THE GIFT OF MUSIC, THE GIFT OF COMMUNITY

El Sistema Aeolian is part of a global movement designed to offer free universal access to an intensive collaborative music program.

There are millions of participants in over 80 countries and the program has spread across Canada quickly. Canadian Provincial and National Associations are forming. Our local program offers five days of instruction to our participants including orchestra, choir and piano lessons. Meals and snacks are also provided. Our participants give approximately 10-20 concerts per year in various settings.

Our Mission

Giving Music to Everyone

The arts enlighten, inspire and transform individuals, helping us build strong, healthy and vibrant communities. El Sistema Aeolian provides an opportunity for children, youth and their communities to experience a free, intensive, innovative and accessible after school music program. We provide expert instruction in a nurturing, safe and inclusive environment allowing participants to develop their full social and musical potential.

Our Vision

A world Filled with Music

We see a world in which all children and youth experience the joy and inspiration of music. The skills they will learn are transferable and include social engagement, inclusiveness, leadership, pursuit of excellence and creative learning styles. These skills and pathways will open new horizons and alternative pathways for these young people. It will assist them to achieve their full potential and enrich our communities.

History of El Sistema Aeolian

El Sistema Aeolian is a free, intensive after-school music program based on a program founded in Venezuela in 1975. Each El Sistema program is free to adapt its delivery in a way that is unique to its community, resources and participants. The initiative has grown to include programs in over 80 countries and has won TED, UNESCO and Glenn Gould Awards.

The Aeolian Hall Musical Arts Association launched El Sistema Aeolian in November of 2011, serving 20 children in the pilot project. In its early days youth from the Old East Village Community and in particular Lorne Avenue Public School were first offered the opportunity to participate in this program but it has now expanded to include participants from different areas, groups, and organizations throughout our City of London. There are now 100 spots offered in the program for the 2017-2018 school year.

The Aeolian’s El Sistema is the 4th launched in Canada, is supported by a gifted group of musicians, educators, students, interested community members and the Staff/Directors of the Aeolian and it is built on a set of values and principles and not a homogenized curriculum. On April 2015 The Mayor of the City of London gave El Sistema Aeolian a Pillar Award in recognition for its outstanding community impact.

  • 3 String Orchestras (Beginner, Intermediate, Senior) as well as full orchestra including strings, brass, percussion, organ and piano
  • 2 Choirs (Junior, Senior) as well as the full festival choir
  • Entry level instruction for new students in strings, winds and brass
  • winds, brass, percussion & piano instruction
  • Each participant attends a minimum of three days per week
  • Instruments are provided to participants to use while they are in the program
  • Daily meals provided
  • Collaboration with seasoned professionals and el sistema patrons
  • Over twenty performances per year on stage and in public spaces
  • Workshops: Brassroots, Tafelmusik, Rebelheart Collective, A Few Good Men Choir, Ashley MacIsaac, Grammy Winner Matt Alber, London Pro Musica Choir
  • classes and concerts held at the cronyn education campus
  • 400+ Hours of volunteer and training opportunities for youth ages 12 to 26 years of age
  • Leadership and teaching staff are highly trained professionals with University Degrees in music and education. Executive Director has attended several El Sistema Conferences, including “Re-framing El Sistema” Conference in Baltimore and Positive Education Conference

Clark Bryan

Executive Director, Founder and Program Developer

Clark has had a long career as a music teacher and performer. He has given workshops and adjudicated music festivals coast to coast in Canada. He has also developed curriculum for two National Conservatories and written a book to help students become better learners entitled “Gateways to Learning and Memory”. Clark has a passion for helping young people reach their full potential in life and is dedicated to finding new ways to help them flourish. Launching the El Sistema Aeolian program was a natural outcome of Clark’s desire to give opportunities to all children and youth to enjoy music and find meaning in the journey.

John Wiebe

Coordinator, El Sistema Aeolian
Instructor, Senior Strings (Ionians) and Orchestra Conductor

John is thrilled to be part of the musical fabric in London, remaining in the city after undertaking graduate work at Western University. He performs frequently around Southwestern Ontario, maintains a private teaching studio, and has also enjoyed working with many of London’s young string players from various organization. Drawing on his experiences, he seeks to inspire the next generation of musicians at El Sistema Aeolian.

SARAH Wiebe

Instructor, Intermediate & Beginner Strings (Lydian & Dorian)

Violinist, Sarah Wiebe is a member of London Symphonia and has also played with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Victoria Symphony, and the Stratford Festival Orchestra. She served as concertmaster of the Windsor Community Orchestra and also played with the Ontario Festival Symphony Orchestra for their China tour. Much of her orchestral training took place when she was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and then an apprentice with the National Academy Orchestra. She has recorded on Juno-nominated CDs with both the National Youth Orchestra and the children’s group, Splash’N Boots.

When not performing she is an active teacher, instructing both piano and violin at all levels. She holds a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from the University of Western Ontario and also completed the practical portion of an ARCT in piano performance. She is excited to be joining the ESA teaching team this year!

