June 2, 2021

Trenton Music Makers Students Featured in New Short Film

NEW DOCUMENTARY: Trenton Music Makers will debut a short documentary film, “Freedom: Stories of Innovation, Resiliency, and Connection,” in observance of Juneteenth.

In observance of Juneteenth, Trenton Music Makers will celebrate its resilience and creativity over the past year with the premiere of a short documentary film, Freedom: Stories of Innovation, Resiliency, and Connection, featuring interviews with Trenton Music Makers and their families, orchestral selections, and more. 

The film celebrates the grit that has carried Trenton Music Makers forward during this pandemic year. It will also include the debut of a new music video of Trenton hip hop artist Josue Lora’s composition “Simple,” in a remix featuring the musicians from Trenton Music Makers and dancers of Trenton Education Dance Institute (TEDI).

The documentary, produced by filmmaker Nick Donnoli, will also include the young musicians performing excerpts from Mozart’s Symphony #40 and Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” 

“We have a singular opportunity here to connect our players with exciting musicians from their own city — Josue Lora and DJ Ahmad’s musical gifts are matched by an amazing heart for children. Thanks to the I AM Trenton Community Foundation, this project celebrating our city’s own warmth and resiliency is being supported by our city’s own resources — we are proud and honored,” said Carol Burden, executive director, Trenton Music Makers.  

Trenton Music Makers is a creative youth development organization that empowers young people as teams of musicians, providing an environment of abundant resources and high expectations, and enriching the community through the joyful pursuit of excellence together. Students in pre-kindergarten attend weekly music classes during school, and K-12 students attend afterschool starting with pre-orchestra two days per week and growing to a full five-day program starting in grade 2.

They are part of the global El Sistema movement, begun in Venezuela in the 1970s, which uses music and ensembles as a platform for social development. The organization provides a high-quality instrument and welcome any child to participate, with no audition, and regardless of financial resources.  

The Trenton Education Dance Institute (TEDI) is based on the principles of the National Dance Institute (NDI) founded by late dancer Jacques d’Amboise. The youth-development program was founded in 1989 to teach Trenton public school students the arts and life lessons of dance such as teamwork, confidence, commitment, and pride in personal achievement. These important life skills help students become successful in the classroom and in life. TEDI joined with The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey in 2010.  

To learn more about the premiere, visit trentonmusicmakers.org/juneteenth.