Learn about our work, our impact, and how to get involved in supporting the mission of BRAVO Youth Orchestras.

April 2024 Newsletter

Greetings from our Executive Director Hello BRAVO family. It’s hard to believe that it has already been one month since I joined the team as Executive Director. I’m beyond happy to be here. I have admired the work BRAVO has done for many, many years as I was fortunate to collaborate with BRAVO when I was with YMA: Young Musicians & Artists. Each summer BRAVO sent some simply astounding students to YMA’s summer music camp, and we felt so fortunate to welcome them and hear them perform. In the last month, I have taken the time to get to know all of the BRAVO team to hear their dreams and desires for the organization. What I also heard was just how special it is to them to show up to work every day knowing that they get to share music with North Portland youth. I am simply honored to work with such a dedicated group. We have some big things in store for BRAVO that we’ll be working on this summer. Until then, I hope to see you at one of the events we have coming up. I also welcome you to reach out to me directly with any questions,

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Program Spotlight: BRAVO Elementary Choir

In BRAVO Elementary Choir class students learn proper vocal techniques such as good breathing, blending, pitch, and harmony. Students explore and sing different genres of music. In addition to learning musical skills students, receive social/emotional support and have a safe space to be themselves, learn the value of teamwork, kindness, collaboration, respect, diversity, and discipline. In December, after our return from the strike hiatus, we wasted no time and dove straight back into our music to prepare for both our December Showcase and our momentous Bravo 10th Anniversary March performance. With just one week to spare for our Showcase, we eagerly worked extremely hard by rekindling the students’ muscle memory and recalling what they had learned so far. Despite the month-long break, they performed really well, leaving me as the teacher thrilled to witness their engagement and focus. We have expanded our repertoire by incorporating new music that includes foreign languages, soulful melodies, and movement/dance arrangements. This is super exciting and the students seem to like it as well. In January and February, it has been great to have consistent class time rehearsing with the choir students. Though we did lose time due to the ice storm, when we got

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BRAVO Winter Concert Round-up

Though our fall programming was shortened due to the PPS strike, we had our James John/Chavez Winds and Brass Showcase at James John on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023 and the Intermediate/Advanced Orchestra concert on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023 as a part of the BRAVO Community Orchestra concert. We want to give a huge shout out to our teaching staff, Heidi, Claudine, Alexis, Daniel, Marian, Sara, Alexandra, Ryan and Kahli, for their OUTSTANDING work with our students. We had two stages full of excited students who displayed so much joy and confidence as they were playing together and soloing  –  and our parents and community members came out in a great way to support the students!

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Program Spotlight: BRAVO Head Start

Bravo Head Start is Expanding! Beginning February 8, 2024, Bravo’s Head Start programming will be expanding to Sitton Head Start in North Portland. Music lessons will be provided to students once a week through the end of the school year. This will be our second Head Start programming initiative, following Clarendon Head Start. Bravo’s Head Start music lessons are based on methods such as Orff and Suzuki early childhood learning. Students learn the basics of music concepts like rhythm and pitch with the help of voice, drums, xylophones, and more. Traditionally, Bravo has aimed to serve students that traditionally haven’t had access to music lessons, and expanding within the Head Start world aligns with this goal. Happy New Year, and we are looking forward to more music in 2024!

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Catalyst Quartet visits BRAVO

Chamber Music Northwest’s 2023 Artists-in-Residence, Catalyst Quartet visited our George Middle School program on November 29 for a workshop and performance! Quartet members spent time working with our students in sectional rehearsals providing individual and instrument specific instruction. The quartet then gave a short performance and did a Q&A session with thoughtful, funny, and practical advice on how to continue to incorporate music into your life whether you are wanting to have a career in music or not! One student said, “We really enjoyed working closely with professional musicians.” While another added, “It’s really cool that they have won a Grammy!” A huge thank you to Chamber Music Northwest for providing this opportunity!

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