Youth orchestra musicians welcome American counterparts

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Big Noise Raploch and the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles are performing together at this year's Edinburgh Festival.

31st July 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Young musicians from a children’s orchestra have welcomed their counterparts from the USA ahead of a special one-off concert.

Big Noise Raploch is hosting members of YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) and YOLA National Institute in Stirling before the two orchestras perform at the Edinburgh International Festival on Sunday 4 August.

The concert will be led by Sistema Scotland patron Gustavo Dudamel, music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

In the days leading up to the performance, members of both orchestras will have the chance to rehearse together and forge new friendships.

The US visitors will also be treated to a crash course in Scottish culture, including a game of rounders, ceilidh dancing and a community barbeque at the Raploch campus.

Peter Nicolson, director of music at Sistema Scotland, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the children and young people of Big Noise Raploch, not only to work with incredible artists such as Gustavo Dudamel and Paolo Bortolameolli, but also to rehearse and perform with their own peers from the other side of the world.

“We are delighted to welcome our visitors from Los Angeles and across the United States to the community of Raploch. It is truly a life-changing experience for our young musicians and one they will remember for many years to come.”

Simon Woods, chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, added: “This is a special moment, not only for the musicians of YOLA National Institute who will get to spend a few wonderful days of music-making in this beautiful country, but also for myself, having spent a number of years living and working in Scotland.

“I’m very proud to return with my LA Phil family and these talented young musicians from across the U.S.A. We are all looking forward to the open rehearsal with Gustavo Dudamel at the end of this residency, and taking part in this inspiring cultural exchange.”

Stirling Council leader Scott Farmer said he was “thrilled” to welcome the city’s visitors.

“Stirling Council is immensely proud to be the major financial stakeholder in Big Noise Raploch, a programme that is transforming not only the lives of the children and young people taking part, but also the entire community,” he added.

Sistema Scotland, the charity which runs the Big Noise programmes, was launched in Raploch in 2008 with 35 children and six musicians. Now more than 2,500 children take part in the programme every week at its centres in Raploch, Stirling; Govanhill, Glasgow; Torry, Aberdeen; and Douglas, Dundee.

Tickets for the open rehearsal in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall on Sunday 4 August are available through the Edinburgh International Festival website.