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Alexandria Symphony Program Expands to Patrick Henry K-8 School

Fifth grader Eddy Paz is a member of the Fiddle Factory ensemble. (File photo)

Alexandria, VA—The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) will expand its ASO Sympatico program to Patrick Henry K-8 School beginning in September.

The music education program will offer two ASO Sympatico ensembles daily, Monday through Thursday for students after school. This will include a choral ensemble with Orff instruments for grades 3 through 8 and a mixed strings, winds and percussion ensemble for students in grades 4 through 8.

“We are very excited about bringing this experience to Patrick Henry. As a school that values education through arts and music programming, this is the perfect fit for our community. We are looking forward to seeing our students flourish even more this school year through access to this opportunity,” said Patrick Henry Principal Ingrid Bynum.


The program is offered at no change to participating students or families and has no prerequisite for enrolling. Afternoon bus transportation will be provided for Sympatico participants. All costs associated with the program are underwritten by the nonprofit Alexandria Symphony Orchestra.

“Sympatico is the beating heart of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s commitment to change lives in our community through music. It is more than an educational initiative; it is a way of life for our organization…one that is as vital to our existence as it is to the young lives of those who participate,” said ASO Music Director Jim Ross.

ASO first introduced ASO Sympatico at John Adams Elementary School five years ago. Approximately 130 students now participate there in six different ensembles before and after school. (File photo)

ASO Sympatico is modeled after El Sistema, a global movement of social change through music for children with the fewest resources and the greatest need, which began in Venezuela more than 30 years ago. Sympatico uses intensive music instruction and frequent performance opportunities as a vehicle for increasing academic performance, improving school attendance, and fostering important life skills. ASO Sympatico is a member of El Sistema USA, a national alliance of El Sistema-inspired programs.

ASO Sympatico’s expansion to Patrick Henry K-8 School was made possible by the generous financial support of Classical Movements, Paul M. Angell Foundation, D’Addario Foundation, and numerous individuals. Programs at the school will be led by David Evans and Fred Montgomery.

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