Q&A with Owen and Olly – hosts of Children’s Classic Concerts

Owen Gunnell and Oliver Cox get ready to deliver another fun-laden mix of classical music, singing and mayhem – this time on a Halloween theme

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Q&A with Owen and Olly – hosts of Children’s Classic Concerts

Jassy Earl Photography

You've been working with Children's Classic Concerts for a number of years now – how do you keep coming up with ideas, so that each one is as fresh as the last?

Owen: It’s tricky! With regards to new music, it’s almost impossible to come up with entirely new pieces for every concert, especially if they are the same theme year on year. We need some composers who are alive to come up with new repertoire! Children’s Classic Concerts always tries to get new arrangements and commissions as much as possible. With regards to the other things that happen in the concert, it’s a real collaborative process with Olly.

Olly: It depends really – some concerts seem to be quite easy to find new and good ideas for, and sometimes it can be a bit harder. We have a lot of brain-storming sessions in the van on our way to gigs! We are really lucky though, we have a great team behind the scenes at Children’s Classic Concerts, and we all help out with ideas.

One of the best aspects of Halloween for children is dressing up – what will you be wearing at your upcoming Magic and Monsters concert?

Owen: As usual, we’ll be making fools of ourselves in this department (purely through choice, no one forces us!)

Olly: We love dressing up! We have a few different costumes up our sleeves this time round, but we’ll mainly be dressed up as Wizards.

What musical choices have you made for this concert – and why?

Olly: As usual there is a real mix of music – some of our favourites, such as 'Harry Potter and The Gruffalo', as well as a fantastic piece called 'Misterstourworm' by the Scottish composer Savourna Stevenson, with a narrator. We also have the wonderful RSNO Junior Chorus for this concert, so they’ll be singing a few songs, too. And there will be plenty of joining in for our audience as well.

The best dressed concert-goers have a chance to win a trolley dash at A1 Toys in Glasgow – what was your favourite toy when you were younger, and do you still have it?

Olly: This is such a good prize! I would have loved to win a trolley dash through a toy shop when I was younger. I think my favourite toy when I was young was my Lego collection. I managed to collect quite a bit over the years – my Mum kept it for a while, but I’m pretty sure she has given it away now.

Owen: It’s an amazing prize! I was particularly into Sooty when I was younger, but my daughter doesn’t quite have the same interest yet unfortunately – Sooty has nothing on Peppa Pig in her world!

Children's Classic Concerts: Magic and Monsters

Owen and Olly are back with a wickedly fun Hallowe'en special, conducted by Jean-Claude Picard and featuring the RSNO Junior Chorus.

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