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El Sistema Residency

King Music Residency: Building and Connecting Communities Through Music

King is excited to host its sixth annual El Sistema Residency, in which talented musicians from King’s Middle and Upper Schools collaborate in intensive music workshops with visiting students of various El Sistema USA programs, including Stamford’s own Project Music.  The overarching focus of the residency is to inspire a connection between communities of different socioeconomic backgrounds, using the music ensemble as the vehicle through which to inspire deeper communication.

Educational Objectives:

  • Demonstrate music’s reflection of cultural identity through study and performance of a variety of styles.
  • Use the music ensemble as a model society in which an atmosphere of competition is replaced by a collective desire to achieve a common goal.
  • Teach students to fuse music from varied styles and cultures into new compositions and unique concerts.


  • TBD in 2021

Musical Themes:

Integrating Technology & Culture 

This year we are excited to have Dr. Armand Hall as our guest conductor.  Dr. Hall is passionate about how communities interact with music and other sounds from their cultural and community environments, and how that is reflected in the music they listen to and create. Dr. Hall promotes performing large ensemble music that integrates technology and culture into traditional ensemble instrumentation and performance practices. For this residency, Dr. Hall will bring music from new composers who blend digital, environmental, and traditional compositional devices into their works to deepen the connection between performers and audience.

El Sistema

Collective Composition

Collective Composition is an opportunity for people to come together and creatively explore and express their stories, ideas and emotions through music. Collective Composition emphasizes the creation and performance of music as a process that all people can access, and offers shared experiences through which individuals, communities, and culture may strengthen and expand. Led by Dan Trahey, Artistic Director of the Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKids, students will use themes inspired by the mash-up concept to create their own original compositions. 

Community Performance: Combining, mixing, and blending

Armand Hall: Guest Conductor 

Dr. Armand Hall is the Executive and Artist Director of the ROCmusic Collaborative. ROCmusic offers free instrumental music instruction to children of Rochester, New York in neighborhood community centers.  Dr. Hall came to ROCmusic from the University of Memphis, where he was Associate Director of Bands and Coordinator of Instrumental Music Education. Dr. Hall has taught, adjudicated, and been a clinician at the middle school and high school levels, in addition to collegiate teaching, and actively works as a teaching artist in El Sistema-inspired community music programs around the country.  Dr. Hall serves on the board of directors of El Sistema USA. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music education from the University of Michigan, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in wind conducting from Michigan State University.

Armand Hall


Dan Trahey: Director of Collective Composition

Dan Trahey is a musician, educator, and innovator. He was instrumental in the creation of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids, where he currently serves as Artistic Liaison. Dan also founded the El Sistema-inspired program Tuned In at the Peabody Conservatory, where he teaches creative composition and community engagement. As tuba player with the Archipelago Project he travels the world promoting cross-genre performances and has performed for hundreds of thousands of children, specifically targeting impoverished areas with little access to live performance. He has held orchestral positions in Mexico and the United States. Trahey is part of the composition troupe Creative Connections that works to bring communities together through collective and creative composition. Dan has been featured in countless publications including 60 Minutes, PBS, NPR, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. He recently gave a TED talk at TEDx Baltimore, and was named the “Most Valuable Player in the Arts” by Baltimore Magazine.

Dan Trahey