SAUDADE from Saint Venice on Vimeo.

A video made by our Clarinetist, Carlos Noain Maura, upon our return that beautifully captures the essence of our project. Music by Sparklehorse.


1. Provide a comprehensive, two-week orchestral training seminar for the students of NEOJIBÀ, including private lessons, master-classes, sectionals, and a side-by-side performance.
2. Facilitate the donation of instruments and equipment.
3. Support charity organizations (IBCM and Pracatum School) in the Salvador community through benefit performances and educational outreach.
4. Present world-class performances.
“Musicians for Salvador” is a group of twelve Juilliard students pursuing a two-week program initiated last year in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. We primarily work with NEOJIBÀ, a program based on the highly successful Venezuelan program ‘El Sistema.’ Begun in 2007, Nucleos Estaduais Oquestras Juvenis y Infantes da Bahia, affectionately called NEOJIBÀ, addresses the economic gap between rich and poor by integrating youth from all socio-economic backgrounds. Through orchestral training, the students develop teamwork, respect, and discipline. The program currently enrolls over 130 students ranging from ages 8 to 24 in a daily routine at the Teatro Castro Alves that includes chamber music, lessons, and orchestra rehearsals. Last year, NEOJIBÀ invited a group of Juilliard students to participate in a teaching project. We work with the students of NEOJIBÀ Monday through Friday in lessons, sectionals, master-classes, and auditions. Ultimately we will stage a joint orchestral performance, playing side-by-side with our NEOJIBÀ students.

Our instrument donation program is expanding this year. Last year we managed to facilitate the donation of several instruments. We have enlisted the support of luthiers and violin shops, who have committed to donating instruments and essential supplies, as well as a woodwind repair expert who recently traveled to Salvador to repair their instruments.

In addition to our collaboration with NEOJIBÀ, we work with the charity organization Children of Bahia, specifically the branch IBCM, located deep in the favelas of Salvador. IBCM is a shelter and clinic for children with HIV/AIDS. We introduced the children of the orphanage to classical music and instruments, and raised R$1870 through benefit concerts. We are currently working to establishing a connection between Children of Bahia and NEOJIBÀ to give the children access to the expressive outlets of music.

Our third objective is to bring outstanding performances to Salvador’s audiences. Last year, this consisted of two major events. The first was an educational performance for children held in Salvador’s largest concert hall, Teatro Castro Alves, in which we collaborated with OSBA, the professional orchestra of Bahia. The second was an exchange performance at the Pracatum School, an institute founded by Brazilian pop-artist Carlinhos Brown that has transformed the favela Candeal Pequeno through instruction in percussion, piano, voice, composition. The event served to broaden the musical community by expanding the knowledge of our respective musical cultures. In 2010, we plan to diversify and expand upon our existing performance series to stage numerous concerts in educational settings, including local schools and potentially a televised broadcast.


In Salvador, Brazil, NEOJIBA (Nucleos Estaduais Oquestras Juvenis y Infantes da Bahia) is a government-funded orchestral training program that provides high-caliber music education to children and young people from all socio-economic classes. NEOJIBA is unique in its effective function of social integration in that they actively include students from every socio-economic class, with students from the favelas, or low-income areas, and beyond. NEOJIBA was developed in collaboration with FESNOJIV (Fundación Del State for El Sistema Nacional de las Juveniles Orchestras of Venezuela), a Venezuelan system implemented 34 years ago, that holds worldwide acclaim today as one of the most successful examples of the power of musical training to both transform a community through music-making of the highest caliber.

Lead and organized by pianist and conductor, NEOJIBA was established with the patronage of the Cultural Affairs department of the State Government of Bahia. The first ensemble of NEOJIBA, comprised of 85 musicians, was created in July 2007, and in September of that year gave their first performance in the Teatro Castro Alves, the largest theatre of Salvador. Subsequently, in November 2007, with the addition of new members, the “Mirim group” was established for younger players, forming a junior orchestra called the Orchestra Castro Alves (OCA). The members of the NEOJIBA orchestra, who have previous musical training, act as mentors for the younger players. The students of the program contribute to social development, as they learn responsibility, teamwork, respect and discipline.

ABOUT: Children of Bahia

In our research and preparation for this trip, we have learned of the heartbreaking quality of life for many Brazilians. The country of Brazil is afflicted with devastating social problems caused by an enormous economic gap between rich and poor. The majority of the population lives by a level of poverty unfamiliar to most Americans. The average family household subsists on a monthly income of less than $200. Public services are on the verge of collapse. Low-income patients are regularly left to die in public hospital emergency rooms due to a shortage of doctors. The public school system is poorly funded, and only a small percentage of students graduate.

In the city Salvador, most of the population live in “favelas,” communities of shacks built on vacant land on the outskirts of major cities. Such communities often lack basic services that we take for granted, such as electricity, running water, and plumbing. Unemployment and crime are especially pervasive within favelas and throughout most major Brazilian cities. Homeless children roam the streets begging and pick-pocketing, while more seasoned criminals regularly engage in car-jacking, armed-robbery, and kidnapping. Crime in Brazil has become increasingly violent in the last decade.

Such unfortunate living conditions have taken an especially grim toll on children. Some sources estimate that there are up to 8 million street children in Brazil, who have been abandoned by their families, mainly for reasons of poverty, AIDS, drugs or violence. Once abandoned, they must resort to desperate means of subsistence, such as begging, theft, prostitution, or drug dealing. Drug abuse is common, particularly glue sniffing, as the children need a distraction from their reality; however, this has a tragic, downward spiral effect on their health, causing life-long health problems and draining their already scarce resources.

The charity organization "Children of Bahia" is committed to providing basic necessities to impoverished youth, through shelter, food, medical care, education, and the simple attention that they deserve and need. "Children of Bahia" also helps mothers and families to improve sanitation, nutrition, and healthcare, especially those with living with HIV/AIDs. Instuicao Beneficente Conceicao Macedo (IBCM), a faction of Children of Bahia, is a home located deep in the favelas of Salvador. They are a shelter that provides residence, schooling and medication specifically for homeless children and mothers living with HIV/AIDs.

During our stay in Brazil,we worked with Children of Bahia, specifically the local branch IBCM, a home for children with HIV/AIDS, introducing the children to classical music and our instruments, as well as raising R$1870 through benefit concerts. We are currently working on establishing a connection between Children of Bahia and Neojiba, so these children may one day find a musical outlet for expression.

Instrument Donation

Because of the relatively young nature of the Neojiba program, they have limited resources and are in great need of instruments and equipment. In addition to our cultural outreach efforts, we hope to provide the students with these supplies.

If you would like to donate instruments or supplies such as bow hair, strings or rosin, please contact us to make arrangements. Thank you!