The Hip Hop Orchestra is a music performance and education project of the Guardians of Sound that uses current mainstream music through the lens of acoustic and orchestral instruments. The Orchestra is comprised of instrumentalists, singers, and rappers working primarily with the music of “now.” Participants learn to read and write music with standard notation, explore beat making; produce original music; and learn arrangements of hip hop, rock, popular, classical, and jazz music. Hip Hop Orchestra achieves Collegiate level musicianship goals by providing high quality individual and group music instruction. The model relies heavily on tapping students’ self motivation and inherent passion for music by working with material of foremost relevance to them. The content used is always appropriate. Hip Hop Orchestra combines the use of music/media technology with traditional acoustic instruments to facilitate music learning and performance in today’s technology centric world. The aim is to provide a method for learning, creating, and performing music with acoustic musical instruments aided but not dominated by modern technology. The Hip Hop Orchestra recruits, educates, mentors, and performs with young musicians ages 9 to 19. The project includes an annual summer music camp and ongoing music instruction after the camp at either of Hope Academy of Music and the Arts, African American Music Institute, City Music Center, or 1 Hood Media Academy.
Guardians of Sound keeps acoustic sound, musicians, and instruments as fundamental components in the creation, performance, education, and technological evolution of music. Guardians of Sound composes, arranges, performs, records, and teaches current music using exclusively acoustic and orchestral instruments, and voices in order to inspire today’s music creators, producers, performing artists, educators and students to use acoustic sound, musicians and instruments in their work. Guardians of Sound is made up of multiple flexible ensembles of classical and jazz trained musicians infusing an organic, less heavily processed sound into current mainstream music. The goals are to enrich modern music making with the presence of acoustic instruments, to build a stronger, younger, and more diverse audience for acoustic musicians now and for the future, and to nurture the creative and intellectual curiosity of today’s youth through the power of music making.