La Banda de la Musica
Incredible musical things are taking place in the dusty barrio of Vicente Guerrero, on the outskirts of Oaxaca, Mexico. In 2011, young people facing incredible difficulties, including drugs, violence and poverty, decided they needed an outlet in their daily lives to help them escape this hard reality of life in their barrio. They chose music, formed the Banda de la Musica and, with the help of a local music teacher, set up a music school. Apart from the opportunities and safety this created for young people in Vincente Guerrero, this was a deeply symbolic gesture, as the landfill of Oaxaca lies next to this community: while Oaxaca would bring their garbage to Vincente Guerrero, the young people of the community would give back music. Six years after its formation, and with significant positive results for the young people participating in this musical programme, in 2017 Keys of Change USA decided to support the desire of these young musicians to create something beautiful in the face of all adversity. La Banda de la Musica has now developed into a youth symphony orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil Santa Cecilia, which has become a shining example of how music can improve the lives of children coming from some of the toughest backgrounds.
Starting in 2018, Keys of Change USA has been sending musicians from its network, starting with pianist and Keys of Change founder Panos Karan, to provide musical guidance and inspiration and organise musical activities. These activities will aim to strengthen the self- confidence and personal identities of young people facing an extraordinary situation in life,
and will enable them to grow and face with hope, courage and confidence the challenges of their daily lives. The core of this programme is self-expression and personal improvement through music.