Study at NEC

Director of Orchestras and Education, Washington Heights and Inwood Music Project
Washington Heights, New York

Andrea Profili began her musical studies in guitar and violin at the age of six at the Escuela Juvenil de Música de Panamá. She studied violin with Horacio Bustamante, and continued her violin studies in the US with Sarah Johnson at Converse College and orchestral conducting with Sarah Ioannides, Greg Lindalhl and Siegwart Reichwald. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and a Masters of Music Education. 

After completing the Sistema Fellows Program, Andrea moved to New York City to start the Washington Heights-Inwood (WHIN) Music Project, an El Sistema-inspired nonprofit organization where she is currently director of orchestras and education. Under her guidance WHIN has launched the Orchestrating Mentors Program, to provide work experiences to young adults by providing training in teaching and conducting and employing them in the program. 

Her interest in expanding collaborations has led her to work as a teaching artist and conductor in other núcleos in New York City, such as Opportunity Music Project, Upbeat NYC and Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Andrea is the director of the American Youth Orchestra, collaborative orchestra launched in 2015 as a partnership between Opportunity Music Project, WHIN Music Project and the United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights. It currently has three levels: children’s orchestra, youth orchestra, and camerata.

WHIN offers a holistic approach to education through programming initiatives for individuals, groups, and the community. Our classes are influenced by El Sistema, Suzuki, Gordon Music Learning Theory, Montessori Education, and the program is adjusted to the needs of the people with whom we work in order to develop the whole child. 

WHIN invests in its youngest teachers through the Orchestrating Mentors program, which provides opportunities for young adults to develop their leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills through teaching, conducting, and internship opportunities. Real work experiences improve these students’ long-term job prospects and bridge the social and economic divides present in our society. Four students, ages 18-24, are currently employed.

Photo: Steve Singer