7, 2016, 11:16 AM
updated: Friday, October 7, 2016, 11:19 AM
of acclaimed Simon Bolivar symphony give Paterson students a Carnegie
of the Simon Bolivar orchestra with children from the Community
Charter School of Paterson.
– Eleven-year old Ajaylah Wright of Paterson sat mesmerized as she
watched world class musicians perfect the sound she has come to
aspiring violin player was among a group of students and parents from
the Community Charter School of Paterson who attended a special
performance on Wednesday by five members of the acclaimed Simon
Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.
was amazing because I got to see people who play instruments like
me,” said Ajaylah, a sixth grader who plays the violin in her
symphony members performed at the charter school on the night before
they would play at the opening night gala at New York City’s
Carnegie Hall. The Paterson show was arranged through Zamira Briceno,
a music teacher at the charter school, who knows one of the Simon
Bolivar violinists from her home country of Venezuela.
are pleased that you are interested in hearing us play,” said
27-year-old Luis Navarro, a violinist in the symphony orchestra,
speaking with the aid of a Spanish translator. “We are happy
about what you are doing in music at your school.”
quintet that performed at the charter school played the violin,
viola, cello, and contrabass. Navarro was clad informally in jeans, a
stocking cap, and a Guns N’ Roses t-shirt. He and the rest of the
orchestra had traveled from Venezuela to the New York area on
addition to Thursday’s opening night at Carnegie Hall, the
orchestra also was scheduled to play at the iconic Manhattan venue on
Friday and Saturday.
five musicians Simon Bolivar members - Navarro, Ana Virginia
Gonzales, Fabiana Alvarez, Monica Frias, and Nathaly Algindi - said
they had performed at the prestigious concert hall four other times.
Simon Bolivar symphony is a product of the renowned El Sistema music
education program in Venezuela, which happens to be the inspiration
for the Paterson Music Project orchestra, which is sponsored by the
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts.
program now includes 250 students in grades 1 through 8 at three
Paterson locations, according to Shanna Lin, associate program
director for the Paterson Music Project.
Project participants Nikayla and Nikole Guzman were at the Simon
came tonight because I wanted to hear my teacher’s friends play,”
said nine-year old Nikayla said. “Today I already practiced.
We had orchestra practice and then I practiced on my own.”
sister recalled their own performance a while back at the New Jersey
Performing Arts Center in Newark for an audience of hundreds of
people. “I was in the front row,” Nikole said. “I was kind of
nervous but it went well.”
sisters agreed that someday they would like to travel the world and
the Simon Bolivar musicians’ performance, they answered questioned
from the students. One question asked Algindi about the different
ways she played the contrabass.
play with my bow which was made in Germany,” Algindi replied.
“I also pluck the strings with my fingers, which is called
student asked about the different countries in which the orchestra
had played. The symphony members responded with a list that included
Greece, Germany, France, Columbia, England, China, Sweden,
Switzerland, Japan, and Brazil. The musicians said they tour
the world three times yearly. The rest of their time is spent
practicing for concerts and performing in Venezuela.
Ajaylah Wright found the evening inspiring. “I want to continue
practicing the violin and playing in my school orchestra and lessons
more than ever after tonight,” she said.