About Us

The World Ensemble


The World Ensemble is the only publication that connects the worldwide El Sistema-inspired movement. Beginning with quarterly issues in 2016, the WE is now delivered electronically and frequently, with a comprehensive website, electronic newsletter, and active social media reach.

The world’s El Sistema-inspired movement now includes over 380 separate programs in over 65 countries, with almost one million participating young people. Since it began two years ago, The World Ensemble has carried over 20 feature articles on topics with a global perspective (all topics that had never been addressed before), editorials, resources, and over 120 short news articles from programs around the world. The WE has built regional communications networks through Associate Editors in five world regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America) whose mission is not only to report the latest news, but also to build collegial connections among isolated programs that have (in most regions) little or no contact with one another.

Inspired by the example of El Sistema in Venezuela, founded in 1975, these intensive youth orchestra programs, predominantly for young people in economically-struggling and socially-stressed communities, have proliferated around the world in the last decade. Each program develops its own pedagogy and curriculum, aligned with a set of common principles — El Sistema is not a franchise, but a collective inquiry into the personal and social development of youth through investment in ensemble music-making.

The WE is the sister publication of The Ensemble, a monthly newsletter founded six years ago to cover the El Sistema-inspired movement in the U.S. and Canada. The World Ensemble has published over 70 feature articles (each a first of its kind for the field), an equal number of articles describing a program feature or perspective that will help and inspire other programs, and over 400 news items and useful resources.

The World Ensemble was founded by Editor Tricia Tunstall and Publisher Eric Booth, and is now led by Managing Editor Graciela Briceno and Social Media Editor Rachel Roberts. The WE also has Associate Editors across the globe who share news and expand readership. The WE welcomes submissions of news items from everywhere to share with its thousands of subscribers.

Meet Our Team

Graciela Briceno, Managing Editor

Graciela Briceno is the Founder and Executive Director of Josiah Quincy Orchestra Program, an El Sistema program in Boston, Massachusetts. Since 2011, JQOP has served Boston Public School students with quality and affordable, daily music education. As a graduate of the Sistema Fellows Program at New England Conservatory, Graciela has trained teachers for El Sistema programs worldwide, including Ghetto Classics in Nairobi and Sistemang Pilipino in Cebu. As a violist, she has performed with orchestras in the U.S., U.K., and Kenya. Graciela holds Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from Boston University and also currently works as an elementary general music teacher for Boston Public Schools.

Tricia Tunstall, Executive Editor

Tricia Tunstall is the co-author, with Eric Booth, of Playing For Their Lives: The Global El Sistema Movement For Social Change Through Music (W.W. Norton, September 2016).  Also the author of Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema, and the Transformative Power of Music and Note By Note: A Celebration of the Piano Lesson, Tunstall is a leading advocate for the seminal importance of music and arts education in children’s development. With Eric Booth, she is the co-founder and editor of The Ensemble and The World Ensemble, newsletters for the North American and global Sistema communities.  A graduate of Yale, Columbia University, and Boston University, she is a lifelong music educator and writer, she maintains a piano studio in the New York area.

Eric Booth, Publisher

In 2015 Eric Booth was given the nation’s highest award in arts education, and was named one of the 50 most important people in the arts in the U.S.  He began as a Broadway actor, and became a businessman (his company became the largest of its kind in the U.S. in 7 years), and author of six books, the most recent is Playing for Their Lives, co-written with Tricia Tunstall, about the worldwide El Sistema movement.  He has been on the faculty of Juilliard (12 years), Tanglewood (5 years), The Kennedy Center (20 years), and Lincoln Center Education. He serves as a consultant for many arts organizations (including seven of the ten largest U.S. orchestras), cities, states and businesses around the U.S. A frequent keynote speaker, he founded the International Teaching Artist Conferences and works with El Sistema-inspired programs around the world. 

Rachel Roberts, Social Media Editor

Rachel Roberts has navigated both the non-profit performing arts and higher education sectors, having held unique positions in both that focus on organizational development. Appointed as Founder & Director of New England Conservatory’s (NEC) Entrepreneurial Musicianship department in 2009, Rachel was charged with designing and leading a major new initiative that equips young musicians with key extra-musical skills to support their artistic careers. Prior to joining NEC, Rachel served as the first Director of Strategic Planning Engagement for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), working on organization-wide strategic and governance objectives. Rachel holds a Masters Degree in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from the Eastman School of Music.

World Ensemble Associate Editors

Gracie Briceno, Associate Editor-at-Large

Latin America

Rebecca Levi

Rebecca Levi, a graduate of the Abreu Fellows Program and Yale University, co-founded El Sistema at Conservatory Lab in Boston. She has spent the last several years teaching in La Red in Medellín, Colombia, and is currently pursuing her MFA in Poetry at Boston University.

Armando Torres Chibras

Isabella Abreu

Asia / Oceania

Ros Giffney

Lucy Rash


Karis Crawford

Karis Crawford is a music educator and violinist who lived for 9 years in East Africa where she founded El Sistema Kenya. She has a MMus from Boston University and is currently living in Berlin where she is researching how to develop an El Sistema inspired project in Germany.

Danielle Williams

Danielle Williams is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, conductor, and educator. After graduating from the Harvard Graduate School of Education Arts in Education program, Danielle moved to Palestine where she now conducts orchestras and teaches music lessons at the Al Kamandjati Music School.


Maria Majno

Maria Majno is Vice-president of Sistema Europe and head of SONG onlus – Sistema Lombardia in Italy. She graduated from the Conservatoire and the State University in Milan, and has over thirty years of experience in the management of extensive projects in the fields of artistic directorship, development of children with special needs, and music education.

Etienne Abelin

Mina Fenercioglu

Mina Fenercioglu (PhD) is a musicologist with a sociology background and research assistant at Istanbul University State Conservatory Musicology Department. She is an advocate of El Sistema movement, has finished her PhD studies with a thesis about El Sistema and Turkey.

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