Ordinary people, young and old, from across the north-east are gearing up to take centre stage for the grand re-opening of Aberdeen’s Music Hall.
Community and school groups, offering a dizzying range of music and performance, will be at the heart of Stepping In celebrations on Saturday, December 8, as the much-loved venue bursts back into life after an ambitious £8.7 million revamp.
They have all been part of Aberdeen Performing Art’s award-winning Stepping Out projects, designed to involve communities in Music Hall-inspired projects, to keep its spirit alive while it was closed for its facelift.
Jane Spiers, pictured, chief executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts, said: “The Music Hall has been at the heart of cultural, community and civic life in the north-east for nearly two centuries and the Stepping In re-opening will be a home-grown celebration of community, talent and creativity.”
Among those taking part will be pupils from Orchard Brae School, who have been working with musician and composer Abi Sinar to create a world premiere performance.
Children from Gilcomstoun Primary School and Nursery have been working with Scottish Opera alongside older adults from city council creative learning groups, as well as residents from Rosewell House and Fergus House care homes.
They have created Spinning Songs, with their own lyrics in a special songbook to share with the audience.
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Also performing will be the 80-strong Music Hall Community Choir, who will be singing their favourite songs.
There will even be a little performance by the Music Hall Babies group, all born in December 2017.
Key to the opening will be the Music Hall Young Ambassadors, who have been helping shape the Music Hall’s future.
They will be sharing their experiences of the opening day via social media, as well as acting as guides, the following day.
APA creative learning manager Lisa Mathieson said: “We were Stepping Out and we’re now Stepping In. It’s been a huge undertaking but so incredibly rewarding for everyone involved. It’s wonderful to see it all coming together.”
The Stepping Out programme last month scooped the Making The Difference Award in the Northern Star Business Awards.
APA had more good news this week when the Gannochty Trust donated £20,000 towards activities for young people in the Music Hall’s creative learning Tutti Studio.