THE Big Noise youth orchestra in Raploch, Stirling has celebrated ten years. Audience members at the Big Noise Raploch’s Christmas concert joined in the musical celebration by accompanying 160 young musicians in a "Kazoo" performance.

The audience, made up of families, local people and guests, including councillor Scott Farmer, leader of Stirling Council, saw performances from the Symphonic Band, Red and Purple Orchestras, Wind Band and Choir.

Members of the audience were each presented with a Kazoo and invited to join the young Big Noise musicians in performing a piece called the Hello Song which is one of the first songs that children learn when they join a Big Noise programme.

Big Noise Raploch is organised by the charity Sistema Scotland in partnership with Stirling Council, and with support from the Scottish Government and the People’s Postcode Lottery, and a range of other trusts, foundations and individuals.

It works closely local primary schools and nurseries in Raploch, based on El Sistema, a Venezuelan system of intense musical tuition. Sistema Scotland works with around 2,500 children and young people every week across Scotland in their four Big Noise centres in Raploch, Stirling; Govanhill, Glasgow; Torry, Aberdeen; and Douglas, Dundee.

THE Lighthouse in Glasgow, working with artist residency Cove Park, is opening up a new residency for aspiring designers, architects and craft makers.

The aim is to support the research and development of new work within Cove Park, which is on the Rosneath Peninsula, Argyll, with the eventual outcome of exhibiting work, research or outcomes within the Review Gallery at The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture.

The successful applicant will undertake a two week fully-funded residency at Cove Park and will be given the opportunity of a six-week exhibition of resulting work at the gallery.

The deadline for applications is 29 January 2018 and the selection announcement will be on 13 February 2018.

JAMES Shaw, the Edinburgh International Book Festival's head of book sales and retail, is stepping down in October 2018.

His departure follows more than a decade managing the Festival's book sales operations.

The Festival's shops, including a large and popular speciality children’s book shop, achieve sales of more than 60,000 books over the 18 days of the festival each August.

The shops are also the location for book signing events.

Shaw has been responsible working with Nielsen BookScan to include the data from the Book Festival sales in their monthly sales figures. This year in 2017 he launched the Festival's third bookshop in George Street as part of the its expansion out of Charlotte Square Gardens.