Jeff Komar

Instructor, Junior & Beginner Strings (Phrygian & Dorian)

Jeffrey Komar holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University, where he studies viola performance. He has performed professionally as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Southern Ontario and Eastern Canada. Jeff joined the teaching faculty of El Sistema Aeolian in January of 2016, and has since overseen the entry-level string ensembles, as well as the Junior Choir. A passionate music educator, Jeff is also also teaches at the Forest City String School, and he has given Masterclasses in chamber music at the Young Artists Pre-College Academy at Western University. In his spare time, he enjoys drinking coffee, cooking, and listening to podcasts.

Sonya Nanos

Instructor, Cello

Canadian cellist Sonya Nanos charms audiences with her impassioned, imaginative playing. She has been featured in the Walleye and Chronicle Journal and broadcast nationally on CBC Radio. She has recorded Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and the complete symphonies of Brahms for Analekta and
StudiOF, an album of Canadian works with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and Gryphon Trio (JUNO nominated 2019), and she can be heard as a soloist with the Lynn Philharmonia playing Paul Reale’s string orchestra music.

As an active chamber musician and recitalist, Sonya has performed around the world, including concerts in Loja and Vilcabamba, Ecuador, the Melbourne Conservatorium in Australia, Suk Hall and Dvořák Hall in Prague, and the Lumina and Consortium Aurora Borealis series in Thunder Bay.

After several years with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Sonya is happy to return home to southwestern Ontario as a member of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared with the Orlando Philharmonic, Orchestra London (now London Symphonia), Orchestre de la Francophonie and the National Academy Orchestra. She has also performed as a backing musician with touring orchestras for Michael Buble and Andrea Bocelli.

Bruce Hoadley

Instructor, Winds & Brass and Orchestra Conductor

Proud to join our teaching staff in 2017, Bruce Hoadley brings to El Sistema Aeolian a diverse wealth of musical experience.  Bruce has been a professional trombonist with the Victoria Symphony and Hamilton Philharmonic, as well as a music educator with over thirty years of experience in all levels from K to 12.  Through the years, Bruce has conducted numerous award winning concert bands & jazz ensembles, and has been a music conference clinician in both the USA & Canada.Bruce is excited to be a part of the development of full orchestra opportunities for the wonderful students of El Sistema Aeolian.

kelly bylica

Conductor, Senior Choir; Co-Conductor, Festival Choir

Kelly Bylica is a PhD candidate in music education at Western University in London, Ontario. Prior to moving to London, she was a general and choral music educator in Chicago, IL. Kelly is an active researcher and presenter on music curriculum, experiential learning, and critical pedagogy. She also holds degrees from Valparaiso University, Indiana (B.M.E. Music Education, Humanities) and Northwestern University, Illinois (M.M. in Music Education with honors, choral concentration).

Morgan kuepfer

Conductor, Junior Choir; Co-Conductor, Festival Choir

Morgan is currently in her final year at Western University where she is studying Music Education and French Studies. Before attending University, Morgan both sang and accompanied for her high school’s choir and embarked on various performance tours across Europe. From there, Morgan’s passion for music and teaching began to flourish. She went on to teach English in the Dominican Republic, participated in a culturally relevant teaching project through Western’s Music Education department, and founded the faculty’s first ever Choir Council which become a student chapter of Choral Canada in Spring 2019. She has also been the recipient of two notable choral conducting awards during her time at university. As an aspiring educator, Morgan enjoys seeking out new ways to stay connected with the community and is excited to be part of El Sistema team year!

ballerina liang

Piano Accompanist

I am currently 15 years old, in 10th grade studying at Central High school. I started playing piano when I was 4 years old and have been studying with Clark since 2015. I have passed the piano grade 10 RCM examination and participated in the Kiwanis Music Festival previous years. In addition, I will also be playing a piano Mozart Concerto as a soloist with the London Youth Symphony in February. In 2015, I also started playing violin and am currently studying with Mel Martin. As for my musical interests, I really enjoy romantic music and composers like Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven. I care for El Sistema because I think it is a wonderful program that gives the opportunity for everyone to learn, discover and enjoy classical music. I hope to learn from the others and gain some experience in playing and teaching.

December 11, 2011 Interview with Clark Bryan

November 30, 2013 performing on the Gamelan

November 27, 2014

March 9, 2016

October 26, 2016 (Accompanying with Strings two-time Grammy Winner, Matt Alber)

December 16, 2016 rehearsal

March 9, 2017

Apply to El Sistema Aeolian

 

If you are a new applicant, click HERE

Returning applicants click HERE

“I saw how my son grew socially, emotionally and spiritually through the music.”
El Sistema Parent

Rent The Aeolian

The Aeolian is a beautiful, unique, award-winning location to host your event.

While particularly renowned for its acoustic/live music presentations, the Aeolian is a versatile facility and can host all sorts of events from weddings and parties to conferences and fundraisers.

Give to Culture

Explore the arts. Support your community. Discover yourself.

The Aeolian relies heavily upon a strong base of community support that benefits many projects and events. All contributions, whether small or large, make a huge difference and will help sustain The Aeolian Musical Arts Association’s mission and future.