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Renfrewshire pupils are on song at Paisley Abbey

The sound of music flowed through Paisley Abbey as pupils from across Renfrewshire performed in the annual schools Christmas concert.

Aspiring musicians from a variety of Renfrewshire schools utilised the stunning acoustics of the historic venue to showcase their talents and musicianship to the local community.

The performance began with the violins and cellos of the Renfrewshire Schools String Ensemble’s as they performed ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’.

This was followed by a moving performance of Africca and Tron Legacy by the assorted battery of the Schools Percussion Ensemble, which incorporated an array of instruments including timpani, drums, marimba, tubular bells and more.

The Senior Concert band then played a range of Gershwin Classics, as well as music from Shrek, leaving the Abbey reverberating with the sounds of trumpets, saxophones and flutes.

Culture and tradition then enveloped the Abbey as the Feis Phaislig Choir opened the second half with a selection of Gaelic songs.

The Senior Ceilidh Band had the audience tapping along as they concluded the concert with a fantastic rendition of ‘Let Ramensky Go’, featuring Sorcha Alcorn Stewart on vocals.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, said: “We have a wealth of aspiring musicians in Renfrewshire and it’s fantastic to see our pupils bring their talents together to put on such an extraordinary performance.

“It is vital that we encourage our young people to express themselves musically which is why we committed to offering free music tuition to our school pupils, allowing them the opportunity to find their talent from an early age.

“We want our pupils to aim high and achieve their dreams and what better inspiration than performing in the same venue as our home-grown success story Paolo Nutini did so recently.”

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Nomination deadline looms for Provost’s Community Awards

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron is urging people not miss out as the nomination deadline for the Provost’s Community Awards approaches.

The awards, which are into their third decade, aim to give civic recognition to those who work or live in Renfrewshire and are making a difference to their community.

This year, nominations can be made in six categories, including a new Arts and Culture award which has been created to find the hidden, or not so hidden, gems who light up Renfrewshire’s cultural scene.

Five other awards, Community Group, Community Volunteer, Sporting Achievement, Carers’ Award and Employer of the Year, give the opportunity for local people to give recognition to their colleagues, friends and family for the work they do in their community.

Provost Cameron said: “We’ve had a fantastic number of entries already but we want to ensure everyone has the opportunity to make their nominations.

“I meet so many inspiring groups and people in my role as Provost so I know the talent and dedication is out there, but I need the local community to nominate them.

“If a person, or a group, is making a real difference to your life or is making your local area a better place, then please put them forward and give them the recognition they deserve.”

The closing date for nominations is Friday 1 December.

This year, Employer of the Year is sponsored by UNISON Renfrewshire and encourages nominations for employers who have provided a positive working environment for their staff.

Mark Ferguson, Branch Secretary, said: “We represent 52 employers in the local area and we’re delighted to sponsor the Employer of the Year Award.

“This award recognises employers who value their workforce and contribute to both the local economy and community in Renfrewshire.

“If your employer has gone above and beyond the call of duty, then make sure you nominate them before the deadline.”.

Sponsored by Glasgow Airport, the Community Volunteer award recognises those who give their time and effort for nothing more than the knowledge that they are making a difference to their community.

Craig Martin, Head of HR, said: “Glasgow Airport are proud to serve Renfrewshire. We have strong connections with our local community through our staff and customers, therefore we are delighted to sponsor this award and recognise individuals who are making a real difference in their local area.”

The Community Group award is sponsored by the Piazza Shopping Centre and celebrates the organisations in Renfrewshire that have a positive effect on their communities

Perennial award sponsor Acre Industrial will present the Sporting Achievement award to the person, team or group who have represented Renfrewshire to a high standard this year in the sporting arena.

Former Renfrewshire Provost Nancy Allison, who has been a part of each of the Community Awards since its inception, donates the Carers Award which recognises anyone who cares for a relative, friend or neighbour.

Anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire can be nominated for an award.

Nominations can be completed online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards

Printed nomination forms are available at Council offices.

The winners in each category will be invited to a special ceremony which will be held in March 2017

For further enquiries contact: provostawards@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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Almost 25,000 turn out for Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-on

Almost 25,000 festive revellers turned out for Paisley’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-On, as the town prepares to hear whether it will be named UK City of Culture 2021 next month.

Headliners were Northern Irish rockers Ash, who marked the start of the festive season with a performance of hit after hit that thrilled the assembled crowds.

The switch-on is the latest event in Paisley’s Winter Events season, itself part of a wider programme in the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

Festive fun seekers enjoyed a host of free family entertainment earlier in the day, including the famous Reindeer Parade down High Street.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron pressed the button to light up the town, assisted by lucky schools competition winner, 10-year-old Aleena Albin, from St Peter’s Primary School, who designed a winning Christmas card.

