Young Scots assume control of Scotland’s national orchestra

Two-day work experience programme for Scottish school pupils at the RSNO

For the first time, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra will be taken over by forty teenagers, for a two-day work experience initiative, where the pupils will plan, promote and present an orchestral concert.
The forty young people, between sixteen and eighteen years old, originate from across Scotland, representing twenty local authorities spanning 220 miles. Many of the young recruits have joined the RSNO’s Young Ambassador programme, which has been designed to develop interest in live orchestral music through school-aged advocates across the country. They will join staff and musicians at the Orchestra’s base in Glasgow and will be assigned to each department of the organisation – from marketing and development to artistic planning, conducting and playing in the Orchestra. A number of the young people will learn practical workshop delivery skills which they’ll then use to lead music workshops with primary aged pupils of Glasgow Gaelic School. The two-day programme will culminate in a performance with the RSNO at the end of the second day, which will be open to family and friends.
RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Minchin:

This will be the first time we have opened our doors to an influx of youth in this way, giving them the chance to run one of Scotland’s busiest performing arts organisations. 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.

Last month the RSNO launched its programmes for schools, RSNO Engage for Schools, one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching initiatives of its kind. Headlining the initiative, the RSNO launched a national composition competition, in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland, open to 12- to 18-year-olds across the country. Notes From Scotland invites young composers to write a two-minute work for an instrumental trio, quartet or quintet. The theme for the first year’s Notes From Scotland is inspired by five National Trust locations around the country.
RSNO Engage, announced last year, has led to a five-fold increase in the number of people enjoying music with Scotland’s national orchestra outside of its Season performances. A notable success story is the RSNO’s Young Ambassadors scheme, which invites young people aged sixteen to eighteen to help promote the live orchestral experience in their area. There is now at least one RSNO Young Ambassador for every local authority in Scotland, and the attendance of audience members under twenty-six years old has risen to 15% across Scotland and nearly 20% in Glasgow as a result.
For more information on RSNO Engage, contact the RSNO Engage Team on 0141 225 3574, email:, or visit