When Music and Cultural Heritage Combine, You Get INTEMPO

In a sun-filled church in Stamford, Connecticut, a small group of young students sit with their musical instruments. Among them are many instruments you'd expect to see in a classroom—like violins and guitars—and also several that you may have never seen before, like the South American Charango and a Caribbean steel drum. That would give you your first hint that you're not looking at a standard music class. This is an INTEMPO class.


INTEMPO is a Stamford, CT-based non-profit arts organization that teaches students in a few nearby towns not only musicianship, but also multicultural awareness and pride in their diverse backgrounds. Part of that is accomplished by including native instruments like the Charango and the steel drum.

Founded in 2011 by violinist and educator Angelica Durrell, INTEMPO envisions a new word of musical opportunity and engagement among people of all ages. In this new world, the audience at a performance can see themselves reflected in the musicians and hear their heritage celebrated in the songs being performed.

"Cultural identity creates a sense of security and empowerment. So we really focus on that with our kids, parents, and partners," says Angelica, talking about INTEMPO.

She hopes that INTEMPO will help make classical music of all kinds relevant to a variety of communities. The organization brings together students from 30 different schools in Norwalk CT, Stamford CT, and Port Chester NY, who can participate in lessons centered on instruments or even in INTEMPO's multi-language choir.

"I'm a violinist by training.. but had it never been for the moment that I identified there was a huge gap missing in my community and that I could do so much more for these kids and families... this would have never happened," Angelica recalls of when she made the switch from musician to educator and organizer.

Angelica attended Norwalk High School in Norwalk, graduating in 2007. She participated in orchestra, the Norwalk Youth Symphony, and the Chamber Music Institute for Young Musicians in Stamford, where she has been a faculty member for the last four summers. And music runs in her family:

"I am a sixth-generation musician from Ecuador on my mom's side, and a fourth-generation musician on my adoptive father's side."

Through the music scene in Norwalk, and specifically the Youth Symphony, Angelica met Dr. Lisa Pento, a long-serving member of the Youth Symphony's Board of Directors who was for 3 years the Chairwoman of the Board. Lisa spearheaded a number of initiatives during her tenure at NYS, including rebranding of the organization, altruistic campaigns, and international tours. Given their overlapping interests, it's no wonder that Angelica and Lisa decided to work together. The two formed a partnership between the NYS and INTEMPO, and Lisa joined INTEMPO's Board of Directors in 2012.

Since its founding, INTEMPO has expanded far beyond its initial partnerships. It reaches more than 120 students today, and comprises 5 different programming areas:

• Native Instrument Academy
• Annual Gala and Fundraiser Concert
• International Women's Day Concert
• INTEMPO Ensemble
• International Composition Partnership

Through these 5 offerings, INTEMPO is changing the landscape of music and boosting confidence in the kids and families involved!

If you'd like to learn more about INTEMPO, visit their website.

This HooplaHa original video was produced by Dani Guitelman, shot by Johnny Perez, and edited by Matt Binetti. To see more inspiring videos, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

Using Music and Art to Build Friendships on the Border

In a small, brightly decorated building only a stone's throw from the border wall between Mexico and the USA, 50 to 100 children a week come to do hands-on art projects, learn a musical instrument, or just socialize with others. In this special place, Director Gretchen Baer's mission is to show kids that anything is possible if you think creatively, no matter who you are or where you came from.

Nonprofit Studio Mariposa is a free transformative art center for kids in Naco, Mexico, along the Arizona border. For the past three years, kids come to the small studio once a week where Gretchen and her volunteers set up art projects and music lessons. The art projects include painting, making bracelets, mosaics and weaving on a loom.

Keep reading... Show less

All Autistic Wedding Spreads Love, Awareness & Hope

Dr. Stephen Shore is ordained to perform weddings. He is also on the autism spectrum. It was with special honor that he was asked to officiate at the wedding ceremony for Abraham Nielsen and Anita Lesko who are both also on the spectrum. For Dr. Shore, the event was important for the significance of "seeing that a couple with Autism can fall in love and get married just like everyone else".

Keep reading... Show less

A Special Place For A Slice and A Beer

When it comes to participating in the work force, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are often pushed off into a slow lane of repetitive, dull jobs that underestimate their abilities and don't address their needs for meaningful work. When Special Ed Teacher Tiffany Exeter moved to Denver, Colorado, she understood what the IDD community was looking for and tackled the challenge by opening two fun and cool special needs accessible businesses.

Keep reading... Show less

Comedians Prove Laughter is the Best Medicine

This could be one of our favorite "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" stories…. literally.

Back in 1999, Saranne Rothberg, a New York City actor, received a cancer diagnosis and began a difficult regimen of therapy. Rather than being dragged down by sadness, Saranne tapped into the healing powers of humor. Once she began feeling better, she realized it could work for others, too, and the idea for Comedy Cures was born.

Keep reading... Show less

Everyday Heroes Deliver Delight - The Hero In You (S1:E1)

Welcome to The Hero In You – the all-new series from OnlyGood.tv that will inspire, touch your heart, and show you that you can be a Hero too! Hosted by Marysol Castro, The Hero In You highlights individuals and organizations that prove that with a little heart and soul, anything is possible. Sometimes a helping hand or a sympathetic ear are the only super powers you'll ever need.

Keep reading... Show less
www.youtube.com

Ziggy The Pig Is A One Of A Kind, Unique Pet

"Living with a pig is crazy," says Jay Yontz. Jay and his girlfriend Kristin Hartness are pet-parents to a friendly pig named Ziggy—and there are plenty of crazy things about this little family's story!

Keep reading... Show less

The Creation Of Us (S2:E1) – Meet Christen and Heather

Christen Samuels and Heather Fazzino both grew up in strong, opinionated, Italian families. Old school. Traditional. This made things a bit more strenuous for these women on their road to becoming a couple. In this first episode of the new season of The Creation Of Us, Christen and Heather share the stories of how they grew up, the people around them who were major influences, and the key moments each experienced that made them realize they were different.

Keep reading... Show less

This Women-Run Gourmet Catering Company Trains Refugee Women in Cooking and Service

The global refugee crisis is ever-present in the news these days, but the United States has received displaced peoples from all over the world for a long time now. The catering company we'll tell you about today found in this crisis the inspiration for its mission: to train and employ refugee women who are eager to establish new, fulfilling lives in their new homes.

Keep reading... Show less
Watch and Subscribe
It's a Positivity Movement
OnlyGood TV on YouTube

mailbox

Get your Only Good TV Newsletter