Sistema England is delighted to announce the appointment of Fiona Cunningham as the charity’s Managing Director. Fiona will lead on the charity’s strategic remit and activity, as it enters a new phase of development.

Julian Lloyd Webber, founder and chairman of Sistema England, said: “Fiona is joining us to help us achieve our ambitions for the future, in the service of children, their communities and the Sistema-inspired programmes that support them across England.”

Fiona was most recently In Harmony Manager at Opera North for the programme’s first year of delivery, and before that Voicelab Manager at Southbank Centre. She holds a Directorship for, an arts-based leadership training company she founded and ran with music educator Suzi Digby, and has secondary Qualified Teacher Status in English and Drama, as part of the initial cohort of Teach First in the programme’s first year.

“I am proud to join Sistema England, and to continue to play a part in the national Sistema movement, which is empowering thousands of children through joyful and excellent music-making to inspire others with their skills, passions and hard work. My thanks to Julian Lloyd Webber and the Trustees for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Fiona.

Sistema England is a charity that promotes the work of ambitious social action programmes in England, inspired by the international El Sistema movement to transform the lives of children and their communities. These programmes currently include The Nucleo Project, Sistema in Norwich and five In Harmony programmes funded jointly by the Department for Education and Arts Council England – Lambeth, Liverpool, NewcastleGateshead, Nottingham and Telford & Stoke-on-Trent, all of which use music to bring positive change to the lives of children and their communities across England.

Sistema England looks forward to working closely with Arts Council England, Department for Education and other key strategic bodies, to ensure this important work has a wide-reaching and long-lasting impact for children and young people in England.

Photo: Anna Hardy