Big Noise goes from strength to strength

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Youngsters enjoying a session with the Big Noise Orchestra in Claypotts Castle nursery recently.

The Big Noise orchestra in Douglas has reached another milestone after launching its new programme aimed at nursery-aged children.

The social mobility project has been running in the east end of the city since September, already interacting with more than 250 pupils from primaries 1 to 3.

An additional 150 children will now be taken onto the Sistema charity-run initiative through a partnership with St Pius and Claypotts Castle primary schools.

The little ones have enjoyed musical games which introduced them to the scheme

Andy Thorn, team leader at Big Noise Douglas, said: “We are really excited to begin engaging with nursery pupils at both St Pius and Claypotts Castle nursery schools.

“Having initially launched Big Noise Douglas with primary school pupils in September, we’ve already begun to see the skills and confidence levels grow among many pupils taking part.

“We’re delighted to now be able to extend this to younger children and families in the Douglas community”

The sessions have been arranged flexibly to maximise the attendance of the children. The three to five year olds will have a 15 minute session once a week in groups of eight to ten. The two year olds will have a 20 minute session each week in a group of around 15.

An after-school programme for the primary school children will launch after the Easter holidays for children from both schools.

This will take place on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Claypotts primary and a snack will be provided before each session begins, according to a report by Dundee City Council’s education department.

Big Noise Douglas is delivered by the charity Sistema Scotland in partnership with Optimistic Sound and Dundee City Council, with support of strategic partner Gannochy Trust.

The Dundee orchestra, run by 
Sistema Scotland, is the charity’s fourth in Scotland, following those in Raploch in Stirling, Govanhill in Glasgow and Torry in Aberdeen.

Perth-based Gannochy Trust awarded the Dundee project £325,000 to support it over its first three years.

The late singer songwriter Michael Marra was one of the first to call for the orchestra to be established in the city and the first round of fundraising began with a collection at his funeral in 2012.