l The Red Note Ensemble is teaming up with new music body JAM (John Armitage Memorial) to give the Scottish premieres of four new pieces on a tour of six concerts in February next year, with Michael Bawtree conducting.

The programme will include the world premiere of a choral commission from Phillip Cooke, who takes up a residency at Aberdeen University in January alongside Paul Mealor. A Judith Bingham piece for strings, Hythe, and a choral work by Julian Philips will receive their Scottish premieres, alongside Rory Boyle's Tallis's Light. The tour will include the first JAM concerts in Glasgow.


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l The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music at Plockton High School has launched its 12th annual aural report card, a double CD featuring the centre's young musicians in groups small and veritably orchestral and, on one track, showcasing the solo fiddle talents of Sally Simpson. The CD is dedicated to the memory of the late bard of Lochee Michael Marra, a close friend of the centre.


l Meanwhile, former students at the centre have teamed up with fellow participants from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's Scottish music course in Cherry Grove, a very promising quintet with a fresh, instrumentally accomplished group sound, whose first, self-titled EP is available now from www.cherrygrovemusic.com

l AFTER its acclaimed Christmas show Sleeping Beauty (which runs to January 6), Glasgow's Citizens Theatre opens its 2013 programme on January 17 with a staging of Jean Genet's The Maids, in a translation by Martin Crimp. Three recent graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – Ross Mann, Scott Reid and Samuel Keefe – play the Maids and their Mistress in Genet's cross-dressed take on the scandal of the Papin sisters, who murdered their employer in 1930s France. Musician Scott Paterson has been teaching the cast songs by Metallica, David Bowie, below, and The Velvet Underground for Stewart Laing's new production.