They’re bringing music to the people of Argyll

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra take up a six-day residency in Argyll next month.

From 29 September to 4 October, the residency comprises community events plus school workshops in Campbeltown and the surrounding area, including on Gigha. The week concludes with a public orchestral concert in Campbeltown’s Victoria Hall on Thursday 4 October.

The BBC SSO will present an action-packed week including a ‘come and sing’ session, workshops and performances.

On Saturday 29 September there will be a special community event for early years and families called ‘Tunes for Tots’ at Campbeltown Town Hall. The morning sessions include an opportunity for families with babies and toddlers to hear the different instruments that make up the orchestra, plus a chance to explore music from Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ through an interactive jam and dot painting. The sessions are led by renowned music presenter and singer Lucy Drever.

On Sunday 30 September Lucy Drever presents a relaxed afternoon of choir singing called ‘Songs and a Scone.’ People of all ages and abilities are welcome to take part and sing a range of folk, pop and classical songs accompanied by members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. As well as singing in a group there will be a chance to socialise, meet the BBC musicians and enjoy a tea and a scone.

Young musicians from Campbeltown Grammar School will receive performance masterclasses and workshops as well as the opportunity to perform alongside BBC SSO players, providing participants with valuable opportunities to work with professional musicians.

Pupils from local primary schools including: Castlehill, Dalintober, Carradale, Drumlemble, and Gigha will receive creative music workshops, musical assemblies and a special performance from the orchestra. In addition to this there will be sessions with BBC Scotland’s L.A.B. digital education initiative.

James Murdoch, Principal Teacher of Music at Campbeltown Grammar School said: ‘We are excited to have the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra join us for a week in Campbeltown. In particular we are looking forward to learning and performing with the orchestra during the residency – certainly a one-off experience for our pupils which we intend to make the most of.

‘Over and above the musical benefits that our young musicians will receive the wider creative and aspirational model which the orchestra promotes will have an influence on anyone looking to progress in music and creative industries.’

Julie Wilson, head teacher at Gigha Primary School and Pre-Five Unit added: ‘The community of Gigha Primary School and Pre-Five Unit are absolutely delighted to be welcoming BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra to our Isle of Stories. Children from Gigha, Rhunahaorine, Glenbarr and Clachan will enjoy unprecedented access to high quality arts input designed to inspire their own creativity and commitment to classical music.

‘This is an incredible opportunity to raise their aspirations about careers in the arts sector and to open up new worlds of musical learning and enjoyment.’

Dominic Parker, director of the BBC SSO said: ‘We are really looking forward to spending a week in Campbeltown. It is not an area this Orchestra has been to before, and we’ve had so many great conversations across the community as we’ve planned the work we’re going to do that now it’s just around the corner we’re really excited. I hope we’ll be able to meet as many people as possible during the week, and that they will enjoy what we do.’

The week also includes intimate performances for local residents including the Campbeltown Old Pals group and pop up performances from BBC SSO musicians in the streets of Campbeltown.

In the coming weeks, school pupils from Campbeltown Grammar School will be working with Templar Arts and Leisure Centre, Tarbert (TALC) and the BBC SSO to create animations and posters for the residency, using a musical theme to explore their experiences of living in Campbeltown.

The residency concludes with public concert in Campbeltown’s Victoria Hall on Thursday 4 October giving local residents the chance to hear the sound of a live 80-piece orchestra. The programme for the concert includes, Scottish composer Helen Grime’s piece ‘Snow from 2 Eardly Pictures’ inspired by a Joan Eardley painting, Britten’s ‘Four Sea Interludes’ from Peter Grimes, and Mussorgsky’s much-loved ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ conducted by renowned Scottish conductor Rory MacDonald. The concert will be recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

The residency is presented by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with support from Argyll and Bute Council and the Creative Arts in Schools Team.