At the RSNO, we aim to inspire the next generation of musicians and concert-goers. The RSNO Engage team provides a range of ways for young people to get involved in performing, enjoying and creating music. Due to the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to rethink the way we engage with young people during this unprecedented time. Despite being unable to meet in person, we have explored ways to continue to support talented young people by moving our activity online.

Young Ambassador Programme

We continued to work with our group of Young Ambassadors by replacing our monthly, in-person meetings with a twice-weekly online meet up via Zoom, running from the beginning of lockdown until the end of May. These sessions provided a place for the young people to continue to connect with each other and the RSNO. At each session, we were joined by a special guest who shared their career in the music world. These special guests included RSNO musicians and staff, as well as a host of others such as colleagues from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to a music therapist currently working with NHS Lothian.

Takeover 2020

RSNO Takeover, our annual two-day intensive work experience that involves 50+ young people, had to quickly adapt to lockdown! As we were no longer able to meet in person, we invited the young people to join us online every week to explore how we could create a new piece of music. Inspired by the use of digital platforms such as Zoom and Skype, we encouraged the participants to consider how, despite being physically distant from each other, music can still bring us together.

Guided by American composer and musician, Nathan Hall, the participants composed a piece of music that explores young people's stories of how they are navigating the pandemic and how we can celebrate our connections through music. Watch the audio/visual work titled Going Places here.

Notes from Scotland 2020:21

During lockdown, we invited young composers to get creative and enter our newly refreshed Notes from Scotland programme, a scheme that offers five young people (aged 14-18) the chance to be mentored by Oliver Searle, Interim Head of Composition at Royal Conservatoire Scotland and composer Jay Capperauld. The young people and mentors will work together over six months to create a new piece of music that will be performed by RSNO musicians at a showcase event in February 2021.

© Royal Scottish National Orchestra 2021