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Once-in-a-lifetime chance to sign up for RSNO gig

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Paisley’s young people still have a chance to sign up for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to plan, programme and perform a spectacular concert in the town alongside some of the country’s finest musicians.

Around sixty local young people will work with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as part of the RSNO Paisley Takeover programme, funded by Renfrewshire Council as part of the build-up to the town’s bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021.

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The intensive work experience project will culminate with the finale concert in Paisley Town Hall on Tuesday 13 October, as part of the annual Spree festival.

Young people from Renfrewshire with an interest in the music industry can apply now to take part and be assigned a ‘job’ according to their skills and interests, with applications being accepted up until Friday 21 August.

Up to 25 will play alongside RSNO musicians during the concert, with two participants to conduct the full orchestra alongside the RSNO’s Jean-Claude Picard.

There will also be opportunities in areas including stage management, sound engineering, event planning and marketing for the concert.

Some of the young people will run the engagement and learning aspect of the project, working with the RSNO to deliver one-hour musical workshops to primary school pupils around Renfrewshire.

Interviews to take part will be in Paisley on Tuesday 25 August, with rehearsals and training sessions scheduled between and now and October.

Applicants must be aged between 15 and 25 and living or studying in Renfrewshire and applications are open now viawww.rsno.org.uk/engage/paisley-takeover

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “This is a great opportunity for any local young people with an interest in the music industry to learn from some of the best in the business.

“Paisley has a fantastic lineage of great musicians and maybe this process could be the big break the next Gerry Rafferty or Paolo Nutini needs?

“Our bid for UK City of Culture 2021 will be designed to create experiences for our residents which may not normally be open to them – and this once-in-a-lifetime scheme is great taster of what will come over the next few years.”

RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Adams said: “We are excited to once again be offering these unique opportunities for young people in Scotland to become involved with their national orchestra.

“The Takeover projects offer valuable insight into those looking to pursue a career in the arts and we’re pleased to be able to offer a bespoke Paisley specific Takeover in partnership with Renfrewshire Council.”

The RSNO will also feature in the musical centerpiece of this year’s Spree festival, teaming up with rockers Idlewild in Paisley Abbey on Friday 16 October for a show which sold out within hours of going on sale this summer.

The Spree will take place over nine days from 9 to 17 October at various venues in the town and will see a bill of big-name music and comedy

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Orchestra to take over Paisley for one-off gig

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Paisley’s young people will get a once-in-a-lifetime chance to plan, programme and perform a spectacular concert in the town alongside some of the country’s finest musicians.

Around sixty local young people will work with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra across every aspect of the gig as part of an intensive work experience project.

Paisley Spree RSNO_017

The Paisley Takeover programme is being funded by Renfrewshire Council as part of the build-up to the town’s bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021.

Young people with an interest in the music industry can apply to take part and successful applicants will be assigned a ‘job’ according to their skills and interests.

Up to 25 will play alongside RSNO musicians during the concert, with two participants to conduct the full orchestra alongside the RSNO’s Jean-Claude Picard.

There will also be opportunities in areas including stage management, sound engineering, event planning and marketing for the concert, for which the date and venue is still to be decided.

Some of the young people will run the engagement and learning aspect of the project, working with the RSNO to deliver one-hour musical workshops to more than 500 primary school pupils around Renfrewshire.

To be a musician in the gig, the young people must already be able to play a strings, brass, woodwind or percussion instrument at grade 7 or 8 standard.

The aim is to engage young people in cultural activity and boost their job and life skills. Details of how to apply will be announced soon.

Renfrewshire Council has already worked with the RSNO during the town’s Spree festival over the past three years, with the orchestra playing alongside contemporary music acts for a series of well-received sold-out gigs in Paisley Abbey.

Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for our young people to work with world-class musicians on a project which will boost their confidence and job chances.

“Hopefully it will help kick off careers in the music industry for some of them – and who knows whether the next Gerry Rafferty or Paolo Nutini will be within their ranks?

