“When we were told that The Nucleo Project was going to take the Symphony group to Ingestre Hall I was very excited,” said Daniel Zacharias, 12, double bass. “On the day of our trip I got to meet musicians from Portugal, Croatia and Lambeth. Every day was spent on intense practicing with the pieces and in the evenings I had made friends which had the same interest as me (in music). I had this great mentor from Sistema Portugal called Telmo who taught me to play the double bass with passion. He was such an inspiration to me, that I even found myself spending my free time wanting to know more, reading music notes, sight reading and practicing co-ordination. I learned a lot and now I like to play my double bass even more than before. In these 5 days I haven’t only made friends for life but I learned how to keep calm and compose myself. I feel that I have matured and learned so much. I would like to thank the Nucleo project and Sistema England for the opportunity to experience such a brilliant time.”

At the end of July, The Nucleo Project ran its first ever residential summer camp at Ingestre Hall Residential Arts Centre, in Staffordshire. 32 participants from The Nucleo Project were joined by five young musicians fromIn Harmony Lambeth, as well as teachers and mentors from El Sistema (Venezuela), So Do (Croatia) and Orquestra Geração (Portugal). The week culminated in a performance for parents at St Paul’s School. The thoroughly exhausted and inspired young musicians played Offenbach’s Can-Can and the Portuguese piece Ritmos Ciganos, to wild applause from their families! It was clear that the orchestra had reached new heights during its week away under the baton of Félix Briceño (Venezuela), and the kids had an incredible time thanks to the care and support of five heroically dedicated parent chaperones – as one of the participants remarked afterwards, summer camp was ‘epic fun’!

Lucy Maguire, director of The Nucleo Project: ‘It was so cool to have the first Sistema residential seminar in England, and have kids from multiple projects participating, plus these incredible teachers and mentors who came to participate from other countries…I’m proud of what we did this week, both musically and with this wonderful collaboration between people from so many different projects. It was a beautiful manifestation of the Sistema community, and a terrific experience for us all…The kids, the parents and the teachers were all wonderful, and what they achieved here together over the week is just awesome!’

Aaron Bišćević, horn mentor from So Do (Croatia): ‘This was my first experience as a teacher and I think the teacher doesn’t mean that you just teach, it also means that you learn from your student you learn from him and you also see how can you improve yourself… players of Sistema need to stick together but spread the music all over the world.’

Tatiana Rosa, flute teacher from Orquestra Geração (Portugal): ‘It was an amazing experience to teach the kids but also to get to know the opinion of our fellow teachers in other countries. This kind of work is really important for all of us as it make us grow a lot as musicians and as human beings.’