Our 2019 Highlights – Happy Holidays!
It’s that time again, so we thought we’d give you the low-down (with comments from audience members of various ages telling us their best bits) and reflect on another wonderful year of CCC (have we mentioned it’s our 25th?!) starting with an inaugural journey to Inverness…
Gypsy Jazz, 24 February 2019, Eden Court Theatre – Inverness
Despite a flat tyre on the A9, we weren’t feeling deflated for long once we’d met an incredibly friendly staff team at Eden Court and such an enthusiastic, appreciative and welcoming audience. Gypsy Jazz, which featured the amazing Rose Room was a gig that quite literally got the whole family in the groove. It was particularly special to have people come and ask us so many questions afterwards – the most frequent being, when are you coming back? Well, the answer – Saturday 7 March 2020 with our brand-new wind quintet, featuring a version of Peter and the Wolf!
“My favourite part was the hand tap dancing because it was hilarious, and it still makes me laugh when I think about it!”
Fiddlesticks – Fife schools’ concerts, 1 March 2019, Lochgelly Centre
Our popular and long-running storytelling project was delivered once again in 8 Fife primary schools during February and March. Pupils there had inspirational sessions led by top musicians and the chance to become authors, composers and performers – each wrote a class story, created their own soundtrack and showcased it in front of their friends and teachers.
A major aspect of the project is the opportunity to attend a CCC concert and we had a fantastic time at Lochgelly Centre performing for 800 (very excited but brilliantly behaved) children. Our Fiddlesticks programme with the Maxwell Quartet was a big hit, as the musicians raced to see who could play the fastest, loudest and wildest, exploring the sting quartet’s history along the way, from classical to ragtime to pop (true musical madness ensued)! A huge thank you to YMI Fife for making it possible.
“It was so good, the musicians were silly and funny!”
Peter and the Wolf, 2 and 3 March 2019, Caird Hall – Dundee and Music Hall – Aberdeen
Following our Fiddlesticks success, we were straight back on the road, this time with a van full of props, costumes and set pieces to bring Peter and the Wolf (and other stories) to life. The concert was full of (yet more!) musical storytelling and joining in, transporting audiences from Peter’s enchanted forest to Romeo and Juliet’s castle, stopping off for a spin around Sleeping Beauty’s ballroom. We were joined by the incredibly talented Ryan Ferrie as narrator and were blown away by the reaction, especially from our near sell-out audience at the newly refurbished Music Hall in Aberdeen – a city we’d not visited for some 20 years.
“My favourite part of the concert was Montagues and Capulets by Prokofiev because it was exciting and I liked listening to it. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the stage.”
“My favourite part was because the music was so relaxing in part of it and that you were all kind.”
Soundcycle, 25 and 26 May 2019, Assembly Rooms – Edinburgh and Macrobert – Stirling
CCC’s beloved pink flamingo inflatable was back for more synchronised swimming fun during this sporting family concert. We had the pleasure of working with young Scottish composer, Tom Harrold and World-class percussionist, Colin Currie, to present Unchained, a piece featuring bike parts that we first commissioned for the Festival 2018 celebrations when Glasgow played host for the European Championships. Our Essential Orchestra were firmly in the team spirit and let’s just say, when music meets cycling it sounds wheelie good!
“Everything [was my favourite] because it sounded really nice cause everyone was working together.”
“I liked the swimming bit and the bit when the men cycled round the theatre because it made me laugh out loud.”
Acorns to Oaks, 28 May 2019, Glasgow
Shortly after the high-energy Soundcycle weekend, we changed the pace a bit and ran a pilot session for an intergenerational project we hope to develop next year, with music and nature at the heart. Owen, together with sensational musicians, Seonaid Aitken (yes, the very same from Rose Room, who also appeared most recently as our ‘Chief Executive of Happiness and Grammar’ at the Santa’s Workshop concerts!) and Young Jazz Musician of the Year (2018), Joe Williamson (guitarist) delivered a fun and interactive workshop for a pre-school nursery class, teaching them the chorus to ‘Oh What a Beautiful Morning’. The children then visited their local care home later that day and performed the song for residents there, also showing off some accompanying artwork they’d created. The trio of musicians presented a really relaxed concert with a programme of music that appealed to both generations, from Spootiskerry (Scottish reels) to extracts from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to nursery favourites, Baby Shark, and 5 Little Monkeys.
“[Our children] were all enthusiastically engaged and thoroughly enjoyed the music, so much so they are still putting on their own shows on our outdoor stage… it was great to see everyone joining in together…a big thank you to everyone from CCC who helped to make it possible and such a great success.” Depute Head of Centre, Limetree Day Nursery
“The most effective aspect was the engagement between the performers, the children and our residents…looking back at the photos their faces were a delight.” Manager, Cartvale Nursing Home
Music Sparks, 1 and 2 June 2019, CCA – Glasgow
This was a brand-new venture for us into the world of contemporary music, in partnership with Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, and what a weekend it was! We ran various workshops for specific age ranges with plenty of ingenuity and creativity. The final session built on ideas everyone had explored and fed into a concert with a difference – the audience had their say, helping to map out a programme based on the idea of a day in Glasgow – they set the rules, took inspiration from images on screen and heard the results play out, live!
