Aberdeen schoolkids were among a group of budding musicians who gave a special performance for Nicola Sturgeon.
Groups from four Big Noise centres based in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Dundee and Stirling played together at Holyrood yesterday for the first time to mark the organisation’s 10th anniversary.
MSPs from across the political spectrum were also among the audience at the Scottish Parliament.
Sistema Scotland – which runs the programme – was launched in 2008 with 35 children but now has more than 2,500 youngsters taking part each week, learning to play instruments such as the violin, flutes and trumpets.
Shannon Innes and Logan Gerrard, both 9, who play the viola, went along to the Scottish Parliament from Torry to take part in the performance.
Big Noise Torry was established in 2015 and has more than 500 members from infants to Primary 5.
John Wheeler, convener of Aberdeen City Council’s education operational delivery, said: “I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Big Noise and Sistema Scotland on this 10th anniversary.
“The impact that Big Noise has had on the Torry community in Aberdeen has been tremendous over the last three years.
“Aberdeen City Council is proud to be a major financial stakeholder in this programme that is transforming not only the lives of the pupils taking part but also the entire community.
“We were delighted that the independent evaluation report by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health revealed that Big Noise Torry has enhanced participants’ ability to learn in school, as well as improving emotional wellbeing.”
The set list included music from Pirates Of The Caribbean and The Skye Boat Song as well as The Hello Song – the first piece of music children learn when they start the programme.
First Minister Ms Sturgeon said in a keynote speech: “Sistema Scotland has dramatically extended its reach since it began its groundbreaking work 10 years ago and I congratulate everyone involved.”
The reception, in the Garden Lobby of the Parliament, was compered by writer and broadcaster Sally Magnusson, a board member of the charity.
The event also told the story of Big Noise through performances, songs and interviews.
Through its programme, Big Noise aims to boost educational performance, health and wellbeing.