Children of Liberty City learning a different tune

Inauguration for first phase of the new Children’s Orchestra

Ashley Montgomery | 2/6/2014, 9 a.m.
Students of the inner-city are now playing a new kind of tune thanks to the efforts from the Miami Music ...
David L. Wilson, president of DLW Enterprise and Miami Music Project board of trustee member greeting guest before they entered the auditorium to watch ESMIA Leaders Ensemble and ESMIA Youth String Quintet perform.

Students of the inner-city are now playing a new kind of tune thanks to the efforts from the Miami Music Project; Miami Children’s Initiative [MCI] and the The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 

El Sistema Miami [ESMIA] Liberty City Chapter’s children’s orchestra held an inauguration program at Charles R. Drew K-8 Center where nearly hundreds of guests arrived to show their gracious support. Children as young as five used musical instruments that were provided through the program to perform live audiences.

Miami Music Project is a local, non-profit arts and social development organization founded by world-renowned conductor James Judd in 2008 to use music as an instrument for empowering children to acquire values and achieve their full potential, affecting their society through study and performance of music. 

MCI is a nonprofit organization focuses on changing Liberty City into a prosperous Please turn to CHILDREN 5C


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community modeled after the nationally known Harlem Children’s Zone. Alongside the aforementioned is the Knight Foundation, which supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts.  

Nicole Henry, award-winning international jazz recording artist, hosted the inauguration and made everyone feel welcomed with her light-hearted jokes. 

The objective was clear throughout the night: to use the power of music education where it may not be prevalent to give children an opportunity to learn and play an instrument regardless of their socioeconomic background. 

Commissioner Audrey Edmonson took to the podium and quoted artist Georgia O’Keeffe, “to create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.” Edmonson went on to explain how proud she was to be a part of anything that MCI is doing throughout the community. 

“We are excited, inspired and humbled to reactivate the young minds to the arts and starting with experience in the first and second grade, right here at Charles R Drew,” Commissioner Edmonson said. 

The orchestra’s of Doral and Little Haiti’s string quintet performed several selections for the audience to show the parents of Liberty City what it is that Miami Music Project, MCI and the Knight Foundation are planning to bring into the Liberty City community. 

James Judd, Founding Artistic Director of Miami Music Project, was thrilled to be bringing in his new project into Liberty City that he says took four years to make happen. 

“In order to have Miami benefit from this possibility we grew into Little Haiti and Doral and we are now going to grow into this fantastic community here — this has been a personal dream of mine, that we could get young people here to enjoy music,” Judd said. 

Tangela Axson, a proud parent of seven year old, Treasure Axson says this program truly makes a difference for the community as a whole. 

“This program is important to me and my child because it will give her the opportunity to experience something she has never been exposed to,” Tangela said. “She is a straight A and B student. She deserves this.”