Family Fun Music Day
Programme of music events aimed at opening up the Glasgow Concert Halls to younger music-lovers
Mission Impossible-style light beams that play musical notes as you cross them, a giant labyrinth of music and light, and a dark room filled with scary sounds – hardly business as usual at Glasgow’s City Halls. Organised by Svend Brown, director of music at Glasgow Life, the Family Fun Music Day aims to introduce younger audiences to the wonders of live music.
‘If you go to classical music, jazz or Celtic concerts, a lot of the audiences are older,’ says Brown, ‘and there are good reasons for that, because many buildings are not that child-friendly and concerts are on at funny times for kids, so there are lots of barriers to experiencing live music. With councils cutting their school music budgets, it’s becoming even more important that people putting on concerts think about how to give kids a taste of it on their own terms.’
That ‘taste’ will include lots of opportunities to both watch and participate in a range of musical styles. At the City Halls you’ll also find sixteen young composers playing new work inspired by outer space, a ‘Chill Bar’ where musicians have created their own version of the music from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the world premiere of MAN HIGH, a music and film piece based on Joseph Kittinger’s epic mission to test astronaut equipment by jumping out of a balloon at 102,800 ft.
Meanwhile, over at the Royal Concert Hall, infectiously enthusiastic duo Owen and Olly will be hosting Children’s Classic Concerts’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Orchestra with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra – followed by a free family samba workshop in the foyer.
One of the most remarkable things about the Family Fun Music Day is that, aside from Owen and Olly’s concert and MAN HIGH, it won’t cost you a penny. ‘This is the first time we’ve tried this, and it was important to get rid of as many barriers as possible,’ says Brown. ‘I think parents, more than kids, need to be persuaded to come to this kind of thing, because they’ve got a lot on their plate. But if we can get parents thinking yes, this is exciting, beneficial and fun, we can really start building a case for doing more of this kind of work.’
Royal Concert Hall and City Halls, Glasgow, Sat 24 Sep.