About Us

About Greater Milwaukee El Sistema – Our History

IMAG5458Greater Milwaukee El Sistema was founded in 2011 by Mr. Ralph North. Inspired by the original El Sistema of Venezuela, Mr. North had a dream of bringing instrumental music education to all area children. Many participating students receive full scholarships.

Originally formed under the auspices of Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, GMES incorporated in 2013 under program director Kelly Schmitt. GMES received fiscal support from the Waukesha County Community Foundation until being granted 501-c-3 non-profit status in 2014. Ms. Schmitt was then promoted to Executive Director.