Sistema Scotland, in partnership with Optimistic Sound and Dundee City Council, has announced the launch of its fourth Big Noise Centre in Douglas, Dundee.
Sistema Scotland works to create permanent social change in some of the most deprived communities in Scotland. They use participation in the Big Noise orchestra programmes to change lives by fostering confidence, discipline, teamwork, pride and aspiration in the children and young people taking part.
Big Noise Douglas will work with children in Claypotts Castle and St Pius Primary Schools.
Douglas was chosen as the fourth area to benefit from a Big Noise Centre because of its strong sense of community, its self-identity, size, history and educational needs.
Sistema Scotland will start with a programme of community engagement, followed by the recruitment of the Douglas team leader and the operations manager who will create the centre.
Big Noise Douglas will work with children from P1 and P2 using their in-school programme. After the first year, as the orchestra expands and develops, the team will work through afterschool clubs and in the nurseries.
Colin McKerchar, CEO, Sistema Scotland, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support and welcome we have already received in Douglas. We can’t wait to start working with our partners, the schools and the local community to get this centre up and running as quickly as possible.
“Our first priority is working with the community members and partners to bring Big Noise to Douglas, then we'll start hiring a team to deliver the programme. The Big Noise team will begin working with the children in Spring 2017 to prepare them for their first concert at the official opening of Big Noise Douglas in June 2017.”
Optimistic Sound will be the principal funders of the programme with a £1.4 million investment over five years, Michael Marra, Secretary of Optimistic Sound, said: “This is a wonderful moment for those who have spent five years campaigning and fundraising to bring Big Noise to Dundee.
“For those young people set to benefit from the programme, it will be life changing, this is what bringing Big Noise to Dundee is all about. We have lots of money still to raise and I would ask anyone who can help to get in touch."
Dundee City council will be providing payment “in kind” for the new centre in the Douglas Community. Children and Families Service convener, Councillor Stewart Hunter, said: “I would like to thank everyone who has been working tirelessly in the background to ensure that Sistema Scotland can come to Dundee.
“I am sure the community of Douglas is excited at this prospect and is looking forward to the positive impact that this will have on the lives of children in this area.
“In Dundee, we have a long tradition of harnessing the power of music to help children meet new challenges and take new opportunities. Our Aspire Dundee project and free music tuition are just two examples of our work.
“The arrival of Sistema Scotland in Douglas will be really something special and I am sure that the pupils of Claypotts Castle and St Pius primaries will be looking forward to making a Big Noise.
“This project will help in the efforts to transform Douglas and help young people maximise their potential and give them new life chances. Sistema Scotland will have an amazing reception in Douglas and I can’t wait to see, and hear, how it progresses.”