History of Big Noise Raploch

2006 – The Scottish Arts Council funds a group to visit Venezuela to observe El Sistema. Dr Richard Holloway returns home determined to bring the movement here. He starts a charity to do just that.

2007 –  Nicola Killean is appointed Director. A further visit is made to Venezuela by the new charity and its partners from SAC, Stirling Council and BBC Scotland. Talks are held with the Venezuelans about establishing a formal partnership.

August 2007 – The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela perform at the Edinburgh International Festival. During the visit Maestro Abreu and Richard Holloway meet and hold a press conference to consolidate the partnership.

A party of parents and children from Raploch (where the idea of the first UK orchestra is still just a glimmer) visit the Usher Hall and hear the SBYO rehearsing.

April 2008 – The six string players who will launch the Raploch orchestra are recruited. The BBC SSO send an ensemble to Raploch who play for all of the children in the community.

May 2008 – In advance of our launch concert the musicians begin working with children in the schools, forming the very first Raploch string orchestra.

Friday June 27 2008 – The last day of school. Big Noise Raploch is officially launched with a concert in a large tent with guests from the BBC SSO, and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland playing alongside the children.

Monday June 30 2008 – The Summer School begins and runs through the holidays every weekday morning. We work with children who have just finished P1,2 or 3. We attract 65 children including  30-40 who attend regularly all summer.

August 2008 – School restarts and we continue working with the summer school group (now in P2,3,4) in our afterschool club three nights a week. In addition we begin working with the new intake of P1 children for three hours a week as part of  the school curriculum. We also begin work in the nursery, and with all of the children in Castleview school. We are now working weekly with over 200 children.

October 2008 – For the October holidays the children have individual lessons all week. We also launch our Take a Musician Home for Tea concert series, with 22 living room concerts in a week.

Dec 2008 – The after-school orchestra perform a Christmas Concert alongside a quartet from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Jan 2009 – The P1 children build their own replica instruments and use them in songs and games.

May 2009 – The P1 children receive real instruments.

June 1 2009 – Big Noise celebrates its first year with a series of events including a big concert at the Albert Halls in Stirling. The Big Noise mobile phone ringtone, recorded by the children and their teachers, becomes available from iTunes and various mobile phone companies.

July 2009 – Summer School 2009 opens with an extended day (including lunch), new chamber groups, and an adult orchestra.

August 2009 – The new school term begins and Big Noise is now working with 250 children a week.

Summer 2010 – Preparation begins for the introduction of woodwind, brass and percussion. New teachers are recruited and our staff of musicians expands to 17.

September 2010 – Our top string ensemble, Rinconada, play at the Scottish Parliament.

October 2010 - Children in P6 and P7 are given woodwind, brass and percussion instruments and within weeks are playing with the string orchestra. Big Noise is now a full symphony orchestra.

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