“This is just one of many great projects which will be taking place around the town as we prepare to submit our bid in two years’ time for UK City of Culture 2021.

“That bid is part of a wider push to use and develop the town’s existing cultural and heritage assets to help drive regeneration and tourism.

“There is no question that Paisley is fast establishing itself as a key destination on Scotland’s cultural map.”

RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement Jenn Adams: “Having opened our doors to an influx of enthusiastic young people for the first time last year, we are delighted to once again giving them the chance to run one of Scotland’s busiest performing arts organisations, on this occasion working in the Paisley area.

“It will provide valuable experience to those seeking to pursue employment in the arts, and is intended to be challenging, stimulating and fun.

“You never know – we may very well have a future RSNO conductor or Chief Executive among our group.”

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Stunning Abbey show helps top off successful Spree

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Paisley’s Spree festival closed at the weekend after a nine-day arts extravaganza …and organisers reckon the festival is going from strength to strength.

The Spree 2014 saw around 60 shows across five venues around the town, including a specially-built Spiegeltent, with an estimated total attendance of more than 5,000.

This year’s bill featured music, comedy, theatre, film and even a hypnotist, as well as a well-attended programme of children’s shows to coincide with the October week.

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The undoubted highlight was a one-off collaboration between King Creosote, Roddy Hart and the Lonesome Fire, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in the stunning setting of Paisley Abbey on Friday night.

The show was the most eagerly anticipated on the bill – with all tickets having been snapped up within days of going on sale in August – and it didn’t disappoint, with the orchestra adding a thick layer of sonic grandeur to the music of both artists.

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Host for the night, broadcaster Vic Galloway, thanked festival organisers Renfrewshire Council and asked the crowd to wish Paisley all the best with its possible bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021.

Roddy Hart described the gig as his ‘proudest ever moment as a songwriter’ and the reaction to both sets suggested the 400-strong crowd were delighted to be there.

Other musical highlights from throughout the week included Dougie MacLean, Withered Hand and Merrymouth (featuring Ocean Colour Scene’s Simon Fowler).

There was also plenty big-name comedy on the bill, with Russell Kane, Craig Hill and Daniel Sloss all featuring, alongside two editions of the regular Buddy Good Laugh stand-up nights.

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And the children’s programme proved popular, with the kids’ comedy attracting big crowds to the Spiegeltent, as did the free Let’s Do Robotics with Lego workshops, timed to run alongside the first week of the Brick Wonders Lego exhibition at Paisley Museum.

The festival was organised and promoted by Renfrewshire Council as part of a wider push to offer a varied cultural programme and use events to bring people into the area.

Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “This was the third annual Spree festival and the event is now starting to firmly establish the town on Scotland’s festival map.

“We want to show people they don’t have to go to the city for a good night out – that we are able to attract quality acts to Paisley.

“Some of the feedback we have had has been fantastic – in particular the reaction to the Abbey show confirms we have a venue and a formula that is pretty special, and we look forward to building on that.

“The council has big plans to use Paisley’s superb heritage assets and cultural scene as the engine behind a wider process of regeneration over the next decade.

“We are grateful to everybody who came out and supported the event and we look forward to growing the festival in the years ahead.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Stars take to home-town stage for Gerry Rafferty tribute

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A star-studded line-up led a powerful musical tribute to Paisley songwriting legend Gerry Rafferty during a unique event to honour the singer in his home town.

Paisley Town Hall provided a spectacular setting as a spellbound capacity crowd was treated to an evening of Gerry’s greatest hits by his family, friends and fans.

The show – on what would have been Gerry’s 67th birthday – was directed and compered by his lifelong friend and collaborator Rab Noakes.

Featured artists Barbara Dickson, Roddy Hart, Emma Pollock and Siobhan Wilson all took turns as the lead singer, with Gerry’s daughter Martha and other family members providing backing vocals on various songs.

