ALEXANDRIA, VA-Monday afternoon, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announced that ASO Trustee Linda Bunce will lead El Sistema USA‘s (ESUSA) Board of Directors. Bunce assumed her new role on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021 for a three-year term.
According to the alliance’s website, “ESUSA’s diverse membership across the United States represents [music education] programs that serve some of the most vulnerable communities and children throughout the country. We aim to provide connections to knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership development for program directors, teaching artists, students, and volunteers.”
Bunce was recruited for the new position because of her integral work in launching Sympatico, the El Sistema-based music program for grade school children underwritten by the ASO. When Sympatico started Bunce and her late husband, Elliott, provided funding. It now serves serves more than 150 Alexandria City Public Schools students.
“It’s been a privilege to watch Sympatico grow and see the impact that a music program has on children’s lives academically and socially,” she said.
The program started at John Adams Elementary School in 2013 with just a few ensembles. It expanded to Patrick Henry Elementary School in the fall of 2019. The pilot program at Patrick Henry proved successful, and Sympatico is currently recognized as one of the most culturally diverse music programs in the U.S.
Bunce has served on the ASO’s Board of Trustees since 2001 and will continue serving in that capacity.
“The combination of Linda’s passion for the El Sistema model of music education and her experience with ASO Sympatico will make her a strong addition to the [ESUSA] board,” said Melynda Wilcox, ASO Board President..