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Hup! hits the right note as RSNO plays to young audience

Scotland's national orchestra is making its first overture to the very young.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has performed for the first time to a group of children up to the age of two years, who were taken to a venue in Aberdeen to hear the band provide a playful introduction to orchestral music.

The concerts have been named Hup!, as it is one of the most common words babies communicate to their parents - usually when they want to be picked up.

Yesterday the children were elevated in a different way - at the first of these mini-concerts a group of children sat in awe as the music was played at the Williamson Family Centre in Aberdeen.

A spokesman added: "They were a little upset when it ended, so RSNO violinist Liz Lloyd started playing again and the little ones resumed their awe-struck state."

The half-hour concert involved a trio of musicians and a drama artist, and during the show the children discover "two violins, one cello, one raccoon, a very important tree and someone with a story to share".

The scheme is new for the RSNO, which is used to playing more formal concerts to adults in grand auditoriums, and the music has been written by the Starcatchers childrens art and performance group with performer Abigail Sinar.

Scottish Opera has also had success with its BabyO performances for children aged between 6 and 18 months.

Jenn Minchin, director of learning and engagement for the RSNO, said: "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."

The performances are connected to the distribution of the Astar CD, a free orchestral recording for all babies born in Scotland since October 2012.

The RSNO hopes to extend the Hup! concerts to other areas of Scotland.

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