Children’s Classic Concerts

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!


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’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 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.


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

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!!

Glasgow - Don't miss some Big Music for your Little Ones!

We are really excited to be part of Big Music for Minis at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall again, which is set to be even bigger and better than last year! There is a whole weekend of activities from 9th - 11th October with lots going on.

Olly will be taking three kids percussion workshops - 'Monster Mash Up!' - on Saturday 10th October, a hands-on percussion jam for all the family, which features glockenspiels and guiros, cabasas and cowbells through to the mighty marimba. What's more, come dressed as your favourite monster for the chance to win a prize!

Our friends at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra will also be there on Saturday and Sunday with their 'Music & Movement' sessions. They promise to get your children singing, dancing and moving to music in an enjoyable and engaging class.

With other events from Scottish Opera, the National Youth Choir of Scotland, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, plus craft tents, dance tents, reading busses and much, much more this is a family event not to be missed!

...SEASON! Our Halloween and Christmas concerts are just around the corner!

There’s a bit of a chill in the air now (only a slight departure from ‘Summer’!) so here at CCC we’re really looking forward to Halloween and of course, Christmas! It’s officially the start of our new season with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, which is set to be bigger and better than ever before! Here are just a few things we’re getting excited about:

Our lovely lads Owen & Olly are back (in the country after a busy time abroad) to help kick-start your trick or treating fun with ‘Magic and Monsters’ on Saturday 31st October (actual Halloween, so no excuse!) at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and on Sunday 1st November at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh.

We're working once again with the extremely talented RSNO Junior Chorus (Halloween) and National Youth Choir of Scotland (Christmas) and they've got some cracking songs to share with you! There are some well-known favourites in both the Halloween and Christmas concert programmes as well as some excellent gags and silliness from the lads, so get ready for some teasers soon!

You can expect another amazing COSTUME COMPETITION with a phenomenal TROLLEY DASH prize (to the tune of £250!) thanks to our lovely pals at A1 Toys. For the lucky winner, Christmas will definitely come early!

We’re thrilled to announce right now, that one of the highlights of the Magic and Monsters concerts will be Misterstourworm, a narrated children’s symphony by the talented composer and long-time friend of CCC, Savourna Stevenson! It’s a myth set in the Western Isles featuring a brave young man called Coran, who is determined to rid his land of the vicious sea monster, Miserstourworm. The piece will be narrated by the brilliant James Mackenzie - many mums and dads will remember him as the immortal warlord ‘Raven’ on CBBC!

Watch this space for more updates!

Vote for the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme as Best Arts project in the National Lottery Awards!

We need your help!

Vote for usJust over a year ago, our hugely successful and inspirational Going for Gold concerts were part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme. We’ve recently heard that the programme is in the running to win a National Lottery Award (it’s up against 6 other organisations in the Best Arts category)! The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme celebrated Scotland and Glasgow’s hosting of the XX Commonwealth Games and was the most ambitious and wide-reaching programme of national cultural activity that has ever taken place in the country, with audiences of over 2 million in music, theatre, exhibition, dance, poetry and film, and over 600,000 participants. Click here to vote for the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, or follow the campaign on twitter: hashtag #NLAwards. Voting is open now and closes at midnight on Wednesday 29th July!

A magic minimal music weekend!

We had a great time at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of their latest Minimal Music festival (on Sat 2nd/Sun 3rd May)! We were thrilled with the turnout of young people who came to experiment on the vast number of percussion instruments and loved watching them make music with some new friends! The end result was a fantastic piece that explored different rhythms and dynamics, led by the brilliant Olly Cox (not Murs) - very impressive after only 45 minutes! Hope to be back next year!

See below for a few comments from the participating families about their favourite bits and a peek at some of the photographic evidence!

“The ability of the main host and taking part”

“Changing over to try different instruments and the warm up”

“Beating the drums!”

“Playing fast and slow!”

“Copying the cowbell”

“All of it!”

An inspirational weekend of music for all the family in Glasgow! (Sat 2nd/Sun 3rd May)

On Saturday 2nd May at 4pm, our lovely Olly will be at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to lead a mix of young instrumentalists and professional musicians to perform Terry Riley's minimal composition, 'In C'. Check out the way the music changes as time goes on and be inspired! You're invited to grab a cushion, get comfy, and chill out at this cool, contemporary concert (it's free)!

Then, Olly and friends will be back to get busy with making some noise in free music-making sessions on Sunday 3rd May (suitable for ages 4 -12). Look out for the 'Percussion Jam Workshops', starting at 10:30am and 12:30pm (lasting approx. 45 minutes). Come along and express yourself in the Strathclyde Suite!

There'll be plenty of instruments to try; from djembes and drums, cowbells and claves through to the tuneful metallophone and the mighty marimba!

This comes as part of an exciting weekend for contemporary music; 2 world-famous composers (often considered the finest of the 20th Century); Steve Reich and Philip Glass will be in Glasgow to captivate the crowds with their stand-out works.

As if that wasn't enough, CCC Champion and superstar percussionist Colin Currie is also in town to perform brand new music from Reich. Catch him in concert (joined by our very own Owen!) on Sunday 3rd May at 4pm!

For more info and the full list of activities and concerts, click here!