The beginning of Dream Orchestra can be traced to two coinciding events in 2015. Event 1, Ron Davis Alvarez came to Sweden to work with El Sistema in Sweden. Event 2, the arrival of nearly 120 000 refugees to Sweden during the few months from August to December 2015. Ron was in the Central Station in Stockholm and saw thousands of refugees arriving by train, and he felt obliged to help them in some way, especially the unaccompanied minors. With his roots in the El Sistema movement in Venezuela, Ron knew that music could help these youths to better health, a new future and grow. Ron visited a home for refugees just south of Gothenburg. And then he went to another home, and so on until he had recruited the first members of Dream Orchestra. The Dream of a Dream Orchestra
Today, more than two years later, Dream Orchestra (DO) has developed with from Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Eritrea, Angola, Iraq, Kurdistan, Palestine, Albania and Sweden. In February of 2017, the DO added classes for small children, as well as starting a young leaders program for young med and women who have progressed to an intermediate level.
The DO is currently run entirely by a voluntary staff made up of students from Gothenburg University’s BA and MA Music programs, youth from other orchestras in Gothenburg, and parents and adults who support the DO students in orchestral training, language practice, homework, as well as navigating the Swedish migration system, building networks, finding housing and host families. The volunteer teachers and mentors are from Sweden, Venezuela, USA, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Canada, Japan, England, Germany and Colombia.
The DO has been nominated as a positive program for social integration in Sweden and has gained national and international attention. It has been visited by international educational teams from Greece, USA, Canada, Portugal, Finland, Denmark, Venezuela, and South Korea, and has performed at a variety of venues .
The DO has a close cooperation with the Bethlehem Church part of Equmenia which as generously and free of charge provided some instruments, and ample space to practice, have concerts, store instruments, office space, plus an important interaction with many members of the church who also help students with integration, as well as the all-important “fika”, a cup of tea or coffee with a sandwich or some sweets, and a friendly chat with friends after rehearsal.
Probably the most important accomplishment of the DO is, as the students themselves say, we are a family and rehearsals are a place where we can find a positive space, to get away from our daily problems and pressures, with our brothers and sisters of the orchestra.
You can know the stories of the DO students through our social networks: