Félix Briceño and Ron Alvarez, the two El Sistema teachers that worked with In Harmony Lambeth and The Nucleo Project during the last two weeks, are very proud of the work done with both Sistema-inspired programmes.
‘We focused on the energy, the technique and the discipline of orchestral rehearsals’ says Ron, who led sessions at Saint Stephen’s and Herbert Morrison schools, as well as the In Harmony Lambeth after school programme. ‘I introduced new pieces of repertoire for the two after school ensembles, the Sullivan and the Holst orchestras. The objective at the moment was not for the children to perform the whole pieces perfectly, but to use the music as a resource to help develop great rehearsal habits.’
‘We are very grateful to Sistema England for arranging for Ron to come over for two weeks,’ said Gerry Sterling, director of In Harmony Lambeth, before a concert for parents at Wheatsheaf Hall. ‘Ron has offered us another way of thinking about how we do things. It has been really wonderful having him with us, and I hope we can persuade him to come back soon.’
In this video Ron conducts In Harmony Lambeth’s Holst Orchestra in a performance of Eine kleine Nachtmusik.
‘These two weeks have been about exchanging knowledge and experiences with young musicians, teachers and staff at The Nucleo Project,’ says Félix. ‘The team is led by a young, talented and creative director, Lucy Maguire, with whom I’ve been working. We shared lessons, rehearsals and a private concert for parents and families; we discussed ideas, reviewed methods and discussed the future of the programme.’
Lucy Maguire, director of The Nucleo Project, thanked Sistema England and Fundación Musical Simón Bolívar, the institution that leads El Sistema in Venezuela, for making Félix’s visit possible. She also invited all supporters to attend a public concert on Sunday 17 May, at 5pm, at Kensington Aldridge Academy, 1 Silchester Road, London W10 6EX. Admission is £4.
In this video Félix conducts The Nucleo Project Children’s Orchestra in a performance of Toreador, from the Georges Bizet opera Carmen.