Nicola Benedetti joins more than 1,000 pupils for orchestral performance

Nicola Benedetti joined more than 1,200 secondary school pupils as they performed in one of the largest youth orchestras to be assembled in Scotland.

They were joined by the violinist and conductor Sir James MacMillan in their main performance at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.

Wednesday’s event, in which the musicians played from their seats all around the auditorium, was organised by Scotland’s Music Education Partnership Group to celebrate young people participating in all genres of music.

Play to Learn music event
Violinist Nicola Benedetti and conductor Sir James MacMillan alongside pupils on stage (Jane Barlow/PA)

Benedetti said: “The energy and sheer will it takes to pull off a day like this is testament to the quality of leadership and collective spirit currently at work in Scotland.

“We want as many young people as possible to experience the visceral enjoyment of making music together but we also want the experience to have a lasting impact.”

Earlier in the day, 200 young pipers performed a concert on the steps of the venue, while other participants took part in jazz and traditional music workshops.

Play to Learn music event
The passion of the performers was praised (Jane Barlow/PA)

Education Scotland chief Inspector Gayle Gorman said: “Music plays an important role in enabling our children and young people to enhance their creative talent.

“The passion of the young people at this event is hugely encouraging for the future of Scottish music and I hope the participants take inspiration from the famous musicians here today.”

Scotland’s Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said it was “inspiring” to watch the talented young musicians.

She said: “The benefits of participating in music are wide ranging, offering children and young people the opportunity to be creative, develop their imaginations, and help improve attainment.”

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