Scotland looks set to get its third El Sistema-style children’s orchestra project, thanks to backing from Aberdeen City Council. Big Noise Torry, based in the Torry area of the city, will be a partnership between the local authority and charity Sistema Scotland, and according to the council could be up and running as early as 2015.
Jenny Laing, Aberdeen City Council’s convener for education, culture and sport, stressed the aim for the music education project to change lives in the city: ‘We believe this project will provide a number of opportunities for the local residents and the wider Aberdeen community. The hope is that having succeeded at learning to play an instrument, participants will succeed in other areas of their lives, too, which will help them to reach their full potential.’
A spokesperson for Sistema Scotland added: ‘Aberdeen seems ready to make a very firm commitment to a Big Noise orchestra in Torry, and things are looking very positive. Subject to a decision by our own Sistema Scotland board, all the pieces could soon be in place for preparation work to begin next year, and children to begin sessions with us in 2015.’
Big Noise Torry follows the launches of successful similar projects in Raploch, Stirling, and Govanhill, Glasgow – which began as recently as April 2013. The news also comes after a recent announcement that 52 children from Big Noise Raploch will travel to Venezuela in January 2014 for performances and concerts alongside Venezuelan students, including an open rehearsal with Gustavo Dudamel. Further Big Noise orchestra projects are under discussion in Dundee and Fife.