The power of music in difficult times - the biggest lesson for an up and coming children’s orchestra in the Tampa Bay Area.

What You Need To Know

  • Sunstate Orchestral Program based on a similar program in Venezuela

  • Despite pandemic, kids got creative and did their first big recital over the weekend

  • More Good News headlines

The Sunstate Orchestral Program has only been around for a year. 

It’s modeled after El Sistema, a successful music education program in Venezuela. 

“It’s been really difficult but the first thing that came to mind was play and fight on,” said program director Francisco Diaz.

When the world shut down in March due to COVID-19, the group had to get creative by doing lessons and rehearsals on Zoom. 

Students and instructors alike found healing through music in such a difficult time.  

“The solitude wasn’t as hard as it could have been those first three months (with) the instruments, the music, the art,” Diaz said. 

Considering many of the kids were just starting to learn how to play, it was a challenging task but nevertheless they persevered.

All their hard work paid off this weekend during their first big recital – a Christmas concert in front of the students’ loved ones. 

Many of the families are from Venezuela and couldn’t see their loved ones in their home country this year, so the concert was an extra dose of comfort this holiday season. 

“The spiritual development, the emotional growth through music has been fundamental and that’s why the kids continued on,” Diaz said.