Category Archives: BRAVO Profiles

Student profile: Solomon

portrait by Rich Kolbell


There are several things Solomon likes about being in the BRAVO program:

“You get to play an instrument; you get to play concerts; you get to play music you never heard of.”  He plays cello as it is the closest thing to playing the instrument he really wants to play: the double bass. His sisters Sapphire and Naima play violin in BRAVO.  His parents like to sing.

Solomon is a 4th grader at Rosa Parks now in his second year with BRAVO, playing in the Brahms String Orchestra.

He likes all kinds of music, especially classical, R and B, hip hop. He played violin first, then switched to cello. The bass is in his future: “I like the bass because it’s so big and it goes deep.”

When he grows up he wants to be a musician, a DJ, and an athlete.  He plays basketball, and admires the basketball player from Cameroon, Joel Embiid.

When asked how he thought we could improve BRAVO, Solomon was quite forthright: “We could have more choices. We should offer more instruments at each school, like having flute at Rosa Parks. What if someone here wants to be in BRAVO and wants to play the flute?”

Currently, Clarendon Early Education Center is the only site we have that has both strings and winds.  We haven’t -yet-been able to fulfill Solomon’s dream of having winds offered at Rosa Parks but we are thrilled that he is thinking so constructively about how to make BRAVO better. Thank you, Solomon. And next for you, the bass.

profile by Bonnie Reagan

portrait by Rich Kolbell

Student Profile: Ta’Raey

Ta’ Raey is a 9 year-old 4th grader in his first year playing trumpet at BRAVO.  He sat comfortably in the Cesar Chavez BRAVO office and greeted me with “ We both have afros.”  I am used to putting others at ease, and this comment about us having something in common was unexpected and a…

Student Profile: Eric

  Eric is an 8th grade trombonist at Cesar Chavez, finishing his fourth year in the D’Rivera Wind Ensemble. “At first BRAVO was just something to keep busy, to do something. Now it’s a passion.” Eric loves all kinds of music and is glad that his BRAVO teachers introduce him to such a wide range…

Student Profile: Camelliah

  Camelliah is a 7th grade cellist at George Middle School, now in her 6th year at BRAVO. Cami is one of the original students in our first string orchestra at Rosa Parks School.  She started  BRAVO as a 2nd grader in the fall of 2013.  She was very shy at first, and now, after…

Student Profile: Amirah

Amirah is an 8th grader at George Middle School finishing her 5th year in BRAVO. She plays viola in the Esperanza Spalding Strings and in the BRAVO Community Orchestra. One of Amirah’s highlights this year was auditioning for and making the wait list for the YOLA National youth orchestra. “What I like best about being…

Student profile: Aisea

  An 8th grader at Cesar Chavez School, Aisea is finishing his third year as a trumpeter in the D’Rivera Wind Ensemble, and he’s had quite a year. He was wait listed for YOLA National (national youth orchestra for students in El Sistema-inspired programs), he took second place in shot put at the Meet of…

Student Profile: Emory

  Emory is a 5th grader at Cesar Chavez School, now finishing her third year in BRAVO. She always wanted to play an instrument, especially the flute, which her aunt played. She wants to have music in her life, as she grew up with it in her home. Her favorite music is Chopin, Queen and…

Student Profile: Alessandro

Alessandro is a 5th grader at Sitton Elementary in his first year at BRAVO’s newest after-school program.  “I like being in BRAVO.  Both my mom and I are excited about it. I am not interested in playing sports. I tried violin, and I liked it but chose cello to try something different. I am also…

Student Profile: Lauren

Lauren is a 5th grader at Rosa Parks School, now in her fourth year as a BRAVO violinist.  She is from a very musical family and finds that her involvement with BRAVO has made her appreciate it much more. She has learned a a lot about different kinds of music, especially likes jazz and also…

BRAVO student profile: Joshua

  “I learned about BRAVO in first grade. No one can stop me; I’m gonna go.” So starts this conversation with 8 year old Joshua, a third grader at Cesar Chavez School. He is a flutist in his first year with BRAVO. He is from a musical family; one sister plays flute, another electric bass…