Provost Cameron said: “It’s great to get out and about and see so many of the community – especially young people enjoying one of the biggest events of the year. Our festive events are always really special and memorable, and this year’s was no exception.”

An energetic performance from Children’s Classic Concert got young music lovers moving before headliners Ash took to the stage for the main event.

The band showcased a string of hits including Shining Light, Girl from Mars and A Life Less Ordinary, before snow cannons blasted confetti across the crowd.

Clyde 1 favourites, Callum Gallacher, Greigsy Grant Thomson, Amber, George Bowie and Cassi also added to the seasonal atmosphere by playing Christmas classics from the main stage

At Paisley Abbey, festive shoppers snapped up the perfect gifts from the Slug in a Bottle Christmas Market  while the merry Massaoke band played Christmas favourites with the words displayed on giant screens.

Paisley has been shortlisted for the UK City of Culture title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, with a decision expected in December.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “With a decision on the UK City of Culture title expected within weeks it’s great to see so many people flocking to our unique town centre to enjoy one of the biggest and most popular occasions on our Winter Events calendar.

“It’s also a reminder of how the town is able to host major events such as this latest one.”

Paisley is also gearing up to host the four week WinterFest Christmas spectacular from next week, with plans for an ice rink, a panoramic Star Flyer ride and a Continental style market.

Hosted by local business improvement district Paisley First, the plans also include a free festive Nutcracker Trail with 10 nutcracker kings spread throughout the town, from Saturday 2 December until Saturday 16 December.

For more information on Paisley’s bid, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Thousands expected for Paisley’s Christmas Lights Switch On

Northern Irish rockers Ash will mark the start of Paisley’s festive season with a headline performance at the annual Christmas Lights Switch On.

Thousands are expected to head to the town centre on Saturday, November 18th to enjoy a host of free family fun, including the famous Reindeer Parade.

The switch on is the latest event in Paisley’s winter season, itself part of a wider programme in the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron will press the button to light up the town, assisted by lucky schools competition winner, 10-year-old Aleena Albin, from St Peter’s Primary School.

Santa and his helpers will lead the procession down High Street at 1.30pm, before he opens his grotto at the Paisley Centre.

A performance from Children’s Classic Concert will provide a seasonal soundtrack from 2.30pm, with audience participation a must.

Twice-voted best music act at the Edinburgh Fringe, percussion superstars Owen and OIly, shake up your idea of classical music with a high-energy family concert.

Music headliners Ash will take to the Live Stage at 5.15pm for a performance before the town’s festive countdown officially starts with the annual Christmas Lights Switch On at 6pm.

With 18 Top 40 singles including ‘The Girl from Mars’ and ‘Shining Light’ under their belt, the band, who first found fame as teenagers in the nineties, still know how to start a party.

Clyde 1 favourites, Callum Gallacher, Greigsy Grant Thomson, Amber, George Bowie and Cassi will be adding to the festive fun by spinning Christmas classics from the main stage.

At Paisley Abbey, festive shoppers can explore the Slug in a Bottle Christmas Market from 1pm, with over 30 stalls to search out the perfect gifts. Face painting and storytelling are among the family fun also on offer. An interactive snow globe in will be in Abbey Close for festive photo opportunities.

Revellers will find it hard to resist embracing the festive atmosphere and singing along with the merry Massaoke band as they play Christmas favourites with the words displayed on giant screens.

Paisley has been shortlisted for the UK City of Culture title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea, with a decision expected in December.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “This year’s Christmas Lights Switch On is bigger and better than ever and will bring thousands of people into the town centre which is great for business.

“As we bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 it’s great to show that we can host events on this scale. A winning bid would mean Paisley town centre would be hosting big events similar to this one every weekend.”

Paisley is also gearing up to host a four week Christmas spectacular in the town from November 24th, with plans, subject to approvals, for an ice rink, a panoramic Star Flyer ride and a Continental style market.

Hosted by Paisley First, Winter Fest also include a free festive Nutcracker Trail with 10 nutcracker kings spread throughout the town, from Saturday 2nd December until Saturday 16th December.

For more information and timings on the Paisley Christmas Lights Switch on go to:http://www.paisley2021.co.uk/paisleys-winter-festival/paisley-christmas-lights/#whats-on-4826

The event means there will be a series of road closures around the town centre from 12.01am on Saturday morning, including parts of Gauze Street, St Mirren Street, Cotton Street, Lawn Street and Smithhills Street.

County Place, Gilmour Street, High Street and Abbey Close will close from 8am on Saturday morning until after the event.

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Thousands turn out for Paisley Fireworks spectacular

Thousands turned out to enjoy a dazzling display as Paisley’s annual fireworks spectacular went off with a bang this weekend.

