Our History


The INTAKE Organization is a Stamford-based non-profit arts organization that promotes music education through multiculturalism and native instruments. Founded in 2011, INTAKE envisions a new cultural and musical world where the future generations of concert audiences truly reflect our society and are able to experience classical music in its traditional form as well as through the «voices» of their own and of other cultures.

The organization’s mission is:
To make classical music relevant to a variety of communities
through use of native instruments, interpretations,
and cultural awareness.


Our History
In 2009, violinist and social entrepreneur Angelica Durrell met world-renowned composer Gabriela Lena Frank and MacArthur Fellow Aaron Dworkin, who encouraged her to create a path to greater diversity and inclusion in music education. Two years later, INTAKE was founded. It began with a class of 40 eager young music students. Since then, with its Native Instrument Academy and community outreach events, INTAKE has grown to reach more than 1,625 students and 6,460 community members, and has received national recognition from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), the Sphinx Organization, and the State of Connecticut Office of the Arts. In 2016, INTAKE was selected as finalist for the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

What drives us is the belief that music education should be accessible, relevant, and inclusive, reaching people from all walks of life and open to all regardless of their economic circumstances. We do this by using bilingual music instruction on classical (violin, viola, and guitar) instruments as well as cross-cultural repertoire and instrumentation (charango and bilingual choir), employing a unique and innovative multidimensional approach that links the study of music to broader educational improvement and socioemotional development. We supplement music education with critical youth-development services premised on an early intervention strategy, to ensure our students’ holistic growth.