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.