Members of the Sistema England Young Leaders Orchestra have sent us feedback about their one-day residency at London’s Southbank Centre.

Sistema England’s Young Leaders Programme was launched in October 2015 with a five-day residential camp at Overstrand Hall in Norfolk, with 35 children and young people from In Harmony Lambeth, In Harmony Liverpool, Sistema in Norwich and The Nucleo Project.

In January 2016, the orchestra expanded to 46 members and came together again in London, for a day of making music and discussing how the young players can develop and exercise their leadership. The rehearsal and performance by the Young Leaders Orchestra were conducted by Félix Briceño of Venezuela’s El Sistema and Juan Carlos Maggiorani of Portugal’s Orquestra Geração.

Other activities during the day included a brief meeting with conductor Gustavo Dudamel, a rehearsal with pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim and watching a performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.

Zoe (violin) from Sistema in Norwich, wrote the following poem after the January residency:


Dylan (cello) from In Harmony Liverpool, wrote:

The rehearsals with Félix and Juan Carlos were very memorable and beneficial. It was very nice to see the Lambeth kids and all the others. I pledged to try and concentrate more and focus in lessons. I’ve listened more and tried to make the entire cello section more focused. It was good, it helped me get more into the music and enjoy it.

Emily (double bass) from Sistema in Norwich, wrote:

The most memorable part of the day for me was meeting up with everyone I had originally met at Overstrand and watching the Simón Bolívar Orchestra, I felt really inspired by that. Meeting up with the other programmes was good as it gave us a chance to meet new people and create new friendships. The orchestra sounds better since October as we have had new people join, making the music sound fuller and the orchestra more complete. I think the Young Leaders Orchestra should meet up more often to evolve our music and friendships further. The day was a great experience.

Support the Young Leaders

Empower young people through music by helping them build the Sistema England Young Leaders Orchestra. The Young Leaders are ready for their 2016 residency – a week of intensive music-making, life skills development and performances with some of the finest musicians and teachers in the UK and abroad. Please help our Young Leaders continue to build their Orchestra. Donate to Sistema England here.