Children’s Classic Concerts

Three Little Pigs - The Lowdown!

We’re all big Roald Dahl fans at CCC HQ, so we were very excited to see our musicians illustrate their talents and bring fictional fun to life at The Three Little Pigs concert (Macrobert Arts Centre) in Stirling last month! Our mini-orchestra were on a mission to delight families with their Dahl-inspired antics and character costumes - hopefully you’ll agree that they succeeded!

We felt the highlight was Three Little Pigs, Dahl’s Revolting Rhyme, (with brilliant music by Paul Patterson). Olly did a fab job of narrating (his wolf voice was particularly gruff!), Owen made his conducting debut (and played the percussion parts at the same time – how hard can that be, write?) and the acting from our brass players and Company Manager as the pigs, the wolf, and Red Riding Hood was amazing! There was certainly a twist in the tail, but we won’t reveal that here, in case we spoil the surprise for anyone!

The lads were firmly on the same page though, as they took the audience on an astonishing adventure throughout the concert – they got everyone in the party mood right from the beginning with Mambo from West Side Story, before introducing us to the Big Friendly Giants (BFGs) of the orchestra; the contrabassoon, tuba and double bass, in Malcom Arnold’s sprightly Scottish Dance. In contrast, the Minpins (very tiny people!) made an appearance afterwards, as the baby instrument of the orchestra, the piccolo, played a well-known melody from the ballet, Coppélia. Later, the orchestra performed Dance Macabre (Saint-Saëns), showcasing the ‘witch’ of the orchestra, leader Jane Mackenzie, on her spookily de-tuned violin. Next came Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, inspired by Willy Wonka’s sweet tooth (it was also an excuse for Owen & Olly to wear their tutus, as they like to do)!

The intention behind the concert was to celebrate Roald Dahl’s Centenary year, so there was a rendition of happy birthday, complete with a cake fit for the man himself, as well as a massive party game of musical statues. Owen & Olly demonstrated some proper ‘Dad dancing’ - snapping like the Enormous Crocodile, busting some Oompa Loompa moves as well as Miss Trunchbull’s speciality hammer throw, getting everyone up on their feet!

Topping it all off, we had our newly commissioned classical mash-up, arranged by Paul Campbell, of some of our favourite hits (our beloved William Tell is the finale piece), appropriately named, NOW! That’s What CCC Call Classical Music. It certainly seemed to be a crowd pleaser – we had a cracking bit of feedback from a young audience member telling us that this was his favourite bit…

“It was a very hard choice because all of it was mind-boggling, but I think the most flabbergasting part was the finale, because it really tempted me to dance like an insane baboon (but I didn’t).”

Fingers crossed it all goes down well again in Perth! We’re especially pleased to be part of Perth Festival of the Arts this year. Three Little Pigs will be performed on Saturday 21st May, 11am at Perth Concert Hall and we can’t wait for round two!

We owe a big thank you to:

Creative Scotland
Macrobert Arts Centre
The musicians of the CCC mini-orchestra
Lissa Lorenzo, Theatre Director
Paul Campbell, Arranger
Scott Mackenzie, Videographer
Jassy Earl, Photographer

Grab the chance of winning a Golden VIP ticket for Hallowe'en!

Are you coming along to our Three Little Pigs concert on Sat 21st May in Perth? We'd absolutely love to know what you think, and if you're interested in writing a Roald Dahl-inspired review of the concert, you could grab a Golden VIP ticket for our Hallowe'en extravaganza with the RSNO! There are 5 tickets available (first-come-first-served), for Owen & Olly's Beastly Bash concerts (which also celebrate Roald Dahl's 100th birthday!) on either the 29th October - Glasgow Royal Concert Hall or 30th October - Usher Hall, Edinburgh.

Please find a helpful template here to help you with your review! Please let us know as soon as possible if you want to have a go, or send in your review to ccc@childrensclassicconcerts.co.uk after the concert. Good luck :)

Our brand new mini-orchestra are set for a party to celebrate Roald Dahl!

We're so excited to see and hear some amazing musicians come together to form a brand-new orchestra for CCC! Performances will be small-scale (1 player for most instruments) but high-impact, as each member gets involved with the action (and the dressing up - in the first few concerts, see how many of your favourite Roald Dahl characters you can spot on stage)! We can't wait!

Owen & Olly are gearing up to host the premiere performances (i.e. parties) on Sunday 24th April - Macrobert Arts Centre and Saturday 21st May - Perth Concert Hall, celebrating Roald Dahl's 100th birthday year! Amongst their usual antics, they'll be narrating the highlight of the programme, The Three Little Pigs (featured in Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes), with music by Paul Patterson. There'll be plenty of other party pieces too, showcasing some of Dahl's best-loved stories - it'll be a gobstopper of a concert!

