Sistema Fiesta-Carnavalia Latin themed evening with The Colegate Nucleo Orchestra, made up of young people from the Sistema programme plus special guests
Friday 11 October, 7.30pm
NORCA and Sistema in Norwich announce special concert to celebrate tenth anniversary
For 10 years NORCA and Sistema in Norwich has been transforming the lives of children and young people in the poorest parts of the city. Sistema was launched at Catton Grove and Larkman Primaries in 2009 by Julian Lloyd Webber. Since then, each year it has helped up to 1,000 young people aged 7 to 18 to realise their potential and succeed across all areas of their lives through learning to play a musical instrument and being part of an orchestra.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Sistema in Norwich and the wider work of the charity there will be a special concert at UEA on 11 October. Sistema Fiesta -Carnavalia will focus on Latin and Latin-influenced music. This will be performed by The Colegate Nucleo Orchestra made up of young people that have progressed through the Sistema programme.
The concert will also feature an orchestra of Sistema young musicians alongside special guest musicians, all under the expert guidance of Musical Director Juan Gabriel Roja. It will end with music to get people up and dancing. The concert is at 7.30 pm on 11 October at UEA LCR. Tickets are £5, £4 and £3 and available to under 16s for just £1 and can be bought from www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk.
Marcus Patterson, Executive Director of NORCA and Sistema in Norwich, has been leading the organisation since the beginning. He said ‘We use participation and engagement in music to achieve a social impact, to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds by improving their confidence, raise their aspirations, develop team working, listening skills, and to encourage a sense of achievement.’
‘Over the past decade we have seen what difference this has made to the lives of participants and their families. It transforms individuals and the spaces they share, leading to positive personal, social, economic and health impacts.’ He added.
Inclusion in Sistema is totally open access, no-one is auditioned. Instruments and tuition are provided to kids who learn in groups and are part of an orchestra right from the start. It is a social activity so they are learning both as an individual and as part of a group, and the group identity is an important part of the learning. Performance is introduced early and the orchestras perform public concerts at places like The Assembly House, many with high ranking guest soloists.
Parent Barry Quantrill praised Sistema for being instrumental in his daughter Elena’s development. Now 18 years old she has been involved since she was at Larkman Primary (now Norwich Primary Academy) and plays the viola. Barry says, ‘Sistema has made Elena more confident, given her something to focus on and given opportunities and experiences she would not have had otherwise.’
Participant TOMI aged 11, of Catton Grove said ‘I enjoy playing in the orchestra as you get to hear what all the other instruments sound like and you get to have fun. Sometimes you get to meet new children and make new friends and so you spread friends throughout the world.’
Sixteen year old Jessica from the Larkman added ‘Sistema) has definitely made a difference to my life, its had a massive impact. When I was a child I used to be quite sad and lonely but because of Sistema I’ve been able to then connect with pope and tutors, and I think its allowed to express myself more and be open minded about different options and opportunities.’
Participants mother Portia said ‘Music and Sistema has helped my son through bad times and is still helping him. But its not just about the music – its bigger than that – being part of Sistema helps children (and especially my son) mentally and emotionally and has helped him with social skills too.’
Musical Director Juan Gabriel Roja came to Norwich two years ago and has introduced the concept of bringing professional musicians from other countries to play with the Sistema orchestra. A first-class violinist, Juan is himself a product of El Sistema in Venezuela and a passionate advocate of the scheme. ‘Sistema gives children from deprived and less well-off areas the chance to learn to play an instrument’ he said, ‘As well as learning musical skills, dexterity and teamwork it also contributes to their general wellbeing and broadens their horizons.’
Story: Simon Franklin [email protected]
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