SIDE BY SIDE by El Sistema Sweden: In Gothenburg from June 15-19


International orchestra and choir camps for children and young people is scheduled to start in Gothenburg from June 15-19, 2019. According to the organisers about 2000 people are expected to participate from in and around Gothenburg, and from other parts of Sweden, and beyond. Gothenburg is going to bustle with young musicians sporting the T-shirt of Side by Side El Sistema and wristband.


The organisers have made arrangements for the participants’ rehearsals, accommodation, activities, meals, travel, and concerts who will be at different places in Gothenburg such as at Gothenburg Concert Hall, Musikhögskolan HSM, Hvitfeldtska Gymnasiet (Södra) Hvitfeldska Gymnasiet (Norra), ISGR, Studenternas Hus, Världskulturmuseet, Trädgårdsföreningen, Scandinvisum and Vasanulan.

There will be a ‘Kid Camp Counsellor’ (Barnvärd) who will take care of a group of children during the camp days.

Are you an adult who would like to sing? Then you may participate in the Festival Choir who will sing Händels – Halleluja at the Festival Concert in Scandinavium the 18th June.

Side by Side by El Sistema is an orchestra and choir camp. Children and youth from Sweden and other countries rehearse together at the Concert Hall in Gothenburg which is the focal point and other avenues in and around Gothenburg. The children and youth practise and rehearse under the direction of several accomplished and acclaimed conductors, musicians and teachers. The organisers help the participants from finding lodging, boarding, and travelling and locally.

In 2018, 1800 young musicians and choir singers of participated.

There is a sign-up fee for the participants. The participants are divided into different groups depending upon the age, selection (orchestra or choir): There are 6 orchestra groups, 6 choir groups, one folk music and on early music group. One can choose one of the group and is expected to stay in that for more than a year. Groups are like: Advanced Orchestra, Pre-Advanced Orchestra, Upper Intermediate Orchestra, Basic Orchestra, Beginners’ Orchestra, Folk Music, Early Music, Youth Choir, Upper Voices Choir, Children’s Choir, Beginners’ Choir, and Open Choir.  One selects a group depending on how much one has played or sung before.

The children and young people attending the music camps get an opportunity for role modelling. ’It is educating and instructive to play and sing side by side with other participants of different ages and levels. That’s why we let the tracks meet and make music together during the camp. The Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra Vocal Ensemble are strong advocates of this learning method.’

During the short period of time, the activities are filled with rehearsals and concerts and communal meals. Children get to rehearse in small groups or big group or with an orchestra or choir.

The biggest gathering is when all the musicians gather at the camp’s festival concert hall – Scandinavium on June 18 for a huge musical feast.

El Sistema was founded by José Antonio Abreu in 1975 in Venezuela. He saw music as an instrument for social mobility and as window for integration to overcome segregation. He founded El Sistema in 1975, and was eventually publicly financed for its motto was ‘Music for Social Change’ and also proved its impact. Today El Sistema has more than 400 music centers and 700,000 young musicians learning music after the school hours and during weekends.

Gothenburg in Sweden is also a segregated city based on many social factors: inequalities in income to social isolation. Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra adopted the idea and the institution of José Antonio Abreu, and its result is the establishment of Side by Side by El Sistema.

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Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

Gothenburg Concert Hall

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