After the performances, don’t miss out on the chance to meet the champion musicians and ask questions about how they play their marvellous melodies – book your golden tickets here!

To get you in the mood, here are some of our favourite Roald Dahl Quotes!

We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964)

Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog." Matilda (1988)

A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.”
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (1972)

We've won an Arts and Business Scotland Award with our pals at A1 Toys! Yay :)

We were surprised and delighted to win the People category at the Arts and Business Scotland 2015 awards last night which took place at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The annual awards celebrate partnerships and projects that work to promote creativity and cultural engagement across Scotland, contributing to creative and economic well-being. To have our small but perfectly formed partnership with A1 Toys recognised in such a strong category means a great deal!

Winning the very first award of the night also added to the shock and excitement!

Gail Burns, Director of A1 Toys said:

We are just a small company, so we are surprised and delighted to win this award, particularly given the quality and high profile of the other short-listed partnerships in our category. This really means a lot to us.”

A1 Toys not only supported our performances with cash and in–kind benefits, allowing us to create spectacular concerts full of costumes, props and visuals to appeal to our young audiences, they also provided a dream prize – a trolley dash in the toy shop! – for the winner of the CCC Halloween costume competition.

Catherine Earnshaw, General Manager of CCC said:

Neither Gail nor I were prepared to find ourselves on stage, holding beautiful trophies being interviewed by the BBC’s Janice Forsyth! It was a shock, but in the nicest possible way. We think the judges must have recognised that this partnership of two small but niche national companies was a perfect fit. We both punch above our weight and are passionate about what we do. Together we were able to bring really entertaining experiences of classical music to both the wider public and our community.”

Watch our reaction (we're first up!) and interviews with other winners here!

The partnership was praised not only for a spectacular concert enjoyed by 2,000 young people and their families with imaginative costumes and jaw-dropping props but also for our community engagement, bringing professional performances of classical music to schools for children with additional support needs. Owen and Olly devised and presented a superhero programme with all the thrills and spills of the CCC concert hall experience designed to be small-scale but high-impact, enabling pupils with moderate learning difficulties and those with multiple, complex needs to participate together in a valuable creative experience.

Other short-listed partnerships in the People Award category were:

Accenture and Scottish Opera

Buchanan Food and Woodend Barn

Malin Marine Consultants Ltd and National Theatre of Scotland

Scottish Power Foundation and Edinburgh International Book Festival

Scottish Power Foundation and National Theatre of Scotland

Shell (UK) Ltd and Modo- Circus with Purpose

Huge thanks to Arts & Business Scotland and congratulations to all the shortlisted partnerships and winners.

Happy New Year!

We're getting in gear for another round of ensemble concerts guaranteed to make you cheer!

Owen & Olly will be back on the road in February with a brand new family offering featuring the nosiest section of the orchestra - you guessed it, the percussion section! They're joining forces with two more of their pals to present some popular classical music as well as top tunes from film, TV and video games, four-man band style! As usual at a CCC gig, the audience will have the chance to get involved (percussion instruments are perfect for participation - no ear plugs required, honest) so come prepared :)

If you want even more musical mayhem, never fear - before each concert, the lovely lads will be on hand to get everyone in the groove with their Instant Samba family workshops - don't miss the chance to play along with them!

Owen & Olly's Four Man Band - Dates for your Diaries:

Sunday 28th February 2016 - Marryat Hall, Dundee

Friday 4th March 2016 - Elgin Academy, Elgin

Saturday 5th March 2016 - Tait Hall, Kelso

Later in the Spring, Owen & Olly have a real treat in store - their exclusive new mini-orchestra will be premiering with a programme influenced by some of Roald Dahl's classic characters, celebrating his centenary year - don't miss out on The Three Little Pigs in Stirling and Perth - two massive 100th birthday parties!!

Sunday 24th April 2016 - Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling

Saturday 21st May 2016 - Perth Concert Hall

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and thank you to everyone who celebrated with us at this year's festive concerts! Owen & Olly had a ball as usual, and were delighted to receive this review from Justine Blundell (The Edinburgh Guide) - check it out below:

Owen & Olly’s Christmas Stocking is a cracker of a concert that gives adults the excuse to let their hair down, while pretending it’s all for the kids.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra are out in force, bedecked in jolly Christmas hats, their music stands adorned with tinsel boas. Behind them, similarly attired, sit members of the National Youth of Scotland Choirs, with representatives from the Falkirk, Edinburgh and Midlothian areas. While the orchestra get into full Christmassy flow with a cheery rendition of Prokofiev’s Troika (Sleigh Ride), Olly and Owen – dressed as Drum Majors - exchange Christmas gifts. Owen’s are amusingly all toy-sized replicas of Olly’s life-sized originals.

