No Mean Festivity – Taggart Star Tells Seasonal Tale

Award-winning actor Blythe Duff narrates Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman for this season’s RSNO’s Christmas Concerts

Blythe Duff, famed globally for her portrayal of Detective Inspector Jackie Reid in Scottish Television’s police drama Taggart, will join the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) in December, narrating the classic story of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman, as part of this year’s RSNO Christmas Concerts.
The Orchestra takes its popular RSNO Christmas Concerts – now firmly ensconced as a traditional seasonal event – to the Music Hall, Aberdeen (Thursday 18 December, 7.30pm); the Caird Hall, Dundee (Friday 19 December, 7.30pm); the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Saturday 20 December, 2.00pm & 6.00pm), and to the Usher Hall, Edinburgh (Sunday 21 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 voices of the RSNO Chorus or Junior Chorus, and a few surprises.
Blythe Duff:
"It will be a joy to work with the RSNO again. Our paths have crossed many times over the years. I’ve also enjoyed working with the extremely talented conductor Christopher Bell in the past, so I’m very much looking forward to these concerts. The Snowman is such a wonderful tale, and to narrate the story along with the animation and full symphonic backing will be a memorable experience.
Following 2014’s festivities, on Friday 2 January 2015 the Orchestra welcomes audiences to a new year at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, for the matinee performance of Handel’s Messiah (3.00pm), with historical performance exponent Laurence Cummings joined onstage by soprano Sophie Bevan, mezzo-soprano Clare Wilkinson, tenor Allan Clayton, baritone George Humphreys and the RSNO Chorus.
To round off the seasonal programming, RSNO Assistant Conductor Jean-Claude Picard and soprano Natalya Romaniw present Viennese Gala at Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline (Saturday 3 January, 7.30pm); the Buccleuch Centre, Langholm (Sunday 4 January, 7.30pm); at Perth Concert Hall (Wednesday 7 January, 7.30pm), and at Eden Court, Inverness (Thursday 8 January, 8.00pm). For more information please visit

HUP! Scotland’s classical concerts for newborns

RSNO premières playful introduction to orchestral music for 0-24 months in Aberdeen

For the first time, interactive, participative performances for newborns to two-year-olds will be presented by Scotland’s national orchestra, in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, from Monday 24 March.
A trio of musicians and a drama artist will create an enchanting live music experience for the very young and their grownups. The performances are entitled Hup!, one of the most popular first spoken words for babies, when they want picked up. The young audience members will discover two violins, one cello, one raccoon, a very important tree and someone with a story to share. The relaxed thirty-minute performance is followed by the chance for the young audience to stay and play.
Hup!, devised by Hazel Darwin-Edwards & Abigail Sinar and supported by TOTAL E&P UK Limited and Vibrant Aberdeen, is one outcome of Nickum (Doric for little scamp), a partnership project between Starcatchers, an organisation that specialises in performances and creativity for babies, toddlers and young children, and the RSNO. Nickum’s strategy is to provide a range of RSNO-led community activities in the north-east of Scotland for young people and their families.
The performances for the very young are connected to the distribution of the Astar CD, a free orchestral recording for all babies born in Scotland since October 2012, available through Scottish registry offices. The RSNO hopes to roll out the concept to other areas of Scotland over the next eighteen months.
RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Minchin:

Our first foray into presenting performances for the youngest of audiences will be especially rewarding, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the reaction of our small critics over the next week. It’s an important step for the RSNO, as this completes our portfolio of resources and performances for people of all ages, and is a natural progression from the distribution of the Astar CD, which started in October 2012, and, I’m glad to say, will be continued for a further year.

For more information on Hup! or any of the RSNO Engage activities go to or call 0141 225 3574.