Eight children from In Harmony Telford & Stoke will travel to Milan to perform with other young musicians from countries including Italy, Canada and Angola, in an event titled Concerto per Cinque Continenti (Concert for Five Continents).

These young musicians will arrive in Milan on 20 May. In the following days they will join rehearsals with Pasquinelli Young Orchestra, the Sistema Lombardia ensemble for 8-12 year olds. On Sunday 24 May, the joint orchestra will perform at Dal Verme theatre.

‘We are really excited by the opportunity to take some of our young people from our programme to perform together in Milan with young people from Italy and other countries.,’ said Ian Thomas, head of In Harmony Telford & Stoke. ‘This trip, funded by EU Culture funding, has the potential to help broaden horizons, take part in performance experiences, make new friendships and new partnerships across Sistema inspired programmes’.

This experience is part of the SMEEC project (Sistema-inspired Music Education and Exchange with Canada), a major international collaboration led by Sistema England, which aims to allow children from Sistema-inspired programmes on both sides of the Atlantic to get together to perform and is match-funded by the European Union’s Culture Programme. 130 children in total from Sistema programmes in England are participating in the SMEEC project. Young musicians and teachers will gather in Gothenburg in June for a mass ‘Side by Side’ performance led by Gustavo Dudamel, and travel to Toronto in July to perform as part of the Pan American Games.

Organisations working in partnership with Sistema England to make this project possible are SONG Onlus of Italy, European Mozart Ways and Go-operate of Austria, and The Leading Note Foundation and Sistema Toronto of Canada.