The RSNO will bring the story of Yoyo and The Little Auk to life with animated film and original music.
The orchestra commissioned Scottish composer Euan Stevenson, Scottish writer Stewart Ennis and Scottish BAFTA winning animator Gavin C Robinson to create an orchestral tale which will be available for free online. This is directed at young children inspiring them to create their own stories and will introduce them to classical music.
An announcement about a live world premiere performance and concert dates at some of Scotland’s signature festivals will be made later this year.
The story of Yoyo & The Little Aukdraws parallels between bird migration in the natural world and human migration in the era of global citizenship, exploring Scotland’s diverse cultures, languages and landscapes. Children will join Yoyo and her new friend the Little Auk under the bright stars of the fictional town Inverkithkin as they prepare for the annual town ceilidh. With the help of Yoyo’s grandparents, the pair make party costumes, unveiling treasures from across the world along the way. Clydebank-born actor James Cosmo will be narrating the story in the film, having recently narrated the Year of Stories 2022 promotional film.
Andy Stevenson, RSNO Director of Learning and Engagement, said: “The RSNO is incredibly proud to offer the latest in a series of educational programmes to nurseries across Scotland. We recognise the importance of using music and art to engage children in their early years with themes and ideas that will be important throughout their lives. We are so happy to celebrate the diversity of places, people and cultures of Scotland with this story.
“It has been fantastic getting to work with such a strong pool of Scottish talent and we are very grateful to Year of Stories 2022 for their support of the project. This is just the beginning of Yoyo & The Little Auk’s story, and we look forward to sharing much more with nurseries and families over the coming year.”
Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “The launch of the RSNO’s new interactive teaching resources for nurseries on World Book Day is an exciting contribution to Scotland’s Year of Stories. It underlines the importance of introducing young children to the joys of stories and music early on to inspire a life-long love of the arts.
“I’m also pleased to see our national orchestra partnering with other organisations such as the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Refuweegee who are supporting the wider reach of the inspiring tale of Yoyo & the Little Auk to our refugee communities in Glasgow.”
Yoyo & The Little Auk is part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 events programme, supported by EventScotland and VisitScotland. The project is also kindly supported by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Northwood Charitable Trust, Leach Family Charitable Trust, Russell Trust, Leisure & Culture Dundee, and Glasgow City Council.