IN memory of Sir Alexander Gibson, last night's concert by the

National Youth Orchestra of Scotland testified to our enviable quality

of music education, bringing an orchestra of under 22-year-olds

dangerously close to professional standards.

Centre stage was Dave Heath's African Sunrise -- Manhattan Rave, a

showcase for percussionist Evelyn Glennie and an opportunity for NYOS to

perform something new. Heath's inspiration came from witnessing Glennie

behind a drumkit and the resulting work combines kit, marimba, and

orchestra with startling effect.

African Sunrise opens with hazy shimmers from marimba shaded by the

natural sounds of wind and water machines. Occasional rays of sunshine

from the trumpet penetrate the mist until the final splendour of the

sunset is revealed in gloriously warm textures throughout the sections.

Bird calls signal the end of sunrise and the call to party in the

aural orgy which constitutes a Manhattan Rave. Self-confessed rock chick

Glennie sat behind her drumkit and went completely off her rocker

pounding infectious rhythms over a hypnotic curtain of ''sampled''

orchestral sounds. Penultimately reaching sheer abandonment in a frenzy

of percussive mayhem, echoes of the African Sunrise return for a gentle

cool-down. And not a tab of ecstasy in sight.

A sensational Sibelius 1, from the earthy andantes through a frosty

scherzo to the tempestuous finale, confirmed the wealth of talent

growing in Scotland. Sir Alexander Gibson would have clapped till his

hands were sore.