Congratulations to Nicola Killean, Founder and CEO of Sistema Scotland, who has recently been awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE). She was selected by a special committee and approved by the Queen and Prime Minister, in the New Year Honours List for 2020, for her services to music, children and community cohesion. OBE recipients are awarded based on their contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organizations, and public service.
Nicola was the Founding Director of Sistema Scotland when it was established in 2007, and since then has led a dedicated staff and volunteers to accomplish numerous large goals, including:
- designing and implementing the original Big Noise program model in Raploch, Scotland, in 2007.
- hosting the Simon Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela in a massive side-by-side open-air concert kickoff to the 2012 Olympic Arts Festival.
- taking a 60-student Big Noise orchestra to Venezuela in 2013.
- working with municipal and academic partners to develop a significant body of strong research. Results indicated that the program has positive social/emotional impacts on the children and their families. A cost/benefit analysis reported that within 15 years, the Big Noise program in Glasgow would save the city a total of £29 million.
- continuing program growth and expansion to include four sites across Scotland.