Skip to content


CROWDRISE : Apr 28, 2015
Tax ID: 45-3663891
BASED: Union City, NJ, United States



Union City Music Project

Inspire - Empower - Succeed

Union City Music Project (UCMP) is a bilingual educational organization that uses music as a vehicle for social change for low-income, primarily Latino children in Hudson County, NJ through low-cost afterschool orchestral and vocal instruction and regular performances of UCMP’s Children’s Orchestra and Chorus. Through a disciplined, cooperative, and fun-filled learning environment that integrates parental involvement, our structured grassroots program inspires academic excellence, enhances life skills, and builds community. 

UCMP empowers Hudson County's low-income, mostly Latino children and youth to rise above the cycle of poverty by: (1) providing school-aged students with free instruments and low-cost orchestral instruction by professional music teachers; (2) engaging parents in their children's musical education; (3) cultivating children’s self-esteem, self-expression, and cooperative learning; and 4) establishing the UCMP Children’s Orchestra and Chorus.  

UCMP provides at-risk children with a weekly haven that sparks creativity and appreciation for the arts, and helps develop their skills as future musicians. Our program improves students' self-esteem and transforms them through teamwork and self-discipline.  Regular performances increase self-confidence and encourage peer support. Rehearsing and performing with the UCMP Children’s Orchestra and Chorus offer our students a positive outlet of creative immersion during afterschool hours and weekends.

UCMP also works to measurably increase students’ school attendance, improve test scores and grades, and enhance behavior in school and at home.  Other US El-Sistema-inspired programs have found that low-income students with orchestral training more often graduate from high school, find employment, and proceed to higher education, thereby breaking the cycle of poverty.

Modeled after El Sistema (Venezuela's renowned children’s music education initiative), Union City Music Project was founded in October 2011 as New Jersey’s first such afterschool music program. UCMP’s programming launched in March 2012 to serve 37 3-to-6-year-old preschoolers four hours/week at Union City’s Hostos Center for Early Childhood Education. In UCMP’s second year, 112 Union City preschool and elementary school students received orchestral music instruction for 320 hours ($.32 an hour) over ten months plus field trips and workshops with visiting musicians. During UCMP’s introductory “Paper Orchestra” program, preschool children create their own paper-mache violins to acquire basic musicianship skills. They then transition to vocal training and ensemble music lessons with free instruments and perform regularly before classmates and audiences.

Now located at Union City's Park Theatre Performing Arts Center, UCMP's After School Program currently has 75 K-to-7th grade students enrolled 2 hours/day, three days/week over ten months.  Expected to increase enrollment to 100 students in Fall 2015, the program and its ten professional music teachers instruct children to read music and play violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet, and percussion.  UCMP's Children's Orchestra and Chorus plays regularly, both in New Jersey (ParkPAC, NJPAC) and in New York City (Carnegie Hall's DiMenna Center, El Museo del Barrio, United Palace of Cultural Affairs), often together with other El Sistema-inspired metro-area youth orchestras.  Our After School Program is enhanced by Visiting Artists, Student Mentors, and Field Trips with families to classical music concerts.

Tax ID: 45-3663891 •


Just 1 Week Left To Support UCMP Orchestral Music Day Camp!

Just 1 Week Left To Support …

Amount Raised:



15% Raised of $5,000 Goal