The town’s historic skyline lit up in the extravaganza which delighted the gathered crowds of more than 25,000 when it burst into life on Saturday night, accompanied by an 80s soundtrack.

The themed event took place as part of Paisley’s Winter Festival as the town bids to be named UK City of Culture 2021.

Each of the town’s rivals – Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea – were given a surprise musical shout outs across the day.

The soundtrack to the display itself referenced Sunderland with ‘Sweet Dreams’ by the Eurythmics in celebration of the duo’s Dave Stewart, who hails from the city.

Stoke’s musical heritage was marked with ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns N’ Roses from 1987 in honour of guitarist Slash who was born in the city and spent his formative years there, while ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ from Bonnie Tyler was the musical nod given to Swansea. ‘One Step Beyond’ by Madness marked Coventry’s moment to celebrate its’ links with ska music and Paisley’s own musical heritage was celebrated with local star Kelly Marie’s 1980 hit, ‘Feels Like I’m in Love.’

Radio Clyde DJs Callum Gallacher and Grant & Amber earlier added to the musical fun, with George Bowie & Cassi also playing 80s classics leading up to the dazzling display, introduced by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.

Earlier in the day revellers enjoyed a host of 80s themed free family fun, including a silent disco, kids workshops and retro arcade games.

Remode Redesign ran fabric print workshops using a range of 80s games themed wooden blocks, while a silent disco saw two sets of music fans of all ages dance to different soundtracks through headsets.

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is part of a wider push to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural story to transform the whole of the Renfrewshire area.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “This year’s display was nothing short of spectacular and it was great to see so many of the community come into the town centre to enjoy it.

“Seeing the fireworks against the back drop of Paisley Abbey really is something special and as we bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021 it’s a great reminder of how Paisley is capable of staging events such as this one.

“We were also delighted to pay special tributes to our fellow UK City of Culture 2021 rivals with a musical shout out at one of our biggest annual events.

“It seemed fitting to give a nod to them all – and to also mark our own home grown musical talent.”

The fireworks display follows the Halloween festival and parade in the town centre and precedes the Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On on November 18.

To hear the spectacular 80s fireworks soundtrack by DJ Gerry Lyons go to:  Fire 2017 Wav 16bit by gerry lyons

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Photographs of Paisley Fireworks Display 2017

Photographs of Paisley Fireworks Display 2017. Thousand’s turned up to tonight’s event. Paisley was packed and the 80’s music went down a storm with families with the kids being stunned by the powerful display held at the heart of Paisley’s Historic centre.

The photographs above were taken by Ian McDonald Photography and kindly allowed for use on www.paisley.org.uk

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Paisley to light up in annual fireworks spectacular

Thousands are expected to turn out to see Paisley’s historic skyline light up in the annual fireworks extravaganza this Saturday.

With Paisley the only Scottish place on the shortlist for the UK City of Culture 2021, the 80s themed event will show the town knows how to stage a huge event, with a silent disco, kids workshops and retro arcade games.

The twenty minute fireworks spectacular will burst into life across the Paisley skies from 7pm, accompanied by an 80s soundtrack.

Radio Clyde DJs Callum Gallacher and Grant & Amber will be playing classics from the decade from 4pm, with George & Cassi also playing 80s classics from 6pm at Paisley Town Hall leading up to the dazzling display.

The funs starts in Paisley Town Hall from 2pm, with a series of free family activities throughout the afternoon.

Remode Redesign will run workshops where participants will print fabric using a range of 80s games themed wooden blocks and create their own pencil case or make up bag.

Numbers are limited to 20 per session and the free event starts at 2pm.

The 80s themed silent disco kicks off on the ground floor at 2pm, where two sets of music fans of all ages dance to different music played through headsets.

The sessions are suitable for all ages and will run throughout the afternoon.

At the end of each one, the best dressed 80s costume or best dancer will win a prize.

Kids drop in workshops start at 2pm in the Artmania zone, with crafts suitable for pre-schoolers to kids of Primary 4 and beyond.

All of the workshops should be booked through Eventbrite.

Arcade games will continue the 80s theme, with iconic favourites like Pac- Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong available to pit your skills against.

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is part of a wider push to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural story to transform the whole of the Renfrewshire area.

The town is on the shortlist alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “It’s great to be able to showcase Paisley as a large scale events venue as we bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

“Big events like these show our proven capacity to host big crowds and Paisley town centre makes a unique venue, especially with the back drop of the Abbey.”

Residents should be aware that a series of road closures will be put in place from early on Saturday 4th November at Gauze Street, St Mirren Street, Cotton Street, Lawn Street and Smithhills Street until after the event.

