Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s Trustee Joins El Sistema – USA Board

Posted Jan 11, 2021 | ASO News, Press Releases, 

Alexandria, VA— The Alexandria Symphony Orchestra proudly announces Trustee Linda Bunce has joined the Board of Directors for El Sistema – USA, the national alliance of El Sistema programs.

Effective January 1, 2021 Linda will serve on the Board of Directors for a three-year term, supporting the activities of the national alliance that provides resources, training and collaborative opportunities to the more than 80 El Sistema-based program operating in the United States. Linda will continue to serve as Trustee on the ASO board, where she has served in various leadership roles since 2001.

Mrs. Bunce was recruited for her integral work in launching Sympatico, the El Sistema-based program underwritten by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. Linda and her late husband, Elliott, were inspired by Baltimore Symphony’s OrchKids and Soundscapes in Newport News. With symphony staff and OrchKids’ Director Daniel Trahey as consultant, they crafted an innovative program that now serves more than 150 students at John Adams Elementary and Patrick Henry K-8 in the Alexandria City Public Schools. Mr. and Mrs. Bunce provided crucial financial support when the program was newly established.

“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,” says Bunce.

Sympatico launched at John Adams Elementary School in 2013 with a handful of ensembles, growing to its current six ensembles and serving more than 10% of the student body. The program recently expanded to Patrick Henry K-8 in fall 2019 as a pilot program with two ensembles. Sympatico is recognized as one the most culturally diverse programs in the country, with the schools representing more than 40 languages and 100 ethnicities among the participants. El Sistema, which started in Venezuela in the 1970s, has inspired more than 300 independent programs in 50 countries.

Besides helping to launch Sympatico, Linda worked on Capitol Hill for 26 years and is an experienced fundraiser, having worked as Development Director for Lynn House. She continues to play a lead role in advocating and fundraising in the community for the ASO, ensuring Sympatico thrives.

“El Sistema is about social change through sharing, creating, and instructing music,” says Bunce. “I hope to contribute my experience and work with other leaders of El Sistema programs to learn how we can further this worldwide movement.”

“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 El Sistema – USA board,” adds ASO Board President Melynda Wilcox.