About Street Symphony
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About Us

Mission

Street Symphony places social justice at the heart of music making by creating authentic, powerful engagements between professional and emerging artists and communities disenfranchised by homelessness and incarceration in Los Angeles County. Street Symphony operates with the core principle that all people deserve access to a creative and expressive life.

Purpose

The purpose of Street Symphony programs is twofold: (1) to create platforms for historically and presently oppressed communities to find and share their artistic, human voices, and (2) to create the environment for professional and emerging artists to move into vital, powerful roles as agents of cultural change through community engagement.

Organizational History

Founded in 2011, Street Symphony has presented nearly 400 free, world-class musical engagements for severely disenfranchised communities affected by homelessness and incarceration in Los Angeles County.

Comprised of a grassroots community of over 70 world class musicians, Street Symphony ensembles present regular monthly programs at Skid Row shelters and county jails. Since 2015, Street Symphony has presented a yearly performance of The Messiah Project, a nationally acclaimed community performance of excerpts of Handel’s Messiah at The Midnight Mission in Skid Row, featuring stories and performances from people affected by and recovering from homelessness in LA County.

In 2017, supported by a generous grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation, Street Symphony launched the Daniel Chaney Teaching Artist program, pairing professional artists with members of the homeless community in an effort to amplify the voices and artistry of the Skid Row community.

Our Team

Vijay Gupta: Founder and Artistic Director/Violin
Amy Fogerson: Director, Street Symphony Chamber Singers/Mezzo
Reena Esmail: Composer in Residence/Vocalist
Zanaida Robles: Director, The Messiah Project/Conductor and Vocalist
Brandon Bernstein: Director, Street Symphony Jazz Ensemble/Guitar
Jazmín Morales: Coordinator, Street Symphony Mariachi Ensemble/Violin
Mitchell Newman: Violin/Program coordinator, PATH

Dustin Seo: Program Manager/Cello
Emily Lair: Program Liaison
Elise Shope Henry: Project Liaison/Flute
Irene Gregorio: Project Liaison/Piano and Vocal Coach
Jena Vangjel: Project Liaison/Trumpet
Jennifer Shirley: Administrative Assistant
Valerie Bischof: Videographer

Our Musicians

Street Symphony is a grassroots community of artists, activists and educators, dedicated to community engagement through musical performance, dialogue and teaching artistry. Among our roster are professionals from prominent cultural institutions, young emerging musicians from conservatories, and community artists with vital, powerful voices. If you would like to join our musical community, please send a proposal to adminassist (at) streetsymphony (dot) org.

Street Symphony Instrumentalists

Camille Avellano, Michelle Tseng, Mitchell Newman, Anna Gong, Stacy Wetzel,
Lyndon Taylor, Dale Briedenthal, Bing Wang, Niv Ashkenasi, Vijay Gupta, violin
Ariana Solotoff, Ryan Davis, Mick Wetzel, Eric Lea, viola
Dahae Kim, Barry Gold, Vardan Gasparyan, Dustin Seo, cello
David Moore, Ted Botsford, bass
Jena Vangjel, Jim Sherry, trumpet
Nicholas Stoup, timpani
Joanne Pearce Martin, keyboard

Community Fellows

Street Symphony Community Fellows are artists from the Skid Row community of downtown Los Angeles. Fellows receive long-term musical coaching and professional development. Learn more about our Fellows program here.

Christina Collier, Vocalist
Christopher Mack, Guitar
Brian Palmer, Vocalist
Benjamin Shirley, Composer Fellow
Malek Vossough, Violin
Sir Oliver, DJ

Ensembles & Partners

Dyad (Violin and Bassoon)
Mostly Kosher (Klezmer)
Skinny Lips and the Sound Malfunction (Brass ensemble)
Street Symphony Mariachi Ensemble

Street Symphony Chamber Singers

Tamara Bevard, Shelly Fox, Kelci Hahn, Ayana Haviv, Beth Peregrine, Elyse Willis, Karen Hogle Brown, soprano

Amy Fogerson, Sarah Lynch, Alice Kirwan Murray, Leslie Inman Sobol, Ilana Summers, alto

Jody Golightly, Todd Honeycutt, Charlie Kim, Charles Lane, Todd Strange, Jimmy Traum, tenor

David Castillo, Luc Kleiner, Scott Lehmkuhl, Ed Levy, Ben Lin, Brett McDermid, bass

Street Symphony Jazz Band

Brandon Bernstein, guitar and director
Ron Berman, Riner Scivally, Mike Scott, guitar
Ramon Banda, Kendall Kay, Harry McKenzie, Tim Pleasant, drums
Gina Ramirez, Putter Smith, Blake White, bass
David Sills, saxophone
Chuck Manning, tenor saxophone
Pamela Jackson, Jazmin Romero, vocals

Urban Voices Project

The resident community choir of Skid Row, Urban Voices Project is dedicated to bringing the healing power of music directly to individuals disenfranchised by homelessness, mental health issues, and unemployment in the Greater Los Angeles area. Urban Voices Project is currently fiscally supported by Street Symphony.

Board of Directors

Vijay Gupta

Founder/Artistic Director

Adam Crane

Co-Founder
Vice President for External Affairs, New York Philharmonic

Ndindi Kitonga

Dr. Ndindi Kitonga, PhD., Educator, Founder, Angeles Workshop School

Georgia Berkovich

Director of Public Affairs, The Midnight Mission

Advisory Board

Gail Eichenthal, Chief Engagement Officer, Classical KUSC/KDFC
Robert Lynch, President/CEO, Americans for the Arts.
Mitch Newman, Violin/Program coordinator, PATH
Sandra Pressman, Community Advocate
Joshua Roman, Cellist, Composer, and Curator
Craig Watson, Former Director, California Arts Council
Hon. Zev Yaroslavsky, Former Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Dr. Nathaniel Zeisler, Director of Community Engagement, The Colburn School
Karen Zorn, President, Longy School of Music