A 24-piece orchestra made up by members of the RSNO added an extra musical layer as songs spanning Gerry’s career – from his early Humblebums days through to his million-selling solo work – were reworked.

The concert opened with the aptly-titled New Street Blues – inspired by his home town – with international hit such as Baker Street and Right Down the Line following.

Between songs, artists talked of how Gerry’s work had helped inspire theirs, with Rab Noakes adding a personal touch with the tale of how the pair had first met as up-and-coming musicians – introduced by Billy Connolly – back in 1969.

The concert was the centrepiece of a week-long festival of music at various venues in Paisley, all inspired by Gerry’s songwriting legacy.

It was timed to take place alongside an exhibition into his life and work, which will run at Paisley Museum until 18 May.

The Renfrewshire-Council-supported-festival will close on Saturday with a Celebration of Scottish Songwriting Show in Paisley Town Hall featuring Midge Ure, James Grant, Hamish Stuart, Karine Polwart and more.

Each artist will perform some of their own songs, plus other material from their favourite Scottish performers.

The remaining tickets for that show are available on a buy-one-get-one-free basis from www.bringitallhome.co.uk or by calling 0300 300 1210. They will also be available on the door at Paisley Town Hall from 5.30pm on Saturday.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall – who hosted a short reception for artists and guests in the town hall after the show – said: “It was a wonderful occasion and there could be no more fitting setting for this concert than here in Gerry’s home town.

“This was a great way for the people of Paisley to celebrate the life and work of one of the town’s greatest sons.

“We are very proud of the town’s cultural and musical heritage and Gerry’s work takes its place at the forefront of that tradition.”

The event is being organised by Renfrewshire Council, with support from Homecoming Scotland, Creative Scotland and the Rafferty family.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator icon=”star”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Mod Paisley and The Spree

The Spree Launch

Mod Paisley and The Spree

Paisley set for unique festival double

Paisley is getting ready to welcome thousands of visitors as the town gets set for a unique festival fortnight double.

The Royal National Mòd is coming to Paisley for the first time in its one hundred years-plus history.

Paisley will host the world-famous celebration of Gaelic language and culture from 11-19 October.

Running alongside the Mòd, from 10-20 October, The Spree, Scotland’s national arts festival, returns to venues across Paisley.

(All photographs taken by Digitalpict Photography)

This year’s event includes a unique collaboration between Admiral Fallow, The Twilight Sad and the RSNO, plus live music from Edwyn Collins, Capercaille, and Donnie Munro, and comedy from Fred MacAulay and Craig Hill.

With more than 70 Spree and Mòd fringe events taking place over ten days, in addition to the Mòd itself, the town will have a festival feel, with a full kids’ programme, as well as workshops in everything from drama to Gaelic language and fiddle playing.

Council chiefs in Renfrewshire believe the combination of both events will deliver a significant boost to the ongoing regeneration of Paisley town centre.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said:  “It is an honour for Paisley to welcome the Mòd and the thousands of visitors and competitors who make it such a special event for the host town.

“I am sure that the welcome from the people of Paisley, and the town’s rich cultural, historical and architectural traditions will provide an appropriate setting.

“There’s something extra special this year for our visitors and our own community with the Mòd running in parallel with The Spree.   That combination offers a unique chance for people to try different performances and activities that they might not have done before. There’s something for everyone to appreciate, enjoy or take part in personally.

“The unique combination of Scotland’s oldest and newest cultural festivals will also support the continuing regeneration of Paisley town centre.

“As part of the council’s regeneration programme for Paisley town centre, we have significantly expanded our events programme.  Paisley’s Fireworks Display, and Christmas Lights Switch-On attract crowds approaching 40,000 people into the town centre.

“We’re seeing people coming back to live in the centre of Paisley.  There are recently-agreed proposals for retail and residential development to revive the iconic former Arnotts store.

