The Verdugo Youth Music Association draws inspiration from El Sistema and is an active participant in El Sistema USA.
In December 2008, Music Director Samvel Chilingarian and then Board Vice-President Louise Ghandhi traveled to Venezuela to study El Sistema, meeting with many of its teachers, conductors, young musicians and its inspiring founder, Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu. Since, VYMA has participated in El Sistema convenings at the New England Conservatory in Boston (February 2010), at the Los Angeles El Sistema Symposium (May 2010) and at the El Sistema Summit in San Antonio, Texas (January 2011).
It is evident that music has to be recognized as an element of socialization, as an agent of social development in the highest sense because it transmits the highest social values such as solidarity, harmony, mutual compassion and it has the ability to unite an entire community and express sublime feelings. ~ Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu, Founder El Sistema