Paisley Young People take over Scotland’s national orchestra

Takeover long

The RSNO and Renfrewshire Council collaborate to provide unique work experience project

This October, Paisley’s young people will get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to plan, programme and perform a concert with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Approximately sixty 15 to 24-year-olds will work with the RSNO musicians and staff across every aspect of the planning, promotion and performance, as part of an intensive work experience project.

The Paisley Takeover programme is being funded by Renfrewshire Council as part of the build-up to the town’s bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021. Young people with an interest in the music industry can apply to take part and successful applicants will be assigned a ‘job’ according to their skills and interests.

Up to twenty-five young people will rehearse and perform alongside the RSNO musicians, with two participants conducting the full orchestra with guidance from RSNO Assistant Conductor Jean-Claude Picard. There will also be opportunities in areas including stage management, sound engineering, event planning and marketing for the concert, for which the date and venue is still to be decided. To be participating musician, the young people must already be able to play a strings, brass, woodwind or percussion instrument at grade 7 or 8 standard.

Some of the young people will run the engagement and learning aspect of the project, working with the RSNO to deliver one-hour musical workshops to more than five hundred primary school pupils around Renfrewshire.

The aim of The Paisley Takeover is to engage young people in cultural activity and boost their job and life skills. Details of how to apply will be announced soon.

The Orchestra has developed its relationship significantly with Renfrewshire over the past three years, performing during the town’s Spree Festival with artist such as Roddy Hart and King Creosote.

RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Adams: “Having opened our doors to an influx of enthusiastic young people for the first time last year, we are delighted to once again giving them the chance to run one of Scotland’s busiest performing arts organisations, on this occasion working in the Paisley area. It will provide valuable experience to those seeking to pursue employment in the arts, and is intended to be challenging, stimulating and fun. You never know - we may very well have a future RSNO conductor or Chief Executive among our group.”
Council Leader Mark Macmillan: “We are delighted to be able to continue our partnership with the RSNO for this hugely-exciting Paisley Takeover project. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for our young people to work with world-class musicians on a project which will boost their confidence and job chances. Hopefully it will help kick off careers in the music industry for some of them – and who knows whether the next Gerry Rafferty or Paolo Nutini will be within their ranks?

“This is just one of many great projects which will be taking place around the town as we prepare to submit our bid in two years’ time for UK City of Culture 2021. That bid is part of a wider push to use and develop the town’s existing cultural and heritage assets to help drive regeneration and tourism.

“There is no question that Paisley is fast establishing itself as a key destination on Scotland’s cultural map.”

Also, for the second year, the RSNO is running its national Takeover programme, on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 June. This is open to anyone in Scotland aged 16 – 18yrs and is held in Glasgow at the RSNO Centre. Accommodation costs are covered for those who reside outside the city and financial assistance with travel is also available. Spaces are extremely limited so please contact engage@rsno.org.uk to apply for a place.