In May of 2004, Joe, Diego and Edwin fulfilled a dream: to teach music to at-risk children in Trujillo. They began with 30 recorders in the El Porvenir district, and the first Orquesta de Barro was born. Six months later, the Fundación AVINA donated the very first orchestral instruments.
In 2005, Diego led their first concert in the Feria del Libro in Trujillo. In the same year, Arpegio was recognized with the award for Integration and Solidarity by Radio Programas del Peru, for which the Orquesta de Barro traveled to Lima. For the sustainability of the orchestra, the Arpegio Music Academy was formed in 2007, its first classrooms funded by the Fundación AVINA.
In April 2008, Arpegio received a visit from Maestro José Antonio Abreu, founder of the internationally renowned El Sistema Venezuela. Thanks to the support of the Andean Corporation for Public Works, youth from Arpegio were invited to participate in the Creating Creators course in Venezuela. That same year, the Orchestra B was formed. Arpegio also welcomed its first group of five volunteers from Germany, who arrived to teach music as part of the Weltwärts Volunteer Program. Meanwhile, Arpegio’s connections in Germany began a drive for used instruments to be donated to the project. Arpegio implemented another project in collaboration with the Cultural Center in Chimbote and Sider-Peru steel company, expanding its reach to Chimbote, a city two hours outside of Trujillo. The Foundation of Freunde der Erziehungskunst (Erziungskunst) Rudolf Steiners helped to construct the main rehearsal space and apartment for the volunteers.
In April 2010, the Sinfonieorchester der Droste-Hülshoff-Schule (Droste- Hültsoff Shoole) and the Orquesta de Barro had their first exchange, in which youth from Germany and Peru played together in concert halls throughout Peru. In June, the Nucleo La Esperanza was formed, a new project in the La Esperanza district that began as a children’s choir. And in September, the Orquesta de Barro traveled to Berlin, once again performing concerts together with the Sinfonieorchester der Droste-Hülshoff-Schule. This trip was particularly special, as it was a reunion for old friends from the two countries. When the Orquesta de Barro returned to Peru, three of its members remained in Berlin to take conducting classes. Upon their return to Peru, they led the first Film Music Concert, which was extremely well received.
In July 2012, the company Energyzer donated violins, cellos and cajons to the Nucleo el Porvenir. Three months later a new Nucleo was opened: the Nucleo Miramar in the Alto Moche district. At the end of 2012, Arpegio was recognized as a Cultural Icon by the Cultural Department of Peru, one of the first in its region.
In March 2013, the Foundation Arpegio-Switzerland was created, in order to directly channel financial support to its various projects. Once again, the Sinfonieorchester der Droste-Hülshoff-Schule visited the Orquesta de Barro, presenting the tour Two Orchestras, Two Nations, One Passion. Arpegio also received a donation of Percussion instruments from Germany.
In 2014, Arpegio celebrated its tenth anniversary. The Orchestra B became known as the Orquesta de Tierra. And in March of that year, Arpegio’s youngest members formed the new Orquesta de Agua. In April, the Orquesta de Barro, in cooperation with the Ars Viva Choir and Big Balls rock band, presented its very first Symphonic Rock concert. In May, Joe was given the distinction of Honoris Causa by the University of Freiburg. In Berlin, members of Arpegio formed the Freundeskreis Association, to bring together former and future members of the Arpegio family living in Germany. In celebration of its 10th Anniversary, former volunteers together with the Sinfonieorchester der Droste-Hülshoff-Schule put together a concert in Germany while the current Orquesta de Barro performed the very same program in Peru. In June, the Fellows Program was created, to provide further instruction to students who show particular interest and potential for pursuing Music Education. In July, as part of its anniversary celebrations, Arpegio organized the first orchestra flashmob in downtown Trujillo. Two months later, Arpegio was selected by the Department of Culture to participate in the Musical Laboratory. And just like that, 10 years have gone by. In the beginning, Arpegio was an ensemble of recorders, and now we are 7 orchestras making music for life.