Top professional musicians from Scotland’s national orchestra will contribute to the work of a new social action children’s orchestra in Torry – thanks to support from energy firm TOTAL E&P UK Limited.
The company is funding the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s (RSNO) work with children in the Torry community, in support of the Big Noise children’s orchestra, launched in June.
On Thursday 27 August RSNO musicians present the first of their Instrument Petting Zoos – where young children get the chance to play with orchestral instruments – with pupils at Walker Road Primary School and Tullos Primary School.
RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Adams: “Our mobile instrument petting zoo gives pupils the opportunity for hands-on experience of playing and hearing instruments in the Orchestra.
“We are delighted to be able to support the work of Big Noise Torry. Today’s first hands-on experience could be the start of a lifelong musical journey for the children. We might even be welcoming some of them to the RSNO as professional musicians in the future.”
Sandra McLennan, Total E&P UK said, “As part of our commitment to the local community, our aim is to work together with new and existing partners to deliver educational, inspirational and inclusive projects. Big Noise Torry and the RSNO will provide the children of Torry with a unique opportunity to acquire musical skills taught by highly acclaimed professional musicians and learn more about themselves whilst they do so. TEP UK is delighted to support this very special project and wishes everyone involved every success.”
The relationship will see further workshops by visiting RSNO players, and Torry children will experience performances by the musicians both in their schools and at Aberdeen Music Hall. Both schools will also be Adopting a Musician, which will see a player from the RSNO visit each school a number of times a year for a series of musical projects.
Big Noise Torry Team Leader Laura Horn said: “Our aim is to give the children of Torry the very best musical experience we can. It is fantastic to have this relationship with one of the finest professional orchestras in the UK. We are grateful to Total E&P UK Limited for making it possible.”
Big Noise Torry is delivered in partnership between Aberdeen City Council and the charity Sistema Scotland. While its most obvious triumphs are musical, Big Noise aims to equip children with confidence and resilience to succeed across all areas of their lives.
Aberdeen City Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Committee Councillor Angela Taylor said: “When Aberdeen City Council agreed to work in partnership with Sistema Scotland to bring Big Noise Torry to Aberdeen we did so because we knew it would be life-changing for the children involved and the wider community. Today’s visit by the RSNO, supported by TOTAL E&P UK, is evidence that Big Noise Torry is already proving to be life-enhancing for the children taking part in this wonderful initiative.”
The impacts of existing Big Noise orchestras in Glasgow and Stirling are being monitored by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. First findings published earlier this year found positive change to children’s lives. Researchers said the programme has the potential to significantly enhance participants’ lives, prospects, health and wellbeing.
Aberdeen City Council has committed to providing 75% of the funding for Big Noise Torry. Further support is coming from Aberdeen Harbour Board; Capital Solutions; Creative Scotland; The MacRobert Trust; Nexen Petroleum U.K. Limited; Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery; Sigrid Rausing Trust; and Andrew Salvesen Family Trust among others.
Total E&P UK Limited is supporting both the RSNO’s involvement in Big Noise Torry and the core programme of Sistema activities in Aberdeen.