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Category Archives: BRAVO Profiles

Student Profile: Symone

Photo by Rich Kolbell

Symone is a 10 year old flute player in the 5th grade at Cesar Chavez School, and this is her first year in BRAVO. She likes playing her flute and wants to learn the clarinet as well. She memorizes all her music. “It’s fun hangng out with other people. It makes me happy. I really love being here.” She finds playing music calms her down as well. She practices her flute at home, often with her mother, also a flute player and a volunteer at BRAVO Cesar Chavez. Symone admits that sometimes she plays her flute when she should be doing her schoolwork.

“I love playing the flute.  it gives me something to do. I’m not bored…..My flute is counting on me.  I take care of it. Its name is Hope….BRAVO makes me feel more confident. brave, and I’m having fun.”

When she grows up, Symone hopes to be a model or to be a doctor, because she likes to help people.  She expects to be playing her flute, too.

Symone’s mother is Monica Myers. Monica says of her daughter: “I’ve never seen her so passionate about anything as she is about BRAVO. She has a new sense of pride. She has two siblings but distinguishes herself by being the only kid in the family to play the flute. She never needs prompting to practice, and she loves playing. She may be interested in playing music professionally. “

Monica hasn’t played her flute since college, but is enjoying playing duets with her daughter, and coming in to Cesar Chavez to give the other beginning flute players a little one-on-one time. She says, “BRAVO is the most amazing program I’ve ever seen.  Adam Eccleston [Program Director of BRAVO Cesar Chavez] is a fascinating  and incredible teacher and has great rapport with the kids.”

“We are blessed to be a part of this program.”

Profile by Bonnie Reagan


Student Profile: Jasper

  Jasper is in his first year of BRAVO, playing clarinet at Cesar Chavez School. He is 8 years old and in 3rd grade. He is very happy to be learning how to read music and to play an instrument. His mom used to play the accordion and his great grandpa played violin. He is… Continue Reading

Student Profile: Esmeralda

  Her hands move like dancers, seamlessly forming the hand symbols for DO RE MI, the singing language the Rosa Parks Elementary School BRAVO students learn for reading music. The language is called solfége, and Esmeralda started learning it as an eight year old in third grade, in BRAVO’s very first class. With the music… Continue Reading

Partner Profile: Sgt. Jim, the Piano-playing Policeman

Sgt. Jim Quackenbush has a number of prominent tattoos, which is probably unusual for a police officer.  Even more unusual is what those tattoos are: he proudly wears composer Frederic Chopin on one forearm and Ludwig van Beethoven on the other. A second generation public servant, Jim is also a highly trained classical pianist. He has performed… Continue Reading

Board profile: Bonnie Reagan

  Most of our BRAVO family knows Dr. Bonnie Reagan as the co-founder and board president of BRAVO Youth Orchestras.  You might not know that she was recognized as the Oregon Family Doctor of the Year in 2010.  You almost certainly don’t know that Bonnie is also the new board president of El Sistema USA, the… Continue Reading

Family Profile: Michelle and Veronica

Michelle joined BRAVO Rosa Parks as a second grader in 2014. A year later, her mother Veronica joined our staff as the Family Coordinator. We were delighted that mother and daughter spent so much time together during BRAVO’s third year. We’re sad to see Veronica move on this year, but she’s staying here in our community… Continue Reading

Student Profile: Yvonne

  Yvonne just finished 5th grade at Cesar Chavez School, where she has studied flute at BRAVO for the past year. Yvonne is the youngest in a large family and if you’re trying to find her in a crowd, just look for the cat ears she likes to wear every day.  Here’s a testimonial she wrote and shared… Continue Reading

Student Profile: Sapphire

Sapphire just finished 5th grade at Rosa Parks School, and she has studied violin at BRAVO for the past two years along with her younger sister Naima. In addition to her musical abilities, Sapphire is an excellent writer and public speaker. She wrote the following testimony herself and shared it with a large crowd at… Continue Reading