from across the country the opportunity to learn from exceptional musicians, become ambassadors of their programs, and — for many — travel out of state for the first time. In June of this year, project partner, the Aspen Music Festival and School hosted the first gathering that featured students from the western United States.

More About the National Take a Stand Festival
The National Take a Stand Festival is designed and implemented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Venezuela’s FundaMusical, Aspen Music Festival and School, Bard College and the Longy School of Music of Bard College, in cooperation with El Sistema USA.

The National Take a Stand Festival is a three-part project that began in 2015 with a teacher-training pilot program. In 2016, it features two regional youth orchestra festivals: one at Aspen Music Festival and School and one at Bard College. In July, 2017, the festival will feature a seven-day national youth orchestra program and a final performance in Los Angeles, led by Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, himself a graduate of Venezuela’s El Sistema, and featuring young musicians from both regional festivals.

Take a Stand — a partnership of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bard College and the Longy School of Music of Bard College — is an innovative initiative that supports social change through music. Inspired by El Sistema, Venezuela’s revolutionary music education program, Take a Stand supports the field through national and international conferences as well as a Master of Arts in Teaching in Music degree program.
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City on the east bank of the Hudson River. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with concentrations in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 12 programs; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on a 150-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College’s mission has expanded across the country, around the world, and to meet broader student needs. The undergraduate program at our main campus in the Hudson River Valley of upstate New York retains a reputation for scholarly excellence, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. 
About The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall ( and the Hollywood Bowl ( The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through May, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.
About Longy School of Music of Bard College
Since its founding in 1915 by renowned oboist Georges Longy, Longy School of Music of Bard College has pioneered groundbreaking, rigorous music education programs through specialized training and immersive community engagement experiences. With a mission to prepare musicians to make a difference in the world, Longy serves 225 graduate and undergraduate students from over 35 states and 25 countries at its Conservatory campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts and its campus in Los Angeles, California that houses the El Sistema inspired Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree program. In the Boston area, Longy’s Sistema Side by Side initiative brings together young people from El Sistema-inspired programs with musicians from the Longy Conservatory Orchestra, an expert faculty of teaching artists, and special guest artists for intensive rehearsals and celebratory performances throughout the year.
Eleanor Davis
This event was last updated on 08-09-2016