County Place, Gilmour Street, High Street and Bridge Street will be closed in places, while Abbey Close and the Lagoon South Car Park will be closed.

From 3.30pm, Seedhill Road  will be closed in places, with Causeyside Street to follow from 4.30pm onwards, while Mill Street will  be closed from Lonend to Bank Street from 6.45pm.

The fireworks display follows the Halloween festival and parade in the town centre and precedes the Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On on November 18.

For more information and to book go to: http://www.paisley2021.co.uk/paisleys-winter-festival/fireworks-spectacular/

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HALLOWEEN PARADE THIS SAT – NEW ROUTE FOR 2017!

Our spectacular Halloween Parade is always a festival highlight!
With a Fire Monster on a Paisley Chariot, the Spark! Drummers, LED lanterns, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners Band and lots more colourful participants, this is one not to be missed.

Parade route: New Street – Causeyside Street – St Mirren Brae – Gauze Street- Cotton Street

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Renfrewshire school pupils in unique link up with RSNO as part of Spree festival

School children from across Renfrewshire took part in a unique link up with Scotland’s National Orchestra to perform at Paisley Town Hall.

Paisley Spree RSNO Takeover 24.10.17

The two day RSNO Paisley Takeover ended with a sold out concert on Tuesday night (OCT  24) where youngsters performed with the professionals as part of the town’s annual Spree festival.

The free concert featured music by Handel, Bach, Sir Henry Wood, as well as Scottish composer Hamish McCunn.
Guided by the RSNO professionals, around 50 pupils from all 11 Renfrewshire High Schools worked on every aspect of planning and staging the gig.

Audience members received a surprise gift of a party blower under their seats so they could join in the performance at one stage.

As international-class musicians mentored their younger counterparts, other pupils worked on marketing, press and PR, as well as fundraising, learning and engagement and stage and orchestra management.

The link-up took place as Paisley bids to be named UK City of Culture 2021. The second stage bid was submitted in September, with a decision expected from the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport which organises the competition, in December.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron, said: “It was incredible to see so many young people who are interested in music or looking to pursue a career in the arts able to get involved in this two day RSNO Paisley Takeover event as part of the Spree festival.

“Pupils from all 11 of Renfrewshire’s High Schools came together to be mentored by professional musicians and stage a concert, as well as do vital work behind the scenes.

“Making it easier for residents – especially young people – to get involved in culture and enjoy the benefits that brings – is one of the key elements for Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.”

RSNO Conductor Holly Mathieson said: “It’s been a tremendous experience for everyone over the past two days. The Takeover participants have worked their socks off to pull the concert together and I’m extremely proud of everyone involved.

“Good luck to Paisley in its bid for City of Culture 2021!”

The Spree festival takes place in partnership with local bar Burger & Keg and Fosters. The festival is also supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Event Directorate, and the British Council.

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Paolo Nutini wows Paisley crowd with stunning homecoming show

Paisley’s homegrown musical megastar Paolo Nutini tonight played a triumphant homecoming charity gig in the stunning setting of the town’s 850-year-old Abbey.

 

 

The eagerly-anticipated and exclusive event was rapturously received by the 550 fans lucky enough to be there – after more than 50,000 entered the ballot for tickets.

The gig was the headline show of Paisley’s annual Spree Festival – this year taking place as the town waits to hear if it will be crowned UK City of Culture 2021 in a few weeks time.

This was Paolo’s only UK gig this year, with favourites including These Streets, Iron Sky and Candy all featuring in the set lasting just over two hours.

Speaking about the show Paolo said: “It was scary biscuits! But I loved it and it’s so good to be home!”

The gig raised in excess of £20,000 for five local charities selected by Paolo himself – the Love Street Singers, Mirren Park School, the Kibble Band, the Sunshine Recovery Cafe, and the town’s Syrian refugee children.

All ticket money will be split between the five good causes – topped up by thousands raised after Paolo ran a prize draw for a meet and greet where fans could enter by text message at £1 a ticket.

Lucky fan Mima Craig from West Lothian met the star before the gig, and enjoyed fish and chips from his parents’ takeaway, Castelvecchi, in the town centre.

The gig also saw 100 tickets made available to Renfrewshire community groups.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Paolo has been a big supporter of his home town’s ambitions – tonight’s gig was an incredible experience in one of our unique venues and showed the world Paisley knows how to host a party.

“Our bid aims to open up world-class cultural programming to every section of our community and tonight Paolo helped us show how great that could be in 2021.”

Paisley is bidding to be UK City of Culture 2021 as part of wider plans to transform the town’s future using its unique story as the home of the world-renowned Paisley Pattern.

The town is the only Scottish place on the final shortlist announced by the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the summer – alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.