The aim of the Hands Up for Trad Community Music awards is to showcase and celebrate the outstanding practice and great things going on in Scotland’s community music sector to the wider public and media.
Congratulations to The BIG Project Youth Choir who have been nominated in the Young Community Musician/s of the Year category. Vote here! We asked The BIG Project Youth Choir the following questions.
Tell us more about yourself.
Established in 2002, The BIG Project supports children and young people aged 5-18 to learn, achieve, have fun and feel good about themselves.
Engendering a sense of stability and continuity for children and young people, many of whom experience social exclusion and discrimination at a variety of levels, we deliver ongoing, long-term support to help them overcome barriers and secure a positive future.
The BIG Project Youth Choir is a non-audition performance choir for 8 – 18 year olds of all abilities, with a focus on joining in, trying our best and having fun! We’ve found that singing and making music are great tools to achieve the social aims of the project: building confidence, self discipline, a sense of belonging, and empathy. We’ve also found that we can develop our singing and musical skills through challenging repertoire and fun singing games. And we love that fact that performing gives us the opportunity to work in partnership with professional and community musicians and to travel and see new places.
How long have you or your group organisation been involved in this work and tell us a wee bit about how it all started?
The BIG Project Youth Choir was established in 2009, based on feedback from children and young people in a previous songwriting, performance and recording project. Participants said the parts of the project that they enjoyed the most were the group singing activities, and The BIG Project founded the choir in response to their feedback, with support from Creative Scotland’s YMI fund.
What have you or your group/organisation got planned for the next 12 months?
We’re leading a community singalong in Broomhouse on Friday 29th June, to celebrate The BIG Project’s 15th birthday. On Monday 9th July, we’re looking forward to performing alongside four other choirs from Europe and North America, as part of the Stirling Bridge International Arts Festival at Greyfriar’s Kirk, and the following week, it’s time for one of our favourite holiday activities: BandCamp, where 30 children and young people meet for one week, form bands, work with professional songwriters (Steven Polwart, Rachel Sermanni and Kim Edgar this year) and put on a show with all the newly written songs by the end of the week! After the summer, we’re trying something completely different: our 8 – 12 year olds are going to join up with Love Music Junior Choir led by Stephen Deazley, meeting weekly in the Usher Hall, while our 13 – 18 year olds are going to start a Make Music Club, which is a bit like BandCamp, but running on a weekly basis.
What has been the highlight of your or your group/organisation’s experience to date?
It’s hard to choose! Being the chosen choir to represent Scotland by singing “O Flower Of Scotland” from Edinburgh Castle for the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics was amazing! We also really enjoyed Gareth Malone visiting us in Broomhouse, before we performed live on BBC Children in Need as a part his UK wide choir. And we’ve had fantastic opportunities to rehearse and perform with wonderful songwriters and musicians like Karine Polwart, King Creosote, Findlay Napier and Rachel Sermanni in venues including Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Edinburgh’s Usher Hall which have been really special.
How does it feel to be nominated for this award?
It’s exciting to have our singing recognised in this way! It’s lovely to celebrate the work we do, and we’re honoured to be nominated – thank you 🙂
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