Video: Norfolk pupils enjoy workshop with Venezuelan harpist

PUBLISHED: 18:44 18 June 2014 | UPDATED: 11:34 19 June 2014

Virtuoso Venezuelan harpist Leonard Jacome with local children at a Sistema masterclass in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Virtuoso Venezuelan harpist Leonard Jacome with local children at a Sistema masterclass in Norwich. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2014

Young Norfolk musicians enjoyed a special workshop where they had the chance to learn from and perform with a South American harpist.

Leonard Jacome, from Venezuela, held the masterclass with members of Sistema in Norwich at The Chapel, in Park Lane, on Wednesday. The youngsters involved were all pupils from Catton Grove Primary School.

They enjoyed learning about the harp and as well as working on the song El Sapo (The Frog or Toad) with Leonard, accompanying his performance on the harp with their violins and cellos.

Marcus Patteson, director of Sistema in Norwich, said: “It was a fantastic exchange between young people in Norwich and one of the world’s most extraordinary musicians, not only did they learn about Leonard and his music but the children also had a chance to learn and play a song with Leonard.

“That is really the essence of Sistema, to have people of different abilities and ages playing together in a collaborative way.”

Leonard, who leads El Sistema’s harp programme in Venezuela, has performed all over the world including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Panama, Colombia, English Guyana, Uruguay, South Africa, Mozambique, Paraguay, the United States, Ireland, Scotland, Japan and Sweden.

The Norwich workshop on Wednesday highlighted Sistema in Norwich’s international connection.

Sistema in Norwich is an independent programme, run by NORCA (Norfolk and Norwich Community Arts) and based on the Venezuelan El Sistema music education and social change programme, made famous by the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra.

• Sistema in Norwich’s Martineau Orchestra is performing a concert - with a live online link-up with a sister Sistema orchestra in Canada - at Epic Studios in Norwich on Saturday, June 28. Tickets are free but people need to book in advance. For more information visit

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