Sistema In Norwich Performance Project featured on Sistema Europe website

Sistema In Norwich Performance Project featured on Sistema Europe website

A recent article on the Sistema Europe website has put the spotlight on Sistema In Norwich’s ‘Performance Project’ – a brand new Sistema initiative for 2018-19.

Over the course of 12 concerts and just under a year and a half, Sistema in Norwich will engage with circus groups, the Norwich-based Vagaband, fellow Sistema-influenced groups and established musicians and composers from across Europe.

The project also provides the young musicians involved with the chance to compose for a variety of scenarios and formations, with pieces for soloists, ensembles, brass and wind sections all finding their way into the schedule.

The Sistema Performance Project thus increases Sistema in Norwich’s social impact, provides its students with additional performance time and accelerates their personal development, promoting self-confidence, resilience and leadership – all while building upon Sistema in Norwich’s existing connections both at home and abroad.

Sistema Europe website

The circus performance in collaboration with Lost In Translation – which took place in October of last year – was an exciting and innovative project, expanding our students’ horizons and bringing them into contact with other forms and settings of orchestral performance.

It is always gratifying to gain the recognition of the international Sistema community for our work, and it is an honour to be a part of a global musical movement with the history and pedigree of Sistema.

And with eight more Performance Project concerts scheduled throughout this year, there’ll be plenty more opportunities to check out the great work of Sistema In Norwich for yourself. Head to the NORCA & Sistema In Norwich website for full details of dates, venues, ticket prices, etc.

SEYO Day 3: tutti rehearsals

We’ve now been in Milan at the SEYO Summer Camp for three full days (and when I say ‘full’, I really do mean that – they have been three long, intense, full-on, exhausting days!), and it really is a fascinating experience.

A few things have mainly struck me so far…  The standard of the students participating is very high – in the advanced orchestra, where I am working with the percussion section, we have been able to focus on little details, points of technique, performance advice, and other minutiae, almost right from the start.  The students are all excellent players already, and this makes for very interesting, dynamic sectional rehearsals with a lot of ideas being thrown around and a real rehearsal process being very much in evidence!

The incredible passion and enthusiasm of all the teaching staff is also plain to see.  Given the number of different countries participating, and the fact that as a team of tutors, many of us had never met each other before and we have just been thrown together from different Sistema-inspired projects across all of Europe (each with their own, slightly different, customs and ways of doing things!), I think we have gelled pretty well.  From my point-of-view, I feel privileged to be working alongside a fantastic percussion tutor in sectionals, and under conductors in full rehearsals who really know what they want from a piece of music and have a vision for the performance.  I think this mix of nationalities and backgrounds is perfect for an experience like this, and means that we (the tutors) end up learning lots too.

The full Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra playing together for the first time in Teatro degli Arcimboldi
The full Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra playing together for the first time in Teatro degli Arcimboldi

Finally, it is abundantly clear what an amazing opportunity this is for all the students who have come on the course!  The chance to learn from some top professionals from all over Europe, and to play big, exciting orchestral music, is enormous.  As is the chance to be inspired by the National Children’s Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (part of the El Sistema programme, with some children as young as six), performing in the breath-taking setting of La Scala.

Thanks to the hectic schedule here, this is the first time I’ve been able to post any updates – bar uploading a few iPhone pictures ‘on the fly’! – and I don’t know when I’ll be able to write anything properly about it again.  I shall try to post more details when I get an opportunity, though.  So after another very long day of rehearsals, and with another early start tomorrow morning…  Goodnight!