In Harmony programme expands across UK

The In Harmony programme – inspired by Venezuela’s world-famous El Sistema that encourages children to play music, irrespective of ability – has expanded this week to deliver social and musical education in Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham and Telford & Wrekin, with funding to be supplied from September 2012 to March 2015.

Opera North in Leeds, The Sage Gateshead, Nottingham City Council and Telford & Wrekin Music (part of Telford & Wrekin Council) will be delivering the new In Harmony projects, with the Department for Education and Arts Council England providing joint funding.

Founder of the programme Julian Lloyd Webber said:”In Harmony is now moving onwards, upwards and outwards with another four inspirational projects! I am confident that the organisations that we have selected will embrace the spirit of El Sistema and will work tirelessly to bring positive change to the children and their communities.”

In Harmony – recognised by founder of El Sistema Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu for its efforts in preserving the  methodology of its Venezuelan counterpart – uses music to bring positive changes to the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged parts of England. Musicians don’t need to master their instruments in order to take part and the focus is on music-making with everyone helping one another.

While we at the Two Moors Festival welcome the expansion of the programme, we’re saddened to see that the programme won’t be being introduced into the south-west of England for what is likely to be quite some time, since the initiative is rolled out in highly populated, relatively deprived urban areas.

Festival director Penny Adie said of the news: “It’s marvellous that In Harmony is spreading to these new areas. Its success is not to be underestimated. One day the south-west will be populated enough for In Harmony to be welcomed in its midst!”

Do you think In Harmony will have the same success as El Sistema?

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