“There’s a lot going on to boost Paisley and we have the perfect opportunity to showcase that to residents and visitors alike.”

Ealasaid MacDonald, Convener of   Mòd Phàislig said:  “We are very excited about the arrival of the Royal National Mòd in Paisley.

“There’s a special celebration to start the proceedings with a torchlight parade through the centre of Paisley starting at 7pm on Friday (October 11) from the top of the High Street and culminating at Paisley Town hall where the Mòd flag will be unfurled.

“Organisations, businesses and members of the public in Paisley have showed tremendous support to the local organising committee as we have been preparing to host The Mòd.

“Now it’s time for the town to see at first-hand this world-class cultural festival.”

John MacLeod, President of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said:  “The opening of The Royal National Mòd, Gaeldom’s biggest national festival celebrating Gaelic language and culture is almost here, and we are delighted that the town of Paisley is hosting this special event.

“This has been an important year for Gaelic in educational and social terms and we can now confidently face the future in the knowledge that our language and culture will continue to prosper in the care of the new generation of Gaelic speakers.”

Information and booking details on all the events is available at www.thespree.co.uk and www.modphaislig.org

Photographs taken by Digitalpict Photography in partnership with Paisley on the web.

Photographs of, Ealasaid MacDonald,   Convener of   Mòd Phàislig   Emma Creighton, 11, Councillor Jim Harte, Renfrewshire Council’s Culture Spokesperson, Sarah England, 10, and Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan are pictured outside the Spiegeltent in the  centre of Paisley as the town prepares for a unique festivals fortnight  with The Royal National  Mòd and The Spree, Scotland’s national arts festival.

Emma and Sarah will be performing at the  Mòd as part of RJ’s, the Renfrewshire Junior Gaelic Choral Association

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Royal Scottish National Orchestra Video

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Video of the performance at Glasgow Airport of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra during the September weekend.

RSNO surprise Glasgow Airport passengers with live orchestral performance

Scotland’s national orchestra gave a rousing performance at Glasgow Airport as thousands of passengers took to the skies for the September holiday weekend.

Led by Scottish conductor Douglas Boyd, 70 RSNO musicians gave two performances in the departures lounge featuring Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

Last year the Orchestra surprised travellers and airport staff in the check-in area with an impromptu rendition of Ravel’s Boléro, an online video of which has been viewed around the world.

The RSNO performance is the culmination of Glasgow Airport’s six week Best of Scotland campaign which has celebrated the best of Scottish food, drink, culture and entertainment.

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “We are always looking for ways to entertain our passengers but it doesn’t get more exciting than having Scotland’s national orchestra perform live in the terminal.

“Joining forces with the RSNO for this unique event is a fantastic way to round off our Best of Scotland campaign which proved hugely successful. In addition to highlighting what is great about Scotland, the various events over the last six weeks have created a real buzz in the airport.

“The campaign also provided an opportunity to highlight the fact that we have invested millions of pounds in new retail and catering facilities for our customers over the past 18 months.”

RSNO chief executive Michael Elliott said: “In recent years the RSNO has developed a reputation for taking live orchestral music out of the concert venue and into public spaces. It never fails to surprise me how much of an impact our music can have, especially when performed in unexpected surroundings.

“It’s extremely gratifying to see people new to live orchestral music enjoy the experience with so much enthusiasm. Our thanks go to Glasgow Airport for allowing us to present these performances.”

More than one million passengers passed through the airport during the Best of Scotland campaign, which has showcased some of the country’s most iconic brands and successful exports including Irn Bru, Tunnocks, Mackie’s ice cream and Harris Tweed.

The RSNO performance is one of a series of musical, theatrical and comedic events which have helped to create a carnival atmosphere in the terminal during one of the busiest periods of the year.

For more information please visit the Glasgow Airport website. www.glasgowairport.com

For more information on the Royal Scottish national Orchestra please visit their website . www.rsno.org.uk