GROUNDBREAKING CHILDREN'S ORCHESTRA LAUNCHES IN GLASGOW'S GOVANHILL

The charity Sistema Scotland today (Tuesday) launched its second Big Noise Orchestra, with community concerts in Govanhill on the southside of Glasgow.

Big Noise is an orchestra programme that aims to use music-making to foster confidence, teamwork, pride and aspiration in the children taking part – and across their wider community. It is based on the methods of Venezuela’s “El Sistema” movement. The first Big Noise centre was established in Raploch, Stirling in 2008 and now works with 450 children from babies to teens. A Scottish Governmentcommissioned evaluation found children were more confident, happier, better behaved and more able to focus as a result of taking part. Earlier this year, ten Raploch children successfully auditioned for the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland.

Big Noise Govanhill’s team of eight musicians have been working with Primary 1 and 2 children at four local schools for the last ten weeks – Cuthbertson Primary, St Bride’s Primary, Holy Cross Primary and Annette Street Primary.

400 children performed for the local community and invited guests in a marquee in

Govanhill Park today. The P2 children are invited to a summer school at the orchestra’s base at Forsyth House on Coplaw Street. After-school orchestra sessions will run at the centre when the new school year starts in the autumn.

Sistema Scotland Chairman Richard Holloway said: “We hope the whole Govanhill community can get behind this orchestra. The children are bursting with enthusiasm and potential. In ten weeks we have formed an impressive string orchestra. Over time we will bring in woodwind, brass and percussion to form a full symphony orchestra. Not only will it produce wonderful music, it will transform lives.”

Sistema Scotland came to Govanhill thanks largely to the efforts of Govanhill Housing Association and Govanhill Community Development Trust. GCDT Chairwoman Lyn Ewing said: “As soon as we heard what they were doing in Raploch we thought this could be a great thing for Govanhill. After a visit to see the children rehearsing, we became convinced we had to have our own Big Noise. This is a great day for Govanhill and Glasgow.”

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