Award-winning vocalists join Phil and Aly for St Andrew's Party

Image: Josie Duncan and Emily Smith
Scots Singer of the Year award winner Emily Smith and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Josie Duncan join Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain for RSNO performance on Saturday
Scottish traditional music icons Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain invite friends including multiple award-winning singer Emily Smith and 2017 winner of BBC Radio 2's Young Folk Award Josie Duncan to join them onstage for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's (RSNO) St Andrew's Party, on Saturday 25 November at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
This year's St Andrew's Party (sponsored by Capital Document Solutions) will feature songs including Mauchline Belles, Irish Beauty, Kid on the Mountain, Sophie's Lullaby, Flatwater Fran and Cathcart. Josie Duncan will perform We Will be Free from Phil Cunningham's Highlands and Islands Suite and The Midlothian Miners' Song. Emily Smith's set includes Robert Burns' songs Silver Tassie, Ae Fond Kiss and Adoon Windin Nith.
Phil and Aly have been performing together for over thirty years and have been marking the week of the feast of Scotland's national saint in concert with the RSNO since 2001. This year, conductor and arranger John Logan, also Head of Brass at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, marks his tenth year leading the RSNO for the celebrations, sharing the anniversary with guitarist and singer Jenn Butterworth, who has accompanied Phil, Aly and the RSNO since 2007.
Traditional musician Phil Cunningham MBE: "It's that time of year again and Aly and I are very excited to take to the stage with the RSNO for another St Andrew's party. As usual, we are delighted to welcome our guest singers for the night. This year we welcome back the wonderful vocal talents of Emily Smith and for the first time, BBC Radio 2 folk award winner, Josie Duncan. We'll also be joined again by a selection of students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and of course the one and only Jenn Butterworth on guitar. We're really looking forward to a great night of music and fun."
2017 BBC Radio 2's Young Folk Award winner Josie Duncan: "I can't think of a better way to spend St Andrew's night than to celebrate Scottish music with such wonderful musicians. I'm really looking forward to revisiting Phil Cunningham's Highlands and Islands Suite after being lucky enough to perform it at last year's Celtic Connections, on the same lovely stage. I'm also humbled and excited to be performing music from my project which pairs coal mining songs with brass accompaniment."
Scots Singer of the Year award winner Emily Smith: "I'm delighted to be part of this year's RSNO St Andrews party with Aly & Phil. It's sure to be a memorable evening and an honour to sing with the RSNO. I've known Phil and Aly for many years now.  It's always a treat to work with such fantastic musicians and entertainers."
For tickets to A St Andrew's Party on Saturday 25 November at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall contact the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Box Office on 0141 353 8000 or visit

New members for RSNO Board of Directors

Image: Clockwise from top right: Hugh Bruce-Watt; Neil McLennan; Jane Wood; Gurjit Singh Lalli

Four new members have been appointed to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's (RSNO) Board of Directors.
Jane Wood, Gurjit Singh Lalli, Neil McLennan and Hugh Bruce-Watt were co-opted to the RSNO Board of Directors at the organisation's meeting last month. Through securing leaders in their respective fields, the RSNO will strengthen its understanding of and capability in the education and learning, corporate and technology sectors.

RSNO Chair Dame Sue Bruce: "On behalf of the RSNO I would like to welcome Gurjit, Jane, Hugh and Neil to the board. The breadth and depth of their collective knowledge and experience in the business, learning and legal sectors will add tremendous strength to an already highly skilled pool of board members. This comes at a time when the RSNO expands its work on multiple fronts, including its nationwide learning and engagement initiatives, high-profile recording and international touring.

"We thank departing directors Andrew Cornall, Eric Young and Chris van der Kuyl for their tireless dedication to the success of one of Scotland's greatest arts organisations. They leave knowing that Scotland's national orchestra and associated bodies are in fine shape and well positioned to succeed in the 21st century."

Gurjit Singh Lalli Gurjit Singh Lalli is the founder and curator of TEDxGlasgow. TED is an education platform which was founded in Silicon Valley in 1984 and is now licensed globally to promote innovation and entrepreneurialism in technology, entertainment and design. TEDxGlasgow has an audience of over 9 million viewers for its talks online and works in partnership with the Scottish Government, Standard Life Aberdeen, the BBC and JP Morgan, amongst others.

