Study at NEC

Instructor, The Music Settlement Cleveland
Violinist, The Cleveland Orchestra
Cleveland, Ohio

A tenured violinist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Isabel founded two El Sistema-inspired programs in Cleveland, El Sistema@Rainey and El Sistema@University Circle.

The Rainey Institute is dedicated to positive change for Greater Cleveland’s youth and families through education and participation in the visual and performing arts. Rainey students learn to be leaders and positive role models, and to be prepared to be “on stage” at all times, enabling them to succeed in school and life. El Sistema@Rainey, modeled after El Sistema in Venezuela, provides underserved children the opportunity to learn music and to play in orchestras. The program emphasizes community-based orchestra training from a young age, with a focus on making music fun, and inspiring young musicians with a passion for music and for life. As of 2014, El Sistema@Rainey served 55 students for 10 hours per week, and employed 5 teachers.

Isabel also founded El Sistema@University Circle with David Malek ’10 in 2013. In its inaugural year, El Sistema@University Circle served 35 students for 10 hours per week, employing 5 teachers and enjoying the support of local high school and college volunteers, as well as volunteers from The Cleveland Orchestra. In 2014, El Sistema@University Circle’s students and key faculty, including Isabel, transitioned to The Music Settlement, an organization serving the same neighborhood. At this historic community music school founded in 1913, students study privately, in chamber music groups and in orchestra, allowing for full access to a traditional and integrated music education experience in a larger school community.

Photo: Roger Mastroianni