BRAVO runs dynamic after-school programs that cultivates teamwork, self-control, and focused attention through intensive orchestral instruction and performances. Explore this section to learn more about our students and the extraordinary staff who support their learning.
The After-school Program
Activities at BRAVO include full orchestra rehearsals, sectionals with a low student-to-teacher ratio, choral singing and solfége training, visits by Guest Artists including regional and international musicians, and frequent performances at venues around Portland.
The In-school Program
BRAVO provides one hour weekly of introductory music to early elementary students in the schools where we operate. At some sites this incorporates Suzuki violin lessons and at others we use a general music curriculum. The In-school Program is operated in close partnership with PPS certified music teachers and school staff. Some benefits are: development of fine motor skills, increased family/school engagement, and establishing a technical foundation for the more intensive After-school Program.
BRAVO repertoire introduces students to a wide variety of music. The repertoire includes arrangements and themes of orchestral masterworks, selections from jazz, tango and other genres, Civil Rights and peace anthems, popular songs, and folk tunes from around the world.
The best way for students to learn about this important body of music is through singing and playing. From the first year, BRAVO students study arrangements of these pieces. As they advance in this graduated program, the arrangements develop in complexity.
Led by Artistic Director Mark Woodward and Winds Program Director Adam Eccleston, Teaching Artists arrange pieces that fit the students’ current abilities and cultivate new skills in a sequential manner. Many pieces are first introduced in choir using solfége. Because of the direct translation to instrumental playing, BRAVO uses solfége with “Fixed Do” and chromatic syllables and Curwen hand signs (popularized by Kodály).
BRAVO offers internships to high school, college, and recently graduated student musicians interested in social change through the arts. Please contact BRAVO for more details.
In addition to the playing in BRAVO, top students have auditioned for and now perform with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and the Pacific Crest Youth Sinfonietta. BRAVO has performed side-by-side with the Oregon Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Portland Youth Philharmonic, the University of Portland Orchestra, and the students of YAMA (the El Sistema-inspired program in Yakima, WA).