He was the Scot who founded the “bravest orchestra in the world” in war-torn Iraq, hailed by politicians and even receiving a humanitarian award from the Prime Minister of Malaysia for his inspiring efforts.

Now conductor, Paul MacAlindin, is repeating the process of using classical music to heal the scars of poverty and inequality - this time in Govan, one of the country’s most deprived areas.

Aberdeen-born Mr MacAlindin - who has worked with orchestras and ensembles all over the world, from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra to the Armenian Philharmonic and Düsseldorf Symphoniker - is celebrating the two year birth of The Glasgow Barons.

He learnt first-hand about how music restored people’s lives when he led The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq out of the Iraq War in 2009, through five years of summer courses and tours, only to see that orchestra disband in 2014 with the invasion of ISIS.

The Scottish Government even helped finance the visit in 2012 of the NYOI to Edinburgh and Glasgow with £100,000 of seized proceeds of crime.

Members of the orchestra were said to have risked death just by playing Western classical instruments, and had to audition and receive lessons over the internet due to the security risks. Mr MacAlindin’s book, Upbeat, about the orchestra, became a best seller.

But battle weary, he came home to Scotland three years ago and moved to Govan next door to the Fairfield Shipyard.

Incredibly, against the odds, he set-up the first orchestra to be founded as part of the urban regeneration of the area - replicating some of the lessons he learned in Iraq.

“Many charities had been working for years to bring intensive care and expertise to Govan. But with one-in-three in poverty, and unemployment reaching through some families for generations, fighting against the hopelessness and all the problems that arose from it was for many a long, slow, uphill battle on an individual level,” said Mr MacAlindin.

“I asked myself how could classical music ever have a meaningful place for Govan’s people?”

Now the orchestra he set-up in Govan has already won multiple awards and a musical offshoot for refugees is also proving a trail blazer.

There is even a collaboration between a hip hop act and the orchestra that has also become a major success.

Mr MacAlindin started with Govan’s “fabulous” Victorian venues which had been lovingly restored.

So, he set about organising seven concerts for string orchestra, which he called The Glasgow Barons as a nod to the ship barons who had built the yard he was neighbour to, which would play Tchaikovsky, Bach, Dvorak, and also living Scottish composers like Bill Sweeney.

But they still needed rooted in Govan. So, along he went to the Govan Reminiscence Group, the elderly custodians of Govan’s heritage, and asked for their help to write brand new folk songs on local heroines and heroes such as Mary Barbour, whose rent strikes of 1915 protected people against rent sharks through the war, Private Lawrence Nealis who, at 15, faked his age to sign up and died in France in 1917 and Lizzie Robinson, who never missed a shift at the Cardonald munitions factory and became the first woman to be awarded an OBE by King George V.

Up and coming singer-songwriters from the Scottish folk scene, Ainsley Hamill and Norrie McIver, worked closely with them to write 19 new songs and perform them at the centre of each of Mr MacAlindin’s concerts.

“I couldn’t believe the response. I was by being stopped in the street by neighbours who loved the last concert and were asking when the next one was,” said Mr MacAlindin.

However, the troubling statistic that Govan had Glasgow’s highest child poverty at 36% led him to conclude that The Glasgow Barons would need to address the musical needs of young people in Govan.

The Govan Little Pipers already had a roaring reputation, and Govan High’s music department seemed to be bursting at the seams with exciting work.

So Mr MacAlindin gave them, along with Pirie Park and Riverside Primaries, composers-in-residence Jennifer Martin and Kevan O’Reilly to do composition workshops over 12 weeks where the pupils would create and perform their own music next to the Glasgow Barons’ professional musicians.

“Govan is a tough place for a child to learn a musical instrument: boys may feel pressured in a heavily pro-football environment that music shouldn’t be for them, home life may not be ideal to help with practice with many kinship carers in place – the grannies and grandads, uncles and aunties who look after kids when the parents are absent - and while Glasgow still offers free instrumental school tuition and lends instruments to learners, the waiting lists can be long,” admitted Mr MacAlindin.

“And yet, everyone knows how vital music lessons are to the development of children, how they can be future proofed through the arts with multiple skills on many levels.”

So, for those kids who couldn’t directly participate in music, he brought Norrie McIver and the strings of The Glasgow Barons into the schools to perform their folk songs about Govan.

“But part of me was still thinking about his musicians in Iraq, how during the Iraq war they had stayed at home with an often poor quality musical instrument and downloaded fingering charts, breathing advice and copied videos of classical music off the fledgeling YouTube in order to stay sane and keep making music. For them, music was the buffer between their young lives and the insanity of war raging outside their front doors. Their resilience and passion to learn was second to none,” said the conductor.

So, he found partners to reach out to asylum seekers in Glasgow.

At the beginning of the year, Mr MacAlindiin started Musicians in Exile in earnest and after only six months working together, it had become such a phenomenon that the group won the National Diversity Award as Community Organisation for Race, Religion and Faith, as well as the Voluntary Arts EPIC Award for Scotland.

“All I was doing was giving people their voice back to make the music they knew back home,” said Mr MacAlindin. “For the musicians, this was home from home, a replacement family from the one they had been forced to leave behind, and three hours a week to forget everything they were going through and had gone through.

“Plenty of people living in Govan have their own vulnerabilities. Kids who leave school early find themselves in street gangs, drug dealing, getting into trouble, and whilst organisations try to keep Govan’s kids out of trouble, the scale of the task is daunting.

“The Glasgow Barons have captured the heart of Govan."

In the judge’s citation at the Scottish Urban Regeneration Awards, they wrote: “This fledgeling project has really captured the soul of Govan and is obviously having an inspirational impact on the community and providing genuine opportunities for previously excluded residents.”