Maestro Abreu came to Barquisimeto in 1976, a year after forming the first orchestra in Caracas and proposed to the kids in the Conservatorio Vicente Emilio Sojo to begin a youth orchestra. The beginning group in that orchestra include Alfredo D´Addona, Luis Giménez (artistic director), and Tarcisio Barreto (director).
Originally the conservatory had agreed to borrow their building to rehearse. Kids were being admitted into the orchestra without technical level or theoretical knowledge to perform the pieces. This was contrary to the teaching in conservatory, this pedagogical discrepancy led the youth orchestra to find another home. The orchestra wondered around sites through the city *the even played at Alfredo D´Adonna´s house (current general director of the Fundación Orquesta Sindónica Juvenil e Infantil del Estado Lara). The conservatory apparently did not have that many students so it was then annexed to what is now FESNOJIV.
The board did not constitute of musicians, so there were difficulties for non-musicians to understand the needs from musicians. That changed pretty quickly after the conservatory transitioned to FESNOJIV. Alfonso mentioned the difficulties and the challenge Maestro Abreu gave to them - they were to be musicians and managers. They had to learn on the fly, Maestro Abreu served as an advisor as well as a mentor.
Originally the program did not start as a social rescue, but out of the need to create a space for Venezuela musicians to feel like they belonged. Before FESNOJIV there was only one national orchestra which was founded largely with foreigners (over 90%).
What happens to kids who want to become professional musicians, but are not at the level to be able to play professionally?
Its a hard question to answer because we don't exclude anyone from the orchestra, yet the kids themselves realize where they are going. There are some exceptions, for example the bassoonist from the Simon Boliva is a surgeon and plays in the orchestra. Kids learn how to excel in this program, to reach their human potential. The goal is not to train professional musicians. However, many of the students from the nucleo continue teaching or become administrators in the nucleos.
The kids in the juvenil in Barquisimeto have the challenge to accept everyone, that includes peers with less skill. That is something that has to be instilled and taught to them. The young players will get a better level playing with those that are better than them. The paradigm of orchestras begin formed by the best is destroyed by E.S. - it breaks the paradigm that there are limitations for the musicians.
¨oportunidades para todos por igual¨
¨E.S. grew out of young people, the most advantageous musicians were the ones that would teach new musicians. In the beginning you don't need amazing musicians, just people that believe in the project.¨
¨We believe in what we do¨
¨Maestro Abreu cannot do this alone, and he is amazing at finding leaders. Leaders emerge and people chose to follow - appointed leaders will achieve less.¨