Children’s Classic Concerts’ festive choice for families this Christmas

Owen and Olly appear with RSNO Big Band in Edinburgh and full Orchestra in Glasgow in December

Children's Classic Concerts teams up with its national orchestra once again to delight the young and young-at-heart with fast-paced, energetic presentations to bring in the festive season.

Christmas Swingalong: Sunday 4 December 2011, 3.00pm, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Christmas Magic Saturday 10 December 2011, 1.00pm and 3.00pm, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Whether you prefer a traditional box of delights, complete with ballet dancers and seasonal stories, or a toe-tapping concert that is guaranteed to go with a swing, Children's Classic Concerts' irrepressible percussionist presenters, Owen Gunnell and Olly Cox, along with the fabulous Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) and RSNO Big Band, have Christmas covered.

Groove on down to the Usher Hall for Christmas Swingalong (Sunday 4 December, 3.00pm) where Owen and Olly and the brilliant RSNO Big Band will get everyone In the Mood for a party with some seriously cool festive favourites. Even the Pink Panther will be wearing his Santa hat!

For a touch of traditional Christmas Magic join Owen and Olly with the RSNO at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Saturday 10 December, 1.00pm & 3.00pm) for a sparkling countdown to Christmas Day. There'll be magical toys, ice-skating ballet dancers, and lots of laughs too, but will Rudolph arrive on time? Or will Santa get stuck up the chimney? The Night Before Christmas has never been more thrilling!

Childrens' Classic Concerts presenter Olly Cox:

It is fantastic to have the chance to work with not only the Royal Scottish National Orchestra but also the RSNO Big Band this Christmas. It means we really can provide something for everyone with traditional classics like The Night Before Christmas and beautiful ballet in Glasgow, as well as up-tempo swing favourites like The Jungle Book and Jingle Bells in Edinburgh. And of course there will be lots of singing, dancing, joining-in and plenty of messing about with Owen and myself at both concerts.

Don't miss the fun and excitement of Scotland's best-loved family concerts. Contact the Usher Hall Box Office on 0131 228 1155, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Box Office on 0141 353 8000 or online at www.childrensclassicconcerts.co.uk.

Phil and Aly’s anniversary celebrated at RSNO’s St Andrew’s Party

Traditional musicians Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain celebrate 25 years performing

Scottish traditional music icons Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain, this year, celebrate 25 years performing music together and invite friends including singer/songwriter Dougie MacLean to join them onstage for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's (RSNO) A St Andrew's Party, on Saturday 26 November at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Dougie MacLean will join Phil, Aly, the RSNO, vocalist Ainsley Hamill, fiddle player Fiona Johnson, guitarist Jenn Butterworth, drummer John Lowrie and members of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland. Dougie will be performing a selection of traditional favourites, including Ca' the Yowes, Heiland Harry, Green Grow the Rashes and Scotland's alternative anthem, Caledonia.

This is the fourth year that the former RSNO Horn and new Head of Brass at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD), John Logan, will take to the podium to lead the RSNO for the St Andrew's celebrations. John has collaborated with Phil Cunningham on a number of the evening's works including Farewell to Govan, The Kid on the Mountain Set as well as John's orchestration of Queensferry Cooper – Derry Cunningham Jig Set.

Conductor John Logan:

As ever we have a very special line-up for this year's St Andrew's Party. I'm delighted that Dougie is able to join us for the evening; especially for this performance as 2011 marks the 25th year of Aly and Phil's playing careers so Saturday's concert will no doubt be emotionally charged and memorable night.

There are limited seats available for A St Andrew's Party on Saturday 26 November at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. For further information call the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Box Office on 0141 353 8000 or log onto www.rsno.org.uk.

RSNO appoints new Principal Second Violin

Scottish Ensemble member Xander Van Vliet joins Scotland's national symphony orchestra

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has appointed 31 year-old Dutch musician Xander Van Vliet as its Principal Second Violin. Xander joins from the Scottish Ensemble, where he has been Principal Second Violin since April 2010. He will continue to work with the Scottish Ensemble following his appointment.

New RSNO Principal Second Violin Xander Van Vliet:

Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to perform with the wonderful musicians of the RSNO and have begun to feel at home. It is a very welcoming organisation, but more than that it has a sense that, with the arrival of Peter, James and Maya, a tangible sense of purpose exists which is something very inviting and an environment that I very much want to be a part of.

Rosalin Lazaroff was the last permanent Principal Second Violin, who left the Orchestra in 2007 after 18 years' service to return to her native homeland in Australia, along with husband and former Leader of the RSNO, Edwin Paling. Recruitment for the position began in August 2010, with the decision made following the appointment of joint RSNO Leaders Maya Iwabuchi and James Clark. Xander's appointment also follows the Orchestra naming new Principal Guest Conductor, 42-year old Dane Thomas Søndergård and welcoming new RSNO Principal Cello Aleksei Kiseliov last month.

Xander Van Vliet will join the RSNO and guest conductor Thomas Hanus for Magnificent Mendelssohn which features performances of the German composer's Hebrides Overture, Violin Concerto (with Vadim Gluzman), concluding with Dvořák's Symphony No6. Magnificent Mendelssohn will be performed at the Caird Hall Dundee on Thursday 10 November, the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 11 November and at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 12 November. For more information visit the RSNO website – www.rsno.org.uk.