Symphony stars serenade the Old Pals

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Words and photographs Mark Davey

A select band from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBC SSO) played a tune titled Thistle in an exclusive show for Campbeltown Old Pals club.

Thistle was just one of many numbers, including a selection of tea dance, jazz performed at the intimate Saturday afternoon concert in Campbeltown Town Hall.

Campbeltonian and former Dalintober and CGS pupil, French horn player, Fergus Kerr, 45, played Hunter’s Moon and said: ‘I’ll confess this is not the first time I have played this piece in this hall but the last time must have been 30 years ago.’

The Thistle is just one of 96 plant pieces written by Scottish composer and cellist James Oswald as part of his Air for the Seasons. On Saturday it was played by a string trio: violinist Alice Rickards, Rhoslyn Lawtion on viola dn cellist Alice Allen.

Earlier the same musicians had taken part in Tunes for Tots, coordinated by BBC SSO’s early years leader Lucy Drever, with Campbeltown’s youngest residents.

The Old Pals listen intently to the BBC SSO. 25_c40oldpals01_BBCSSO

George Irvine, 2, gets up close with Joanna Nicholson’s clarinet. 25_c40BBCtots16

As well as listening to the stars of the BBC SSO tots took part in a musical collage, run by Sian MacQueen and Isaac Stanesby, based on the art of Wassily Kandinsky. Filmed by the BBC’s Johnny Lavaille, Jack Reid, 4, holds the collage he created. 25_c40BBCtots02