Wednesday, 12 June 2024
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Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Young people from Big Noise Govanhill perform on stage with RSNO

YOUNG people from a music and social change programme have taken part in a unique concert alongside the world-renowned Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). 

A total of 86 young musicians and singers from Big Noise Govanhill performed side-by-side with the RSNO at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall recently.

Concertgoers were treated to a special rendition of ‘We Make a Big Noise’, which was performed by the joint symphony orchestra and Big Noise Govanhill choir. It was written as a collaboration between song leader Penny Stone, award-winning composer Seonaid Aitken, and the young people.

In March, Ms Stone was invited to lead a music composition workshop with the Big Strings Orchestra at Big Noise Govanhill, with the aim of helping participants explore their creative side and translate it into lyrics, melody and rhythm while reflecting the rich cultural diversity of Govanhill.

The lyrics of the piece ‘We Make a Big Noise’ came from Big Noise Govanhill’s participants, and incorporate lyrics written in languages including Turkish, Hindi and Urdu. Ms Stone took the musical and lyrical ideas generated by the young people during the session to create the piece, and the version performed at the Royal Concert Hall was specially arranged by composer Ms Aitken for Big Noise Govanhill’s collaboration with the RSNO.

The special side-by-side concert gave the young participants an opportunity to play alongside accomplished professional musicians as part of Scotland’s national orchestra while demonstrating their musical skills to friends and family.

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’ well-being and helps them reach their full potential. The programme also aims to strengthen the amazing communities where it is based; developing relationships with participants and their families based on mutual respect, trust and a commitment to work together and tackle inequalities for the long term.

Big Noise Govanhill is delivered by the charity Sistema Scotland, which also runs similar programmes supporting around 3,500 children and young people in the communities of Raploch and Fallin in Stirling, Torry in Aberdeen, Douglas in Dundee, and Wester Hailes in Edinburgh.

The work of Big Noise is supported by a wide range of public and private funders, including the Scottish Government and players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Andy Stevenson, RSNO director of learning and engagement, said:  

“Our partnership with Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise centres is an integral part of how the RSNO engages with communities across Scotland.

“Welcoming the young people of Big Noise to the stage alongside our musicians and artists is an exciting experience for everyone involved.

“Happy tenth anniversary Big Noise Govanhill from all at the RSNO – we wish them many more years of bringing music to the young people of Govanhill.”

Sistema Scotland’s director of music and curriculum David Munn said: 

“The brilliant collaboration between Big Noise and RSNO was perfectly on show tonight in the performance of ‘We Make a Big Noise’ – written in part by our fantastic young musicians themselves.

“Everyone at Sistema Scotland is immensely proud of all of our young people from Govanhill who took to the stage tonight.

“Tonight’s performance not only highlights the dedication of the orchestra in inspiring the next generation of young musicians, but also underlines the transformative impact of Big Noise in nurturing confidence, resilience, and creativity in our communities.”


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