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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Sistema Scotland appoints new chief executive

This news post is 8 months old

Vicky Williams will replace founding CEO Nicola Killean OBE.  

A charity that helps children reach their full potential through its transformational music and social change programmes has appointed a new chief executive officer.

Vicky Williams, who has been a key member of Sistema Scotland’s leadership team for the past 10 years, will take up the post in the coming weeks.

She is replacing founding CEO Nicola Killean OBE, who stepped down last month after 15 years to become Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People.

Vicky joined Sistema’s first Big Noise programme in Raploch, Stirling, as a musician 13 years ago and later went on to become its head of centre in 2013.

Since 2021, Vicky, a cornet and trumpet player, has also been leading the brass programme which launched in neighbouring Fallin.

She has performed with many of Scotland’s leading orchestras and is also a member of the brass chamber group, Alba Brass.

The talented musician grew up in West Lothian and studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, getting both a Bachelor’s and Masters degree in music.

In the coming weeks, Sistema Scotland will be planning for Vicky’s transition to her new role, taking over from interim CEO Maggie Cunningham.

Vicky Williams, newly appointed CEO of Sistema Scotland, said: “It has been a true privilege to work as head of centre at Big Noise Raploch for the last 10 years, and through this work I have witnessed first-hand the transformational impact of Big Noise on participants and the wider community.

“I am excited to begin this new chapter with Sistema Scotland and I am committed to building the most inclusive, impactful, vibrant, and sustainable Big Noise programmes for all of our children, young people, and families across Scotland.”

The charity will also be recruiting for a new head of centre for its Big Noise Raploch and Big Noise Fallin programmes.

Big Noise is a high-quality music education and social change programme, where the symphony orchestra becomes a community which supports children and young people to gain vital life skills such as confidence, resilience, creativity, and aspiration.

Through music and nurturing relationships, from infancy to adulthood, Big Noise supports participants’ wellbeing and helps them reach their full potential and aims to strengthen community cohesion and tackle inequalities.

Programmes supporting a combined 3,500 children and young people are delivered in the communities of Raploch and Fallin, Govanhill in Glasgow, Torry in Aberdeen, Douglas in Dundee, and Wester Hailes in Edinburgh.

Benny Higgins, chairman of Sistema Scotland, said: “Following a rigorous selection process and a strong field of candidates, the board of Sistema Scotland are delighted to be appointing Vicky as the charity’s new chief executive officer.

“I am confident that Vicky will bring the same passion and dedication she has shown for many years as head of Big Noise Raploch and Fallin to her new role leading Sistema Scotland through the next stages of its successful development, ensuring long-term sustained support for all of our Big Noise children, young people and communities.”