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National orchestra beckons for stars of Big Noise

IT has only been running for four years, but already 10 children taught at an acclaimed music tuition scheme in an estate in Stirling have won places at the nation's youth orchestras.

IN TUNE: Children have been making a Big Noise.
IN TUNE: Children have been making a Big Noise.

Children from the Big Noise music programme in the Raploch area of Stirling, an estate previously known for deprivation but now more readily associated with music, have auditioned and won places in the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS).

Six children from the Big Noise, a programme based on Venezuela's El Sistema intensive music tuition programme, have been invited to join the NYOS Junior Orchestra for its inaugural year and a further four have been invited on to the NYOS String Training course.

They are Neiro Davidson, 13, who plays percussion, Lewis Sinclair, 13, on oboe, Symone Hutchison, 11, on trombone, Nyree Davidson, 12, on viola, Jakub Zalewski, 11, on viola, Erin Cooper, 10, on double bass, Owen Flanagan, nine, on bass, Tieya Davidson, 10, on violin, Luke Barjoti, 13, on violin, and Bailey Taft, 10, on bass.

Those playing for the junior orchestra, which is the first step to becoming a member of the full National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, will get the opportunity to perform under the orchestra's chief conductor, the Dutch maestro Roland Kieft.

The Big Noise project, which is currently teaching more than 450 children, from babies to 13-year-olds, has been lauded for its social impact in Raploch, but now its musical impact is also beginning to bear fruit.

In Venezuela, the El Sistema project has unearthed several musical talents, including star conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

The Big Noise children will join nearly 300 children in NYOS junior, senior and main orchestras, which have been connected to the scheme since its launch concert in 2008.

A new Big Noise orchestra is to be set up in Govanhill, Glasgow, this year backed by the Scottish Government.

Joan Gibson, chief executive of NYOS, said: "Both organisations share many common goals and aspirations and by working collaboratively we hope to provide clear educational pathways from grass roots right through to pre-professional level for Scotland's talented young musicians, for years to come."

Nicola Killean, chief executive of Sistema Scotland, which runs Big Noise, said: "We have always been working hard to provide the children with the very best musical opportunities. We want to connect the children with the wider musical opportunities in Scotland.

"NYOS has always been high on our list, so we are absolutely delighted to see this first group of children make it through auditions successfully.

"They will not be the last.

"This is such a wonderful opportunity the children have earned through hard work and determination. Their families and community are so proud of them and they are magnificent role models for the other children in Raploch. We look forward to continuing our partnership with NYOS to develop the best musical talent from communities where we work."

Established in 1979, NYOS provides professional orchestral training and performance opportunities for aspiring students aged between eight and 25.

They provide a range of platforms for performance including the NYOS Junior and Senior Orchestras, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. NYOS alumni include Dame Evelyn Glennie, Nicola Benedetti, Garry Walker and Colin Currie.

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