Tuesday saw the press launch for the project where Jon Lord will perform the Concerto for Group and Orchestra with a full rock group and symphony orchestra consisting entirely of young music students studying in Scotland.
The Scotsman – also reporting from the press launch – writes that over the next six months Jon Lord will be working with the five musicians from Stevenson College who will be taking the roles originally performed by Deep Purple.
‘Singer Grant Barclay, 18, keyboard player Fraser Mitchell, 18, guitarist Thomas Temple, 18, bass player Ryan Anderson, 18, and drummer Oscar Mannoni, 24, will all receive Jon Lord’s tuition,’ writes The Scotsman.
‘And that is the point,’ writes The Herald. ‘Despite the glitz and glamour of the occasion in the Usher Hall in October, and despite the fabulous aura that the presence of this rock giant and legend will bring to the event, the project is, root and branch, an education project and very probably a unique one at that.’
The collaborative project will involve students from every level of music education in Scotland, from commercial to specialist, ‘and will not so much cross over as smash through perceived barriers between so-called high art and low art,’ writes The Herald.
Ken Thomson, head of music and drama at Stevenson College in Edinburgh, explains how the project started with a meeting between himself and Jon Lord.
‘Jon has not done anything like this before, so he trod carefully, initially, to see what we were about. He talked about levels of performance, quality of musicianship and artistic awareness. Once he was convinced about that, the lights went to green,’ says Ken Thomson to The Herald.