Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Transports of delight

The Scott Brothers – Jonathan and Tom, organist, pianists, composers and creative animator between them, and much besides – are appearing in concert at Rochdale Parish Church on Saturday 22nd July, at 3pm.

The Scotts, Manchester born and educated and still resident in Failsworth, have played in major concert halls across the UK and venues in Europe, the Far East and South America.  

Their Rochdale concert will celebrate the arrival at St Chad’s of a magnificent and rarely-used grand piano gifted to the church by a secret generous donor.

Jonathan, 36, and Tom, 33, both studied at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, gaining major prizes. They have recorded CDs, played on network radio music

programmes, and performed background music for film and TV productions. Their diary of concert programmes covers piano duo, piano and organ, and harmonium and piano.

Their Rochdale programme includes Bach, Schubert, Liszt, Rossini, Tarrega and Albeniz . . . and Duet Sequence written by Tom himself. 

Tom, an artist and designer as well as a musician, is also the mastermind of a novel and original series of animated films bringing classical music to a new audience.

And it just happens that Tom’s talents have been employed in another fascinating direction recently. He’s been assisting five different local groups with the ‘Tram Tracks’ project, in which the Bridgewater Hall is celebrating its 21st birthday alongside the 25th anniversary of Metrolink by helping to create 93 new songs, performed and recorded by over 1,200 people from across Greater Manchester and now available free online – there’s one for each station on the present-day Metrolink.

Tom says: ‘I worked with five schools to create songs which represented Weaste (St Luke’s Primary), Monsall (St Augustine’s Primary), Navigation Road (Navigation Primary), Ashton West (The Heys Primary) and Radcliffe (Chapelfield Primary).
‘I had a really great time and journeyed on the tram to each of the schools (the schools were very close to their respective tram stops).

‘In the school workshops we discussed everything about the tram and what it meant to the local area. It was all very positive, and we had a chance to talk about all of the interesting elements about the places where the children lived, and some local history which might have otherwise been unknown.
‘Musically, we discussed pulse and rhythm in music and I taught the groups how to conduct and form ideas when constructing music or verse. We gathered all our ideas and wrote our songs, and after a few days I returned to rehearse and record the tracks.

‘All the children were brilliant and enthusiastic throughout, which really shines through on the recordings.’

The tracks are available to listen to online via the Bridgewater Hall website (
The piano at Rochdale Parish Church has also been used by the Scotts to create a video – see it on
And Tom has been commissioned by the Bridgewater Hall (as part of their 21st anniversary celebration) to create a new animated film (he’s done the story, the music and the animation) called The Composer and the Mouse. It tells the story of a talented yet hapless composer who finds his own musical style with the help of a mouse – it’s a fun introduction to classical music with live music and visuals aimed at a wide range of ages. The world première will be at the Bridgewater Hall on 2nd September at 1pm in a family-friendly concert. Meanwhile, Jonathan’s popular organ concert series at the Bridgewater Hall continues on August 30th at 1.10pm with a ‘Lunchtime at the Opera’ programme, and then ‘Fantastic Feet’ on 3rd October. There’s a video about the series on
And the brothers have been invited to perform organ and piano duos at some international venues over the next few months, including the National Concert Hall, Taipei, Taiwan, on 12th August and the Basilica of Santa Maria de Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain (in the Montserrat International Organ Festival) on 9th September at. Details of their globe-trotting and other performances are on - Transports de Joie indeed.

The Scott Brothers: Tom (left) and Jonathan

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