Moving swiftly through an atmospheric rendering of Little Drummer Boy, sung by the choir, and a hearty Jingle Bells, accompanied by a fair amount of key-jangling from the audience, we’re into story-time. Olly, dressed in a festive Christmas jumper, sits in a comfy leather armchair to tell the story of Coppélia, read from an oversized book. The story is enacted by talented pupils from the Manor House School of Ballet, who give a beautifully entertaining ten-minute ballet performance.

There’s the now-traditional and somewhat rowdy audience-participation number that is Sam Fonteyn’s Ski Sunday (or Pop Goes Bach for those in the know) and the audience are joyfully on their feet again, after a short interlude from the choir, to bust some moves to Christmas Alphabet.

A highlight is always when our two eponymous heroes do what they do best – namely wheeling out the marimba, xylophone, vibraphone and glockenspiel and let rip with a medley of well-known Christmas tunes. You’ve Got a Friend in Me from Toy Story gives them an excuse to dress as Woody and Buzz Lightyear, and the young ones in the audience are kept very happy when this is followed by the RSNO playing the orchestral suite from Frozen – with lots of wee ones unable to resist prancing about up and down the aisles.

Ending with the rousing Galop from William Tell that has everyone - even the granddads - on their feet and cantering madly, this latest Children’s Classic Concert is a resounding success and sends us all home full of Christmas cheer.

Due to a high number of entries, the winner of the quiz will be announced early in the New Year!

Best wishes from all at CCC!

Meet the winner of the A1 Toys Costume Competition 2015!

Massive congratulations to Elise Atkins (9) who came to the Glasgow Magic and Monsters concert as Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon! This home-made outfit seriously wowed our judges: Gail from A1 Toys, Iona from Say it Ain't Sew and long-time friend of CCC; Elaine. Well done for all of your hard work! We're really looking forward to watching you claim your trolley dash star prize!

Budding journalist, Max McGregor reporting...check out my review of Magic and Monsters!

Concert presented by Owen and Olly
With the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
And the RSNO Junior Chorus
And narrator, James Mackenzie

The concert started with the John Williams Harry Potter Theme which felt magical and flowing. It was very well performed and got a big applause from audience, it was a great way to start the show.

Owen and Olly came out and introduced the fun filled concert. They played John Williams’ Double Trouble which was sung by the RSNO Junior Chorus. The choir sounded great it was an interesting song. Owen and Olly were wearing ridiculous wizard outfits!

They introduced James Mackenzie, famous for being the presenter of the CBBC show Raven, who told the story of Misterstourworm, composed by Savourna Stevenson (who was also at the concert!). It was well narrated and James kept in perfect time with music, and sometimes it even got a bit too loud but he handled it very well and made it easy to follow the story - Well done!

After that, there was a change of tone when Owen and Olly, the presenters, did a great magic sketch – it was hilarious! The quirky music in the background by Ponchielli went well with the great tricks from

O w e…Olly! We also met the Gruffalo for a song arranged specially for CCC, and A1 Toys’ prizes where given out to some spectacular costumes for the fancy dress competition.

I enjoyed the loud exciting music by Wendel for the Headless Horseman, complete with a silly sketch by Owen and Olly. Then at the end there was a fun medley featuring them on percussion, starting loud, then scary which then ended with everyone dancing to the pop beat for Thriller! Huge applause!!!

I’ve been to CCC before I love hearing the RSNO because its amazing to watch the instruments being played and hear it live, it’s so much more exciting in real life. And Owen and Olly make every concert fun and easy to understand. This concert was great the RSNO played beautifully and the choir did very well!! 5 out of 5!!

All of us at CCC would like to say a huge thank you and well done to Max McGregor (age 11) for his brilliant review! Max also had time to catch up with some of the pros backstage for a wee interview, so here's what he found out!


OWEN

The first instrument Owen played was the violin and he started playing it when he was 5 or 6 years old. His top five favourite instruments are the vibraphone, bass drum, saxophone, bassoon and the marimba. He says he’s more tired now he has a daughter and he feels like he knows as much about Cbeebies as he knows about music! He’s played in loads of different countries all over the world but his favourite place to play music is the Orkney Islands.

OLLY

Olly’s first instrument was the piano when he started when he was 8 years old. His five favourite instruments are the marimba, piano, cello, congas and the bongos. When he was a student, the first person he met when he moved to London was Owen! They have been friends ever since. He enjoys working for CCC!

