Magical Day at Rachel House with RSNO

A themed 'Magical' music event was held at Rachel House Children's Hospice on Friday (19 August) with musicians from the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) and representatives from The Miller Group.

The event – for 40 children, young adults and their families who visit the hospice – included participatory games using singing, body percussion and instruments with the theme of samba and storytelling. All participants were dressed up for the day as their favourite 'magical' characters including Harry Potter, fairies and pirates.
The event celebrated a successful first year of RSNO's three-year musical residency, sponsored by Edinburgh-based Miller Group, the UK's largest privately-owned housebuilding, property development and construction business.
Alison Blair, Rachel House Activities Co-ordinator said:

We had a fantastic day and would like to say a huge thank you to RSNO and the Miller Group. "The music sessions have a huge value for families, bringing everyone together and helping to create special memories. The day was the perfect way to mark the first year of our partnership with RSNO.

RSNO Associate Principal Percussion John Poulter, who will now be leaving the project to enable other RSNO members to take over, said:

Elita Bungard, Helen Brew and I have had a wonderful year working at Rachel House. It feels like we have been working together for far longer than we have. This is due in no small part to the fun and enjoyment we have taken from our visits and also the friendly, close knit atmosphere we have experienced whilst working there. To be associated with something so special and important has been wonderful, as has seeing first-hand the effect we have had on the children and their families. I hope our colleagues have as good a time as we have – I'm positive they will.

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Orchestra's Friday-feeling Boléro busk

RSNO out of concert zone with surprise Glasgow Airport performances

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) traded the concert hall for airport check-in on Friday 12 August, when forty of Scotland's foremost professional musicians presented a surprise performance to passengers and staff at one of Scotland's busiest airports.
The RSNO, dressed in travel clothes and carrying suitcases to maintain the element of surprise, queued at desks 11 and 12, where they pretended to check-in for a flight to Madrid, before assembling to perform a specially-adapted version of French composer Maurice Ravel's iconic Boléro, famously used as the music to the 1984 Olympic-winning performance by British ice-skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, to passengers and staff at Glasgow Airport check-in. The musicians appeared later at a second surprise location within the airport, Glasgow Airport Foodhall, to perform traditional Scottish eightsome reels to business travellers, tourists and airport staff.
Glasgow Airport is one of the main gateways for air travellers flying to and from Scotland, processing over 700,000 passengers a month during the busy summer peak period. To assist in the direction of the surprise performances the RSNO employed the talents of the National Theatre of Scotland's Director of Learning Simon Sharkey, who has many years' experience of urban events.
The Orchestra was conducted by RSNO Horn John Logan:

The RSNO is Scotland's symphony orchestra and we're very proud of what we do. When opportunities to do something a little bit different arise – something which presents orchestral music to different audiences and to enhance Scotland's reputation as a welcoming destination – we're happy to meet the challenge. Obviously, we take our music-making seriously but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be trying new things, and following today thousands of people, many of which will be new to live orchestral music, will be able to say they've experienced the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, in an airport!

Francois Bourienne, Commercial Director at Glasgow Airport, said:

The RSNO's surprise performance marks the start of our month long Best of Scotland campaign, which, in addition to showcasing the best of what Scotland has to offer, aims to create a bit of theatre in the airport and what better way to do so than to host Scotland's national orchestra. It's the first time Glasgow Airport has been used as a venue by a major orchestra and the RSNO's performance will ensure our passengers take away some very special memories of both Scotland and the airport.

Scotland's national symphony orchestra looks forward to some high-profile performances before it embarks on Stéphane Denève's final season as RSNO Music Director at the end of September. The Orchestra has four performances as part of this year's Edinburgh International Festival, its first appearance at the prestigiousMendelssohn Festival in Leipzig, Germany on Sunday 4 September, and the fifth annual performances at Scotland's most popular tourist attraction, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, on Friday 9 September and Saturday 10 September.