A delegation from In Harmony Sistema England visited Caracas in January to have a close-up look at El Sistema, the Venezuelan musical social programme for children which first inspired them. The delegation included tutors and representatives from the charity In Harmony Sistema England, the Arts Council England, the Southbank Centre and Sistema Norwich (read story).
The group was invited to Venezuela by Fundamusical, to learn more about the achievements of the El Sistema Orchestras for Children and Young people, and to share experiences and strengthen ties between both groups.
During their visit, British Ambassador Catherine Nettleton, and British Council Director Peter Brown, met with the delegation. The ambassador highlighted the importance of El Sistema music programme both in Venezuela and in the United Kingdom and reiterated the embassy’s commitment to support and strengthen the ties between the groups.
In Harmony Sistema England started in 2008 and has continued to expand through the UK government’s funding of the National Plan for Musical Education. Separately, the Big Noise – a Scottish version of El Sistema – has been flourishing since 2006. World renowned Venezuelan conductors Maestro Abreu and Gustavo Dudamel visited Scotland in June 2012 for a joint concert between the Simon Bolivar Orchestra and the Big Noise orchestra to mark the beginning of the cultural programme for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.