JAMES MACKENZIE, narrator

James loves working with an orchestra and this was the 3rd or 4th time he’s done it. He enjoyed playing the trumpet when he was younger but no longer does. He says keeping in time with the music is hard, like rubbing your tummy and patting your head but lots of fun! The first record he got was called Now 2! But listens to lots more now. He would love to present more TV shows like Raven again.

JEAN-CLAUDE PICARD, Conductor

He is from Montreal in Canada and moved to Scotland and he really likes it here - he says its like being at home in Canada. He enjoys doing CCC concerts because he feels relaxed and says he feels like the orchestra is connected to the audience and its fun! He loves being a conductor and it took him 15 years to become a conductor he always learns new things doing it. When he was younger he used to play the flute and he listened to all kinds of music (often what his mum and sister listened to!) He enjoyed the Magic and Monsters concert.

Let us know what you think!

We always like to hear your feedback and we really value your opinion! If you've ever fancied becoming an arts reviewer, now's your chance! We're inviting young people in our audience to write about their experience at Magic and Monsters this weekend! Please download the review template written by the lovely Kelly Apter (The Scotsman & The List) for some tops tips and inspiration!



When you're done, please send your reviews to CCC, 46A Fortrose Street, Glasgow, G11 5LP or email ccc@childrensclassicconcerts.co.uk

Thanks everyone!

We've been Shortlisted in the People Category of this Year's A&B Scotland Awards!

We're thrilled to announce that we've been shortlisted in the People category of the Arts and Business Scotland Awards this year, for our partnership with A1 Toys! Together we've been able to take interactive and inclusive concerts into Additional Support Needs schools in Glasgow, which has been a fantastic experience for all involved. A1 have also donated some brilliant prizes for our Halloween concert costume competitions, and they're offering the amazing trolley dash star prize for the third time this year at Magic and Monsters! Find out more below...

The innovative partnership between Children’s Classic Concerts and superhero sponsors A1 Toys blasted onto the CCC stage in 2010 when A1 sponsored CCC’s opening concert of the season ‘Heroes vs Villains’ with in-kind sponsorship that saw Darth Vader, a menacing team of storm troopers and a real-size (and moving!) Dalek infiltrate the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Usher Hall stages. Our audiences were enthralled and a dream partnership was born. A1 have allowed us to make use of imaginative costumes, jaw-dropping props and they've created a fantastic vibe surrounding our Halloween costume competition; maximising audience engagement and generating real excitement in the run up to the concerts.

Last year's Monsters' Ball was no exception - hundreds of entries were judged by an esteemed panel, including: a member of A1 Toys’ management team, Gail Burns; CCC Board members and Iona Barker - who’s worked in wardrobe at the Hydro, dressing the likes of Dolly Parton, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and quite aptly, Lady Gaga (whose fans are literally ‘little monsters’). Together they narrowed down the competition to 4 finalists who put in a terrifyingly tremendous effort. The overall winner, 7 year old Maddie McGregor, came to the ball as Valka from How to Train Your Dragon – she was a vision in paper mâché and really stood out from the crowd. The trolley dash event was held and filmed in the Silverburn store on 25th November 2014 (Christmas came a month early for Maddie) with a 30-second live devilish drumming soundtrack by Owen and Olly for extra encouragement. In the video below, A1 Toys’ staff can be seen giving her a helping hand and willing her on!

Last season, Owen and Olly devised and presented a superhero programme with all the thrills and spills of the CCC concert hall experience designed to be small-scale but high-impact, enabling pupils with moderate learning difficulties and those with multiple, complex needs to participate together in a valuable creative experience. They visited Milton, Linburn and Newhills schools, and were given a warm welcome by everyone.

From Owen and Olly’s virtuosic opening piece and the question ‘we all have a super power, what’s yours?’ the theme provided a relevant and meaningful educational context which brought about really positive and sometimes uncharacteristic reactions. One pupil was initially overwhelmed with the large percussion set-up and completely opposed to entering the room. Until Iron Man caught his eye, that is. As a real fan of superhero comics, he overcame his anxiety and sat beside the figure, holding its hand. He relaxed as the concert progressed and stayed for the 40-minute duration (something unprecedented; usually his limit is 10). His carer was further astonished when at the end he had the confidence to play Olly’s drum and actively participate - a true break-through. Without A1’s contribution, this simply wouldn’t have been possible. The head teacher presented achievement awards acknowledging pupils’ response to the concert; a most special ceremony with Iron Man still in attendance.

A1’s crucial input with costumes and props meant that a visually appealing and informal environment was created breaking down barriers to inclusion.

Long may the partnership continue!!