Since this month, Dutch-Venezuelan teacher Franka Verhagen is the new CEO of the Dream Orchestra.
Maestra Verhagen is a guitarist and music teacher graduated at the Conservatorium Maastricht in the Netherlands. She was the director of the Academic Training Program for Teachers and Directors of El Sistema in Venezuela. She specializes in ear training, analysis, musical style, interpretation and history.
“My challenge as a new CEO of the Dream Orchestra is to achieve more spaces, more teachers, more resources to allow the entry of more children and young people to share with us the desire to excel, mutual trust and love for musical art,” says Verhagen.
Franka Verhagen met the Dream Orchestra, which today has more than 100 students from Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Angola, Sweden, among others, for the first time in June this year. She did a small ear training workshop with the most advanced students in the orchestra.
“When I first met the guys from the Dream Orchestra, I was impressed to see their faces full of expectations, pride and happiness. Both young refugees and Swedes have identified themselves with the activity, which is a sign that this is the path to peace between people and the possibility to achieve true integration for all of those who have had to leave their homes and countries because of wars and misery. When I arrived in Venezuela 33 years ago and started teaching at the Nuclei, music was the language through which I knew how to communicate. Now with young people from all over the world, once again, musical language connects us and allows us to dream of a more just world.”
For the Artistic Director of the Dream Orchestra, Ron Davis Alvarez, having maestra Verhagen in the project that on October 24 will be three years old, is to fulfill one of his dreams: to return to work with who was one of his teachers at the university in Venezuela.
“For me it is an honor to have one of my most important mentors working with me; working on a creation, the Dream Orchestra, which happens thanks to the training I have received from wonderful teachers like her. The Dream Orchestra could not be in better hands,” says Alvarez.
“Since Ron worked with us in the Academic Training Program of El Sistema in Venezuela, when it was still a proposal and dream in 2010, we knew that he is an innate teacher. With his enthusiasm, joy, his desire to move forward, he accompanied us in what had to be done: transmit that same passion for music to other young people. Now 9 years later he has kicked the world and turned out to be a true apostle of El System as Maestro José Antonio Abreu called him. ”
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