28 October 2016

The launch of Big Noise Douglas will take a major step forward today with the signing of the official partnership agreement between Sistema Scotland, Optimistic Sound and Dundee City Council. Sistema Scotland can now move forward with the work in the community to secure a location for the programme and the recruitment of the local team. Discussions have already started with the head teachers in both schools and out in the community to raise awareness of the opportunities within Big Noise.


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Sistema Scotland works to create permanent social change in some of the most deprived communities in Scotland. They use participation in the Big Noise orchestra programmes to change lives by fostering confidence, discipline, teamwork, pride and aspiration in the children and young people taking part.

Big Noise Douglas will work with children in Claypotts Castle and St Pius Primary Schools and will start in Autumn 2017 with their in-school orchestra programme. After the first year, as the orchestra expands and develops, the team will also work through afterschool clubs and in the nurseries.

Nicola Killean, CEO, Sistema Scotland, said: “This is a huge milestone for Big Noise Douglas. We have been working with the community for some months now and their enthusiasm for the programme is incredible. This year our main priority is to continue the work we have started in Douglas and to confirm the location of our new home. Early in 2017, we will be looking for our first two employees, a Team Leader Musician and an Operations Manager.”

Optimistic Sound will be the main funders of the programme with a £1.4 million investment over five years. Michael Marra, Secretary of Optimistic Sound, said: “This agreement is a huge step forward. Big Noise Douglas is coming closer and closer to reality. There is much hard work still to do, as our fund raising now moves up a gear. We need the support of the public to make this change happen for local children.

“People can now help support the charity by texting OPTS16 £10 to 70070 or go to to donate £10.”

“With the support of the people of Dundee, we can bring this life changing experience to the children in Douglas. We have a challenging fundraising target still to reach, so I would ask anyone who can help by donating £10 to use the text or on-line facility. "

Dundee City council will be providing payment “in kind” for the new centre in the Douglas Community. Dundee City Council children and families convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: "The arrival of Sistema Scotland in Douglas will be really something special and I am sure that the pupils of Claypotts Castle and St Pius primaries will be looking forward to making a Big Noise.

“This project will help in efforts to transform Douglas and help young people now to maximise their potential and give them new life chances. Sistema Scotland will have an amazing reception in Douglas and I can’t wait to see, and hear, how it progresses.

“In Dundee, we have a long tradition of harnessing the power of music to help children meet new challenges and take new opportunities. Our Aspire Dundee project and free music tuition are just two examples of our work."




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