Jane Wood is currently the UK Executive Director for Membership, Nations and Income Generation for Business in the Community UK (BITC). Through this role, Jane is a key advisor to HRH Prince Charles in BITC, his Responsible Business Charity. Jane brings experience of retail, marketing and governance and significant experience in development and income generation.

Hugh Bruce-Watt is a commercial lawyer with over 30 years' experience in private practice working in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. He has an MA in English Literature from Cambridge University and an LLB from Edinburgh University. Hugh is an articulate professional with a long career in providing complex professional services to a wide variety of commercial entities in both the public and private sectors.

Neil McLennan has held several key roles in supporting change and improvement in education. After a teaching career in the central belt he was seconded to Learning & Teaching Scotland (now Education Scotland) as a National Development Officer. After two successful secondments implementing national policy, he moved to the North East as Quality Improvement Officer (Education, Culture and Sport) for Aberdeen City Council where he also undertook a period as Acting Service Manager (Schools & Curriculum). In 2011 The Herald described Neil as, "a charismatic visionary in Scottish education."

The RSNO Board of Directors is comprised of up to eight Elected Directors, six Player Directors, Nominated Directors from chief local authorities, the Chief Executive, Company Secretary and members of the RSNO Council.

2018 promises to be a landmark year for Scotland's national orchestra. In June the RSNO will bid farewell to current Music Director Peter Oundjian and, in October, welcome former Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Søndergård as its new Music Director. Peter Oundjian will embark on his final international tour with the RSNO as Music Director in May, a five-date festival tour of Europe with soloists Nicola Benedetti. In addition, the founding organisation of the RSNO, the RSNO Chorus, celebrates its 175th anniversary and will be marked with special events, beginning with performances of Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and MASS, and Holst's The Planets.

Remembrance-themed work receives World Premiere

Image: Daniel Kidane

UK composer Daniel Kidane's Zulu receives its first performances as part of the RSNO's Remembrance Week concerts, in partnership with Poppyscotland

British composer Daniel Kidane will have his latest work premiered by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) in Edinburgh and Glasgow, as part of a programme to mark Remembrance Week.

Zulu, by Guildhall School of Music and Drama doctoral student Daniel Kidane has been chosen to receive its first public performances, at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 10 November and the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 11 November. Both concerts are presented in partnership with Scottish charity Poppyscotland, who will be holding collections following each concert.

Named after the Bantu ethnic group of Southern Africa, Zulu evokes the fighting spirit of the Zulu people. Clannish regiments, known as Impi, marked their bravery and militaristic prowess in battles with invaders such as the Boer Commando and the British Empire. The nature of the piece, characterised by ever-present percussion and an unwavering drive, reflects the essence of the Zulu people.

Daniel Kidane was one of five participants of the RSNO's emerging composer nurturing initiative RSNO Composers' Hub, a rare opportunity to develop meaningful collaboration with a professional symphony orchestra over a sustained period.

RSNO Composers' Hub participant Daniel Kidane: "I'm very much looking forward to further collaborating with the RSNO and hearing my piece Zulu come to life in the 2017:18 Season. It was an absolute pleasure to work with the energetic RSNO, who did a grand job of work-shopping five excitingly unique new pieces. Such opportunities are vital for younger composers and I'm glad that the RSNO are in their second year of this wonderful scheme."

The concerts, conducted by guest conductor José Luis Gomez, making his RSNO debut in place of an indisposed Cristian Măcelaru, also present Rachmaninov's Vocalise and Piano Concerto No3 (performed by the winner of the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Yekwon Sunwoo) and, in the 100th anniversary of its subject matter, the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, Shostakovich's Symphony No12.

The RSNO is supporting new music with the performances of newly-commissioned and co-commissioned works including Gavin Higgins' Velocity, which opened the current Season, Sally Beamish's Whitescape, Oliver Searle's Sauchiehall, Benjamin Rimmer's Pathway and a new Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra by Jennifer Higdon. The Season will also feature performances of other contemporary works written in recent years. For more information on RSNO concerts and events, visit