El Sistema Strings Instrument Students

El Sistema Somerville After School Music Program

El Sistema dismissal time is from 5:20 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the ESCS Cafeteria door. Please be sure to email Evan and Claudia if you wish to dismiss your student prior to 5:20 p.m. Full attendance for the duration of each music lesson ensures that each student will be fully prepared and confident at each concert. Thank you for your attention to this.

2024-2025 Registration Information

Please send all registration forms via email to:

No registration forms via standard mail will be accepted.

Apply for a Scholarship   

To apply for scholarship, please provide the following documentation along with the registration form:

  1. Proof of income for one month (make photocopies of pay stubs from all parents/guardians or provide a notarized letter if paid in cash)
  2. First two pages of your 2022 tax return
  3. Photo ID of all parents/guardians in the household
  4. Birth certificate for every child in the household

For questions regarding registration for El Sistema Somerville, please contact:

El Sistema Somerville
East Somerville Community School
50 Cross St.
Somerville, MA 02145
617-625-6600 x3716


Evan Perry: Director
Claudia Serna: Administrative Assistant
Violin Teaching Artist: Katianna Nardone 
Violin Teaching Artist: Victoria Pan
Violin Teaching Artist: Rachel Rosier
Cello Teaching Artist: Margaret Madsen
Cello Teaching Artist: Rosalyn Taylor
Bass Teaching Artist: Aaron Buede
Bass Teaching Artist: Darren Sacks
Woodwind Teaching Artist: Iseliana Mendez



What is El Sistema?

El Sistema Somerville is a daily afterschool music program that provides ensemble-based music instruction to SPS elementary and middle grades students, grades 3–8. The program offers intensive study on strings, winds, and brass instruments through orchestral rehearsals, sectionals, musicianship and technique classes, chamber music, and private lessons. Students play violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, and trombone. Students also receive a daily nutritious snack, academic support, recess time, cultural enrichment activities, field trips, and frequent opportunities to perform for the community. The program meets Mondays-Fridays from 2:30-5:30 p.m. at the East Somerville Community School. Thanks to the Massachusetts Cultural Council for their generous support of the El Sistema Somerville program.

Mission Statement

At El Sistema Somerville, it is our mission to empower all students to become confident, engaged learners through rigorous, daily instruction in music ensembles and to provide the community with equitable access to musical excellence.

Five Core Values

Teamwork: In music ensembles, all musicians maintain the same goal - to make beautiful music as a team.

Commitment: Students will strive toward and achieve success by participating and engaging fully in all ensembles and persevering even when things get tough. 

Respect: Students will demonstrate care and appreciation for their peers, teachers, instruments, and materials.

Communication: Students will develop their ability to express their thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a calm and confident manner.

Empathy: Students will enhance their capabilities of being sensitive to how their actions can affect others, celebrating with others during joyful times, or comforting others during challenging times.

Program Objectives

  • Provide Access to Music Education
  • Empower Students through Music Performances
  • Support Character Development and Social Skills Building
  • Develop Community Engagement
  • Nurture the Whole Child

El Sistema roots

Venezuela's national youth orchestra program, known as El Sistema, inspired our program. Founded in 1975 by Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu, an economist and composer, El Sistema is recognized around the globe for providing intense, rigorous musical education that positively alters the life trajectories of many underserved students. Watch Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu explain equitable access to high-quality music education in his Ted Talk.