New music program in store for Vail Valley kids |

New music program in store for Vail Valley kids

Lauren Glendenning
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyThe Vail Valley Foundation's First Notes program, which introdcues music to second graders, will begin at Avon Elementary School this fall.

VAIL, Colorado – The Vail Valley community will get a sneak preview of one of the Vail Valley Foundation’s newest educational initiatives on Tuesday – a select group of 10 to 14-year-old El Sistema students from Miami will perform at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater before the Vail International Dance Festival’s “Dance For $20.09” performance.

The foundation’s initiative will involve introducing music to second graders by putting instruments in their hands as part of a pilot after-school program, based on the El Sistema model and dubbed “First Notes.”

First Notes is slated to initially be introduced into Avon Elementary School in the fall of 2009, with a goal of serving 150 students.

“The entire community has seen the success of the Celebrate the Beat program that the dance festival helped to introduce and now we have taken on an additional initiative that will have a dramatic impact on our children’s lives,” said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation.

The five Miami-based El Sistema students will entertain the audience with violin and cello music prior to the Dance Festival show, as well as at intermission. There will also be a community introduction of the program for Avon Elementary School parents on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

El Sistema, which has been featured on CBS 60 Minutes, has produced extraordinary results during the last 30 years in Latin America and other parts of the world, particularly with children in economically challenged neighborhoods.

Jose Antonio Abreu, El Sistema’s creator, has proven how the learning process of music in children not only enriches their spiritual and emotional experiences, but also accelerates their learning capacity in other subjects at school.

The Miami El Sistema program is run in conjunction with the Miami Symphony Orchestra and provides opportunities for children throughout the Miami-Dade region.

Tickets for the Tuesday Dance for the $20.09 performance at the Ford Amphitheater are $20.09 for reserved pavilion seating and $9 for general admission lawn seating.

Tickets for all performances of the 2009 Vail International Dance Festival are available at, or by phone at either 970-845-TIXS (8497) or 888-920-ARTS (2787).

The First Notes program and the 2009 Vail International Dance Festival are projects of the Vail Valley Foundation. For more information about the Festival, visit For more information on the Foundation, visit

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