Young people from Big Noise Douglas Performed with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the Caird Hall
Last week, our fantastic young musicians from Big Noise Douglas took part in a special concert with professionals from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). The group of 25 children and young people from Big Noise Douglas, all aged between eight and 10, shared the stage at Dundee’s Caird Hall with the world-renowned RSNO on Thursday night.
They performed side-by-side and treated concertgoers to renditions of two pieces – Amitiés and Mission Mars – both of which were written by Big Noise musician Joëlle Broad, the programme’s Strings Curriculum Leader.
This special concert was the first time many of our young people had performed outside their own community in Douglas. The event gave them the opportunity to demonstrate their confidence, teamwork and musical skills to friends and family on one of the city’s biggest stages, while playing alongside accomplished professional musicians as part of Scotland’s national orchestra.
It followed weeks of hard work and preparation from the young people, with RSNO musicians visiting Big Noise Douglas earlier this month to rehearse with them.
This concert was the first of many this year for Big Noise Douglas, as they begin celebrating the fifth anniversary of the programme's launch in Dundee this year.
Andy Thorn, head of centre for Big Noise Douglas, said: “We are incredibly proud of all our young people who performed alongside accomplished professional musicians from Scotland’s national orchestra. It was wonderful to see the young people from Big Noise Douglas demonstrating their confidence, team work, musical skills and talents on a big stage in front of friends, family members and the wider public.
“The concert was a fantastic example of the opportunities Big Noise participants have and I have no doubt that this experience will be immensely beneficial for them. It also showed the strength of partnership between Big Noise and the RSNO and is testament to how much the orchestra members value their role in inspiring children and young people. And of course, the event was made all the more special by the fact we are celebrating our fifth year of working with and supporting children, young people and their families in the Douglas community.”
Lee Forster, whose nine-year-old son Jayden played in the concert, said: “It's absolutely fantastic that Jayden has been given the opportunity to perform at a venue like the Caird Hall which has seen the very best – it's a historic place. I've seen Jayden play in plenty of Big Noise concerts before, which have always been great, but it was really special to see him playing alongside the RSNO.
“Being part of Big Noise Douglas has had a massive impact on Jayden's life. He loves it so much. He refuses to stay off school if he's not well - because it could mean he might potentially miss a day of Big Noise. He loves exploring his creativity through new instruments. He's played wind instruments so far, but we saw him the other day with a cornet – he just loves music and he's taken to it like a duck to water. There's not a great deal for kids to do after school round here, so the after-school element of Big Noise is fantastic. It gives him somewhere to do something that he loves with his friends from school.”
Andy Stevenson, RSNO Director of Engagement, said: “I’d like to congratulate all of the young people who performed tonight – it’s always fantastic to see the combined orchestra on stage whenever we take part in a side-by-side performance with Sistema Scotland musicians. It’s particularly special this week as Big Noise Douglas mark their fifth anniversary, continuing their great work in the community here as well as at centres across the country.
“Partnerships such as this are vital to the RSNO’s work, showing the significant role that music plays in education and well-being in Scotland. We look forward to continuing to work together to support young people starting their musical journeys.”