To Play and to Fight is the guiding maxim of the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela. It reflects the firmness of purpose and perseverance of the Venezuelan musicians who, pill from generation to generation, site have built a productive life through music.
“From the beginning, we knew that we would face many challenges and that we could not devote our time only to play music. In the early years, we strove to disseminate information about the social and cultural benefits of this music education program, so as to make of it a sustainable project, which is something that we have certainly achieved,” said maestro José Antonio Abreu about the origin of El Sistema’s motto. He explained that this motto also represents the challenges met to train the thousands of educators and conductors who run the El Sistema núcleos throughout the country and serve as music missionaries abroad.
The motto “To Play, to Sing and to Fight” (the verb to sing was recently incorporated) can be a rule of behavior for everybody because it expresses what we all need to do in order to achieve success.
In 2005, the Venezuelan filmmaker Alberto Arvelo, who studied at one of El Sistema’s núcleos as a child, produced a documentary film that captures the spirit and essence of the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras and Choirs of Venezuela. This awards-winning film was named after El Sistema’s motto: To Play and to Fight.