Bakerview Music Academy presents a fundraising concert titled A Mosaic of Culture on April 30.

Bakerview Music Academy hosts fundraising concert

A Mosaic of Culture presented April 30 at Bakerview Church

Bakerview Music Academy presents a fundraising concert, titled A Mosaic of Culture, featuring dance and music from around the world on April 30 at Bakerview Church in Abbotsford.

Bakerview Music Academy began in 2013 inspired by a revolutionary idea from Venezuela. Gang violence and grinding poverty in the 1970s were a daily reality for millions of children in Venezuela.

Where government programs failed, one revolutionary idea caught fire and grew – the El Sistema music program, with its motto “social action for music.”

In the middle of the slums, Jose Abreu gave children violins and cellos and began orchestra rehearsals. El Sistema gained worldwide attention with its amazing youth and children’s orchestras and began the formation of similar programs throughout the world.

The story of El Sistema and personal experience with the power of music to change lives inspired a group of Abbotsford residents to begin their own music program. The Bakerview Music Academy offers free music training for families in need, in an after-school program running two days each week. Students get a nutritious snack and training in violin, cello, piano, choir and musicianship.

The program’s vision of “social change through music” plays out every day as the students learn to work, play and overcome challenges together.

From 25 students in 2013, Bakerview Music Academy now trains nearly 60 young musicians in the main program, and another 15 in the junior program. Parents attest to the significant changes in their children attending, saying that not only has the academy taught them to be positive and focused, and given them confidence to try new things, it is where they come to learn compassion, leadership, commitment, and have developed a deep love of music.

Teachers at the academy feel the same.

“We want to help our youngsters to be lifelong learners,” says cello teacher Elisa Woo, a local retired schoolteacher.

The April 30 concert starts at 3 p.m. at Bakerview Church at 2285 Clearbrook Rd.