Olympic fever grips Carrick

The orchestra will perform the Olympic Torch Air at special events throughout Friday.
The orchestra will perform the Olympic Torch Air at special events throughout Friday.

THE streets of South Ayrshire will be filled with the sound of music on Friday when the Olympic Torch is carried through the area after historically arriving on Scottish soil for the very first time.

Schoolchildren in local communities will proudly burst into song with a specially-commissioned piece of work as the torch makes its momentous journey through South Ayrshire and Burns Country.

Schools throughout South Ayrshire have been learning their original composition – ‘Olympic Torch Air’ – in the run up to the Olympic Torch Relay coming to Scotland.

The music was written by renowned local musician and composer Alistair McCulloch, with the lyrics penned by a team of six S1 pupils from Girvan Academy – Adele Clark, Chloe Hyslop, Tania McTaggart, Natalie Purdie, Ellie Paterson and Craig Walker.

Exclusive open air performances of the Olympic Torch Air will take place at key points along the route, including outside the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, with a finale performance with a full 50-piece orchestra and 100-strong choir at a special invite-only event in Ayr,

The words and music for ‘Olympic Torch Air’ reflect the Olympic values of peace, unity and friendship, but also celebrate Scotland’s distinct identity and South Ayrshire’s unique west coast setting. The landmarks of Turnberry and Culzean, as well as Scotland’s beloved Robert Burns, have been given poignant mentions within the lyrics.

The song was written in response to Creative Scotland’s Summer of Song initiative, which will see the country burst into song as the torch passes through.

A definitive version of ‘Olympic Torch Air’ will also provide the sound track to a short film created by Ayrshire-based producer and director Seth Gardner of RedSnappa. Together, the song and film, which capture the beauty and splendour of South Ayrshire, will provide a lasting legacy of the Olympic Torch’s momentous once-in-a-lifetime journey through south-west Scotland.

The Olympic Torch is set to enter South Ayrshire at Ballantrae at 7.06am on 8 June and will then be carried through Girvan, Turnberry, Maidens, Kirkoswald, Maybole and Alloway before entering Ayr.

Alistair McCulloch, who was Musical Director of Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra for 10 years, will conduct the 100-strong choir of local primary pupils and 50-piece orchestra as they perform ‘Olympic Torch Air’ in the town.

Delighted to have been commissioned to write the music for this historic piece of work, Ayr-born Alistair said: “This is one of the biggest commissions I have done and it is an absolute honour to be involved.

“I wrote the melody first and the pupils from Girvan Academy put the lyrics to it. Olympic Torch Air has been written for the Olympic Torch coming to South Ayrshire but we hope it will become an anthem for South Ayrshire afterwards. There is certainly the chance the piece will be performed again and again in the future.”