Burns Choir in Northlight

Pic: Tom Finnie (5.6.2011)'The Royal Scottish National Orchestra "Renewal" project in north-east Scotland: Poet Alan Spence (centre), composer Cecilia McDowall and RSNO animateur John Logan join young musicians (from left) Rory Comerford, Lyndsey Higgins and Fraser Thomson at the Dickson Hall, Laurencekirk, where they were collaborating with other members of the RSNO and the local Burns Choir.
Pic: Tom Finnie (5.6.2011)'The Royal Scottish National Orchestra "Renewal" project in north-east Scotland: Poet Alan Spence (centre), composer Cecilia McDowall and RSNO animateur John Logan join young musicians (from left) Rory Comerford, Lyndsey Higgins and Fraser Thomson at the Dickson Hall, Laurencekirk, where they were collaborating with other members of the RSNO and the local Burns Choir.

Community groups from across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have joined together with GRAMMY Award-winning British composer Cecilia McDowall and Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen and founder/director of the annual WORD Festival Alan Spence in producing an original fifteen-minute work to open the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s (RSNO) first concert of the Aberdeen Concert Series.

Over the past eight months, enthusiastic participants of all ages and abilities have been collaborating with Cecilia McDowall, Alan Spence and musicians from the RSNO to produce a substantial work for Chorus and Orchestra. The resulting composition, which is still in the process of completion, is entitled Northlight, taking its inspiration from the geography and communities of the northeast of Scotland. The work will be performed by a combined Community Chorus comprising people involved in the composition, members of the RSNO Chorus and the RSNO at the Music Hall, Aberdeen on Thursday October 6.

This is the first project of its kind to be seen in the UK, where multiple local community groups have been mobilised to contribute to the composition and subsequent performance of a major orchestral commission. Groups involved in the project include The Burns Quoir (including members of the Youth Burns Quoir) fromThe Mearns; The Northlight Community Composition project, in conjunction with Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council and supported by TOTAL E&P UK Limited, has involved substantial preparatory work from the local people working alongside musicians from the RSNO, Cecilia McDowall and Alan Spence over the past year.