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Paws for a performance with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra!

Image Credit: Ryan Buchanan

Throughout February, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) will be taking music loving cat and dog duo, Stan and Mabel, on a tour of Scotland with a series of special classical concerts for children.

Based on a new illustrated story by Jason Chapman with original music by children’s composer Paul Rissmann the performance is narrated by CBeebies presenter Chris Jarvis (Show Me Show Me), and includes fun packed activities for children before the performance.

Stan and Mabel and the Race for Space is a musical adventure telling the story of a group of animals as they escape from the School for Wild and Dangerous Animals as they search for a safe place to call their home.

Animal and music lover, Chris, is the perfect host and recently visited Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home where he took a shine to some of our favourite furry friends. While he was at the Home, we took the opportunity to find out a bit more about his involvement with the SCO and why he thinks music is so important for the younger generation.

How did you first get involved with Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Family Festival?

I was over the moon to be invited to perform with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra several years ago because their Family Festivals are more than just concerts; they’re a fantastic opportunity for children to experience classical music for the first time and meet the orchestra.

There are all sorts of activities involving art, craft and exploring music through play going on before concerts.  Then afterwards some of the musicians and creatives go out into the foyer to answer questions.  We also pose for selfies of course.

If your child is interested in playing an instrument or if you just want to inspire them with some real, first class orchestral music – the SCO Family Festival is definitely for you.

How do young children respond to classical/orchestral music?

The current young generation’s response to classical/orchestral music seems stronger and better than ever.

Today’s children are much better at forming their own opinions about everything not just music.  This is reflected in contemporary pop music where talent counts.

Access to classical music has also improved thanks to the amazing work of orchestras like the SCO who invest so much energy in outreach and education projects.

The BBC is also doing a great job with the ‘Ten Pieces’ project and more inclusive Proms.

I’ve recently helped launch a new radio station for young children and families called Little Radio. It introduces all kinds of music including classical, jazz, Latin – you name it!  As well as rhymes and stories. It’s free to download, free from ads and free from screens.

Did you enjoy your recent visit to Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home?

We had a great time! Thank you for showing us around your amazing centre. You are doing a fantastic job.

While I adore cats and could quite happily strolled off with Smokie, I’m a workaholic and wouldn’t be home long enough to provide the love and attention a pet needs.  Wishing you and the team at the Edinburgh Dog and Cats Home all the very best.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Family Festival – Stan And Mabel and The Race For Space tours Scotland this February with dates at Perth Concert Hall, Fri 7 Feb; Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, Sat 8 Feb and City Halls in Glasgow on Sun 9 Feb. Tickets available via Scottish Chamber Orchestra.


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