The El Paso Symphony Orchestra’s Tocando Music Project is an after-school program that currently provides music learning and performance opportunities to students in elementary through middle school. Students enjoy weekly classes, bi-monthly visits to the El Paso Museum of Art, UTEP Career Days, out-of-town overnight trips to week-long Summer Music Camps, and tickets to each EPSO Classical Concert for themselves and their families. Students perform concerts at their home schools as well as various venues throughout the community and city including the Plaza and Chavez Theaters. Students are invited to participate in the El Paso Symphony Youth Orchestra under full scholarships.
Tocando Music Project launched in September 2013 at Hart Elementary in downtown El Paso. In 2017, the Feeder School Initiative, Tocando has expanded to Guillen Middle School. Tocando now has students from 3 schools in Bowie High School’s feeder pattern: Hart and Aoy Elementary and Guillen Middle School and in the Young Women’s Academy .
Tocando's mission is to empower children in challenging social and economic conditions to improve their sense of community and opportunity. Music is used as a vehicle for children to acquire valuable tools of teamwork, self-confidence, leadership, and academic success.
Tocando is supported through the PlayUSA initiative of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute and a generous grant from the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund, a program of the League of American Orchestras made possible by funding from the Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation.
TOCANDO EXPANDS TO TORNILLO: The El Paso Symphony is pleased to announce that it will expand its After-School Music Project, Tocando, to Tornillo Elementary School as an in-class and after-school program in January 2020 providing free instruments, music instruction and performance opportunities. Tornillo is an impoverished rural community 40 miles east of El Paso which gained national attention during the migrant crisis earlier in 2019. Although, that migrant population has been dispersed throughout the United States, Tornillo remains predominantly populated by resettled immigrants from Mexico. It is this population that will benefit from the Tocando program, which will be restructured as a during-school-day and after-school program to accommodate the students’ needs. “Children here are in so much need, and we want to be able to create something better for them. For many of our students, this music education program is a lifeline” says Rosy Vega-Barrio, Superintendent, Tornillo Independent School District.
Tocando in Tornillo is supported by The NAMM Foundation’s Believe in Music Fund under its new initiative “Music Education at the Border" that seeks to support students, their families and schools with music education opportunities. The NAMM Foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs; more information is available at www.nammfoundation.org.
In addition, Tocando in Tornillo is supported by The Bernstein Family Foundation, El Sistema Greece, the Bonnie and Peter Reagan Fund and many donors through the Go Fund Me page Bring Music to the Children on the US/MEXICO Border.
Anyone interested in becoming involved with this program should contact the EPSO office at (915) 532-3776 for more information.