The In Harmony social and music education programme, inspired by Venezuela's life-changing El Sistema programme of children and youth orchestras, will be delivered by four additional projects across England, with funding from the Department for Education and Arts Council England.
Projects in Leeds, Newcastle, Nottingham and Telford & Wrekin will be funded from September 2012 to March 2015, in addition to renewed funding for In Harmony Lambeth, delivered by Lambeth Council, and In Harmony Liverpool, delivered by Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
“In Harmony is now moving onwards, upwards and outwards with another four inspirational projects! I am confident that the organisations that have been selected will embrace the spirit of El Sistema and will work tirelessly to bring positive change to the children and their communities,” said Julian Lloyd Webber, Founder of the In Harmony programme and Chairman of the In Harmony • Sistema England charity that supports the projects funded by DfE and Arts Council England.
The new In Harmony projects will be delivered by:
- The Sage Gateshead. A centre for musical education, performance and conferences, located in Gateshead on the south bank of the River Tyne and operated by North Music Trust.
- Opera North. Based in Leeds, it is England's national opera company in the North. It produces a busy programme of main stage productions, but also strive to create opportunities for everyone to engage with the arts, regardless of their social or economic circumstances.
- Nottingham City Council. The metropolitan district council for the unitary authority of Nottingham.
- Telford & Wrekin Music. Part of Telford & Wrekin Council, it has been delivering instrumental & vocal tuition in schools since April 2007.
“The four successful new projects will build on the experiences and achievements of the existing In Harmony projects, following shared core principles while responding to local circumstances and needs,” said a statement by Arts Council England. “All six In Harmony projects will be encouraged to be entrepreneurial and to inspire other investment to help secure a sustainable longer term future. They will operate within a national evaluation framework to ensure they provide evidence demonstrating how the In Harmony approach can transform the lives of children and their families in areas of deprivation.”
DfE and Arts Council England are jointly funding the programme. DfE will invest a total of £1.5 million between 2012 and 2015. This figure will be matched by the Arts Council which will also take a central co-ordinating and development role. Projects receive £250,000 for 2012-13; £150,000 for 2013-14; and £100,000 for 2014-15.
In Harmony uses music to bring positive change to the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of England, delivering benefits across the wider community. Contrary to traditional music education methods, the children do not need to master their instruments before joining the orchestra. The focus is on making music in an ensemble with everyone helping each other. It is this aspect that develops community cohesion, social awareness, teamwork and fun.
In Harmony • Sistema England is a charitable company, chaired by In Harmony’s Founder Julian Lloyd Webber, that supports the In Harmony projects across England. It has been recognised by El Sistema founder Maestro José Antonio Abreu for its efforts in preserving the values and methodology of the Venezuelan programme, and it is part of the Sistema Europe working group.