Programme for Holyrood’s Opening Ceremony announced


The programme for Holyrood’s Opening Ceremony, taking place on Saturday 2 October, has been announced today.

The event will formally mark the beginning of the sixth session of the Parliament, with Her Majesty The Queen addressing the Debating Chamber, accompanied by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Rothesay.

The Royal Conservatoire Brass will perform Fanfare for the Opening of Parliament 2021 composed by John Wallace CBE and conducted by John Logan as The Queen enters the Chamber.  The Scottish Parliament’s Mace, followed by the Officers of Arms, The Crown of Scotland borne by the Duke of Hamilton and Brandon, escorted by the Lord Lyon King of Arms and the Captain-General will process into the Chamber.

The event, which will be broadcast live, will begin with opening remarks from the Presiding Officer, Alison Johnstone MSP, followed by an address by Her Majesty The Queen. 

Music will then be performed from Orin Simpson on the flute and Seoras Chlad on the guitar from the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music. Followed by a song from Musicians in Exile, Always on the Move. 

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, will then have an opportunity to address the Chamber. 

Following this Ae Fond Kiss by Robert Burns and Kirn Street by Michael Biggins will be performed by Michael Biggins, BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2021. 

The newly appointed Scots Makar Kathleen Jamie will then perform a specially commissioned piece. 

The song, We Hold The Future will be performed by the National Youth Choir of Scotland. 

For the departure of The Queen, Farewell to the Creeks will be performed by the Scottish Parliament’s Piper Stuart McMillan MSP from the Members’ Garden.


The event will be streamed live on the Scottish Parliament’s Facebook channel and on our SPTV channel. The live broadcast will begin from 10.30am on Saturday 2 October.

Background on our performers in set out below. 

Royal Conservatoire Brass is an ensemble comprising of senior students of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, under the direction of John Logan.  The musicians have already built up considerable experience both as soloists and as orchestral players, working regularly with organisations such as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Opera, and various Scottish Chamber Orchestras.  The ensemble’s repertoire is wide-ranging, spanning five centuries in a variety of styles from original works for brass, to arrangements of popular classics and jazz.  Performance recorded at Glasgow Cathedral.

Mark Elwis, Elliot Harris, Euan Scott, Kyterra Waters (Trumpet) / Anya Liggins (French Horn) / Alexandra Barker, Joshua Parkhill (Trombone) / Anthony Santiago (Bass Trombone) / Jack Cullen (Tuba)

Seoras Chlad and Orin Simpson, both students from the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music, perform an up-tempo and lively instrumental duo from the Main Pier in Plockton.  Their set is a medley of three tunes and includes Pipe Major Jimmy MacGregor by John Scott; The Newfoundland Jig; and In Response by Orin Simpson.

Musicians in Exile are asylum seeking and refugee musicians in Glasgow, supported with instruments, travel expenses, regular rehearsals and performances.  As they recover their intrinsic voices, local audiences receive the gift of their homelands' music.  Paul MacAlindin, Artistic Director of The Glasgow Barons, Govan's orchestra, started them in 2018 and they have since become a phenomenon of artistic freedom and reconciliation.  Winners of the 2019 Voluntary Arts EPIC Award for Scotland, and National Diversity Award as Community Organisation for Race, Religion and Faith, they perform their song Always on the Move from this year's Refugee Festival Scotland in the beautiful setting of Govan & Linthouse Parish Church.

Aref Ghorbani (Persian Setar and Singer) / Calum Ingram (Electric Cello) / Midja Jan (Singer) / Yvette Madyise (Singer) / Jose Rojas (Cajon) / Angaddeep Sing Vig (Tabla) / Param Sing Vig (Percussion)

Michael Biggins is a multi-instrumentalist originally from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne but now residing in Glasgow.  He studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, splitting his time between the classical and traditional music courses.  Michael currently plays and tours with The Canny Band, TRIP and Tom McConville.  In January, Michael became BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year for 2021.  Performance recorded at BBC Pacific Quay, Glasgow.

The National Youth Choir of Scotland is an outstanding choir for young people aged 16 to 25, led by world-renowned conductor Christopher Bell.  Recognised with the Ensemble award from the Royal Philharmonic Society, membership is granted by yearly auditions to singers born, resident or studying in Scotland.  The singers recently travelled from the four corners of Scotland and beyond to perform at the stunning surroundings of Farland Point, Isle of Cumbrae. 

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