Big Noise kids sneak a peek at Snowman

Snowman Aberdeen

Aberdeen primary school kids gained VIP access to RSNO Christmas Concert with special screening of classic animation

Forty children from Big Noise in Torry received privileged access to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s (RSNO) final rehearsal of this year’s Christmas Concert at Aberdeen’s Music Hall on Thursday, courtesy of Total E&P UK Ltd.

The children witnessed the final run-through before the first performance of the concerts, which featured a screening of Raymond Briggs’ classic animation The Snowman complete with live orchestral accompaniment. Before the rehearsal the children were welcomed by RSNO musicians as well as narrator for The Snowman, Scottish actor Georgie Glen (Waterloo Road, Les Misérables, Mrs Brown, Calendar Girls).

The VIP access was part of a raft of activities developed in partnership with Sistema Scotland.  Big Noise Torry is delivered in partnership with Aberdeen City Council.  The initiative aims to equip children with confidence and resilience to succeed across all areas of their lives. The RSNO joined Sistema Scotland as its orchestra in the North East last August, thanks to valuable support from energy group TOTAL E&P UK Ltd.

Since August the RSNO and Big Noise Torry have presented Instrument Petting Zoos for both Walker Road and Tullos Primary Schools, where young children can interact with musicians and orchestral instruments, with many youngsters getting to play an instrument for the first time. Walker Road Primary School also ‘adopted’ a RSNO musician, where RSNO cellist Ruth Rowlands visited the school each month to engage with the pupils. Similarly Tullos Primary School adopted RSNO viola Katherine Wren. RSNO musicians also participated in the Big Noise Torry after-school clubs.

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.”

RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Adams: “We are delighted to be able to support the work of Big Noise Torry as we both consider music an intrinsic part of a young person’s development.  By providing these opportunities for young people we help provide the starting point of a lifelong musical journey. We might even be welcoming our young VIPs to the RSNO as professional musicians in the future.”

Waterloo Road star tells seasonal tale

Georgie Glen 2 web

Award-winning Scottish actor Georgie Glen narrates Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman for RSNO’s Christmas Concerts

Georgie Glen, most recently known for portraying history teacher Audrey McFall in BBC One show Waterloo Road, will make her Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) début this month, narrating the classic story of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, as part of this year’s RSNO Christmas Concerts.

The Helensburgh-born actor will be known to many, with Georgie’s film credits including Les Misérables, Mrs Brown, My Week With Marilyn and Calendar Girls.  On the small screen she has appeared regularly in Heartbeat, as well as in numerous comedy series, including Alan Partridge, Little Britain and The Thick of It.

The Orchestra takes its popular RSNO Christmas Concerts (sponsored by the RSNO’s Transport Partner ScotRail) – now firmly embedded as one of Scotland’s traditional seasonal events – to the Music Hall, Aberdeen (Thursday 17 December, 7.30pm); the Caird Hall, Dundee (Friday 18 December, 7.30pm); the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Saturday 19 December, 2.00pm & 6.00pm), and to the Usher Hall, Edinburgh (Sunday 20 December, 3.00pm). Led by conductor Christopher Bell, the Orchestra will perform Howard Blake’s iconic soundtrack synchronised with the screening of the animated film, with vocal soloists for the famous ballad Walking in the Air drawn from the RSNO’s own Junior Chorus. The concerts also feature well-known festive musical favourites, audience participation, the RSNO Chorus or Junior Chorus, and a few surprises.

Scottish actor Georgie Glen: “It is my distinct pleasure to be performing with Scotland’s national orchestra this Christmas.  The Snowman is such a wonderful tale, and to narrate the story along with the animation and full symphonic support is something I’m sure I'm going to treasure.”

On Sunday 3 January 2016 the Orchestra welcomes audiences to a new year at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall for its matinee performance of Handel’s Messiah (3.00pm), with historical performance conductor Matthew Halls joined onstage by soprano Ailish Tynan, counter-tenor Iestyn Davies, tenor James Gilchrist, bass-baritone Matthew Brook and the RSNO Chorus .

The RSNO’s Viennese Gala with conductor Jean-Claude Picard and soprano Ailish Tynan present Viennese Gala  at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline (Friday 8 January, 7.30pm); the Buccleuch Centre, Langholm (Saturday 9 January, 7.30pm); Reid Hall, Forfar (Sunday 10 January, 7.30pm), Eden Court, Inverness (Wednesday 13 January, 7.30pm) and at Albert Halls, Stirling (Thursday 14 January, 7.30pm). For more information please go to www.rsno.org.uk.