“Classical music is not the first sound you’d associate with Govan,” a district of Glasgow, writes Anna Burnside in last Tuesday’s (12/26) Daily Record (Scotland). “Historically, it was the clank of the shipyards.… More recently, it’s been the clang of scaffolding as, slowly, the area is renovated. Paul MacAlindin is changing that. He [arrived] on the south bank of the River Clyde after the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq (NYOI), which he founded, collapsed. Having conducted an orchestra in a warzone, it seemed logical for him to do the same in Govan. He said: ‘I saw this area is pretty desperate. What do I do? I create an orchestra. In my opinion, every problem in life can be solved by creating an orchestra.…’ The Glasgow Barons [as the new orchestra is named], in their current format, aren’t exactly the Berlin Philharmonic. They’re Paul with his baton plus a bunch of professional musicians coming together when required.” McAlindin also “arranged for a composer to spend 12 weeks working with fourth-years at Govan High School.” Said McAlindin, “Everyone asks me the difference between Govan and Iraq? Everything’s different but the hopelessness. Through music, that’s what we can address.”

Posted January 2, 2018