We ended 2020 with two successful, physically distanced, and COVID-19 friendly concerts at the Newberg Friends Center for our After School Orchestras. Both concerts were streamed over Zoom and members of the community and family from afar tuned in to watch our Beginning and Intermediate orchestras perform music we had been preparing over the course of six weeks. Both groups had learned their music in those six weeks in both online and in-person platforms, and it was so much fun and kept us on our toes!

Below, I’ve included unlisted YouTube links to those performances for your viewing.

In November, our In-School violin students were able to take home materials to engage with learning violin online! Edwards Kindergarteners each got to take home their box violin kits and First Graders were able to sign up to take home a JOY-owned violin to engage with violin activities as part of their music class. Thank you to both Edwards Elementary and Ace Hardware for partially donating supplies to create the box violin kits, including paint sticks, scissors, printer and construction paper, and glue sticks.

As we look ahead to the new year, JOY has the following goals:

  • Digging deeper into our El Sistema roots. As an ESUSA member organization, we have concrete plans that all JOY staff attend monthly El Sistema meetings that cover a variety of topics: from equity in the classroom, to public school partnerships, and to collaborating with other Chief Executives in El Sistema programs. We also have four people from JOY and the Yamhill Enrichment Society (YES) registered for their annual Symposium and Seminario which will run from February 15-19th online. We are so excited to continue to grow in our understanding of what it means to “walk the walk” of accessibility and equity for all our students and their families.

  • Greater community outreach and support. With the COVID-19 vaccine beginning to roll out and with the start of the school year behind us, JOY is re-launching our parent group and has plans for more intentionally supporting parents and families in our community going through health problems, job transitions, or other difficulties. In this, we hope to use the resources we have to the best of our ability to lift others up.

  • Planning for JOY Project expansion. This calendar year will largely be spent doing projects and applying for large grants to allow for the addition of two JOY orchestra sites by Fall 2022. Based on the successes of our program at Edwards since it was started in 2017, we are excited to continue expanding access to high quality music programs in our county! We are also planning to add a third orchestra for our Edwards After-School program for the fall, which will then mean we will serve students in grades K-4.

As you can see, we are entering a chapter of growth at JOY and it means that this year will be full of hard work. Yet, the light that is the support of our families and the schools, have made this possible for us to keep going all of these years. Without them, we would not be here and wouldn’t be contemplating further growth in the coming two years.

As always, dear friend of JOY, thank you for your support of our project! If you are curious about what we do with JOY, please visit our website below to read more. We appreciate your ongoing support of our programs!