This weekend, the annual Philadelphia Film Festival kicks off and we learned that students attending a local parochial school will be featured in one of the festival premieres.
Ilene Miller of Play On, Philly!, a tuition-free after school music program that has been operating for a few years at the St. Francis de Sales School near 47th and Springfield, sent us some more details about the film and the West Philly kids featured in it:
“Play On, Philly! (POP), the innovative tuition-free after school music program in communities with little access to music education, was founded in 2011 at St. Francis de Sales School. The program, as well as two students, will be featured in the premiere of Crescendo! The Power of Music, at the Philadelphia Film Festival on October 20 and 25 (see a trailer here).
Filmmakers Jamie Bernstein (daughter of famed conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein) and Elizabeth Kling have been following Play On, Philly! at St. Francis de Sales since day one for their documentary about kids participating in two youth orchestra programs – POP and the Harmony Program in Harlem.
You will be truly moved at the experiences of students Raven and Zebadiah – their struggles, heartbreak and joy – as they discover themselves through the mysterious power of music in the Play On, Philly! program.
Raven is a violin natural with a rambunctious spirit. Quiet, quirky Zebadiah overcomes his shyness and gains confidence through the viola.
Zebadiah is now in 11h grade at Central High School. He returns to St. Francis every week to mentor younger students as a POP Ambassador… Raven, now in 9th grade at String Theory Charter School, studies with a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra, plays in Philadelphia Sinfonia and Musicopia String Orchestra, and wants to be a professional violinist.”
Crescendo! The Power of Music will be shown on October 20 at 3:00 p.m. at The Ritz Bourse Theater and again on October 25 at 3:15 p.m. at The Prince Music Theater (including a performance by POP students and a discussion with Jamie Bernstein).
For tickets visit www.filmadelphia.org/tickets or call 267-607-3385.
(Photos by Steven Krull/Play On, Philly!)