“Today was really interesting and different. Thought the sounds were cool!”
Peter and the Wolf, 31 August 2019, Glasgow
Peter and the Wolf (and other stories) proved so popular in the Spring that we were itching to do it all again. This time, we made sure it was captured on film by the brilliant Scott Mackenzie and his team – the first stage in our ambitious plan for our ‘Essential Orchestra Presents…’ project next year and beyond…more on that, below.
We also received a lovely ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review from Keith Bruce in The Herald and some amazing feedback from our audiences, who really went wild for this show, so we’ll let their comments do the talking:
“The best concert ever! And we danced with joy that the duck was safe after all :)”
“I liked seeing all the different sizes of instruments and the man throwing the bucket of glitter”
“To be honest, I loved all of it, but, if I had to choose I would probably choose the last bit where they did a mash-up of lots of different musicals, and I knew all the songs.”
“Details matter, and Owen and yourselves planned and pitched it to perfection – a great venue, brilliant acoustics, a dreamy twinkling stage, wonderful lighting, clever costumes and performers with big hearts, keeping the audience in mind at all times. We loved following the personality of each instrument and musician – fabulous, light footed, sleepy, bubbly, smiley, menacing, chatty, hipster and all the rest… We woke up today talking about it all so happily and we listened to the music of the entire line up again.”
Weird Science, 26 and 27 October 2019, Glasgow and Edinburgh
This concert was on another level! Where do we start? The collaboration with Glasgow Science Centre made for performances that were out of this world. Big shout out to Celine and Ross for being fab guest presenters and helping Owen discover a few new tricks, Professor Phil Gault for having awesome chemistry with the audience, the wonderful Royal Scottish National Orchestra and RSNO Junior Chorus, for their brilliant performances and the animation team at the University of the West of Scotland, who once again, did themselves proud. At CCC, we’re always looking for ways to connect with our young fans and what better way than to bring their own drawings to life, set to music? They say a picture is worth a thousand words – well add to that the beautifully animated elements and the power of a symphony orchestra and the end result is quite magical! It’s proven to be an incredibly effective aspect of our Halloween concert programming and has had a huge impact on the enjoyment of families (a whopping 3,230 people watched and listened this time round)!
“We three Mad Scientists had a fantastic day. So mesmerised by the animations, kids were so chuffed to see their drawings brought to life. The music, the choir, experiments, the periodic table!!! Everything was brilliant and somehow so much squeezed into only one hour. Great day! We loved it.”
“All of it! Because it was the perfect combination of music, facts and fun!”
“The music [was my favourite part] I love music. I play lots of instruments. This music though was beyond incredible!”
“The person’s hand going on fire, because it was on fire and it was his hand.”
We were so grateful for yet another ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review in The Herald!
Santa’s Workshop, 7 and 8 December 2019, Glasgow and Edinburgh
Christmas really began after our concert weekend (if we do say so ourselves!) Owen was sleigh-in’ it – snow problems with getting ready this year, under the watchful ice of Elf and Safety! We had an absolute bauble watching the amazing Manor School Of Ballet and listening to the epic Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Audiences were delighted (the Edinburgh concert alone had 2,023 people listening and singing-along)!
“The wrapping paper test because the chief elf was hilarious! I loved the rhythms + sounds.”
“The ballet because it was really graceful and wonderful.”
“My granddaughter loved the dancing, her face lit up!”
“I loved all of it, especially the Christmas party pop medley”
“The part when the percussionist fell over! It made me laugh!”
The Big Give Christmas Challenge also left us in the festive spirit, raising almost £5000, which, thanks to the campaign will be DOUBLED. With gift aid added we’re on course to raise a massive *£11,000* to support our ‘Essential Orchestra presents…’ project. This money will go towards providing free screenings of our aforementioned Peter and the Wolf concert in 8-10 venues across Scotland with selected musicians accompanying it, performing and interacting live, for a minimum of 20 schools! Families in all corners of the country deserve the same fun, educational benefits and confidence-building contact with professional musicians as in the Central Belt. There’s already loads of great stuff going on nationwide, but more can be done and we’re jumping at the chance to make our Essential Orchestra go rural!
So, we turned 25 this year, delivered some bold themes to help celebrate, increased our audiences and let’s not forget, CCC HQ had a serious makeover!! A big THANK YOU to all of our venues, partners and followers. We can’t wait to see what 2020 will have in store for us and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Best wishes from all at CCC ?
DATES FOR YOUR DIARIES
Saturday 29 February, 2.30pm, Caird Hall, Dundee
Sunday 1 March, 2.30pm, Music Hall, Aberdeen