Union City Music Project
716 23rd St.
Union City, NJ 07087
ContactMs. Melina A. Garcia
For the expansion of the UCMP's El Sistema after-school orchestral music education program for at-risk children throughout Hudson County, NJ.
Union City Music Project (UCMP) is a bilingual educational organization that uses music as a vehicle for social change for at-risk children in Hudson County, NJ by providing access to long-term after school orchestral/vocal instruction and performance opportunities. Through an immersive, cooperative, and fun-filled learning environment that integrates parental involvement, our pre-K-7th-grade programming inspires academic excellence, enhances life skills, and builds community. UCMP accomplishes these goals through our 34-week After School Program, Summer Day Camp, and year-round activities such as Concert Field Trips, Parent Workshops, Visiting Artists Program, Student Mentors, and regular NYC-area performances of the UCMP Children's Orchestra and Chorus.
Modeled after El Sistema (the globally-successful children's music education initiative), Union City Music Project was founded in October 2011 in Union City as New Jersey's first El Sistema-inspired after school music program for underserved urban children. (In Union City, 50% of children are foreign born, 84% are Latino, and 21% live below the poverty line.) In Spring 2012, UCMP began its first 12-week After School Program at Union City, NJ's Eugenio Maria de Hostos Center for Early Childhood Education (ECC), offering our "Paper Orchestra" training to 50 3-to-6-year-old preschoolers and kindergartners.
During the 2012-2013 school year, UCMP continued at the ECC with 67 pre-K, kindergarten, and 1st grade children learning choral singing and graduating to violin, cello, bells, and percussion. For the 2013-2014 scholastic year, UCMP moved its After School Program to Union City's Robert Waters Elementary School, where 65 pre-K, kindergarten, and 1st to 4th graders continued training in violin, cello, percussion, and chorus and began flute and clarinet. To allow more Hudson County children to participate in our After School Program, UCMP relocated in Fall 2014 to the Park Theatre Performing Arts Center (Union City, NJ), where 65 students from Pre-K to 6th grade learned violin, cello, double bass, percussion and bells, flute and clarinet. Children under 18 make up 131,293 or 21% of Hudson County's densely populated urban centers; between more than 50% of these children are foreign born (42% Latino), and 22% live below the poverty line.
UCMP's Executive Director and Founder Melina Garcia is a media specialists who worked for the William J. Clinton and Wayuu Taya Foundations and Venezuelan Mission to the United Nations. Music Director Samuel Marchan has taught music to children for over 25 years, and holds a B.A. in Viola Performance (Juilliard School), and an M.A. in Music Performance (NYU).