Pope Francis' visit to Kenya (between 25-27 November) has resulted in El Sistema Kenya (ESK) rescheduling their fundraising concert, An Evening of Classical Music, from Thursday 26 November to Monday 30 November at the International School of Kenya (ISK) in Nairobi.
Hosted in collaboration with the Nairobi Orchestra, the performance will include string quartet pieces by Shostakovich, Mozart and Schubert. The concert is a way to raise funds for El Sistema Kenya's programme for hundreds of students at Kawangware Primary School, the organisation's first partner. Every week, ESK trains the children at Kawangware Primary School how to play the violin, viola and cello in an ensemble setting.
Inspired by El Sistema in Venezuela, El Sistema Kenya is a youth music project targeting underserved communities in Kenya's Kawangware informal settlements. Founded in 2014, ESK uses the power of music to change lives. Between January and February 2015, ESK had a total enrollment of 60 young musicians.
Besides the school training, ESK also identifies avenues for the young musicians of Kawangware Primary School to expose their talent. In June, the students were honoured to perform at Hillcrest International School's 50th anniversary concert in Nairobi.
ESK has also identified a number of other schools throughout the country that are interested in their work and are training new local teachers to launch these programmes. The organisation continues to form strategic partnerships in order to enable many young children in Kenyan schools to learn classical music. For example, ESK has partnered with Youth Orchestra of the Americas (YOA) to further their activities in Kenya.
For more information about the upcoming concert, visit ESK’s Facebook page.