THEY belong to the most culturally diverse community in Scotland, a corner of Glasgow which is home to the country’s richest melting pot of nationalities and languages.

Yet this week, children from schools across Govanhill, on the south side of the city, will be united in a single aim - making music with the country’s oldest professional orchestra.

Musicians from the BBC’s Scottish Symphony Orchestra have decamped from their base in the Merchant City to a Govanhill high school, in a unique project designed to unite, inspire and entertain children from myriad backgrounds.

Around 1,500 pupils from six schools are taking part in a week-long series of music workshops, collaborations and performances at Holyrood Secondary, culminating in a public concert this Saturday, when young French conductor Chloé van Soeterstède will lead the orchestra at the school’s gym.

Music workshop leader Lucy Drever is one of a number of music professionals working with children from Govanhill’s primary schools, as well as students from Holyrood and Shawlands Academy.

While it’s a boon for any school to have one of the world’s most prestigious orchestras decamp to their classrooms, Ms Drever insists the residency will be a reciprocal learning experience.

“It’s really important for us as professional musicians to listen to people, follow, and take our lead from what they’re doing. It’s a two way thing,” she said.

“It’s so special to have these kids from such different backgrounds, pooling their ideas from such different heritage.”

Earlier this week, pupils worked with musicians in a scratch songwriting collaboration, in which they were encouraged to generate lyrical themes. Despite their disparate ethnicity, the process revealed a common issue.

Ms Drever said: “The lyrics they’ve come up with are all really similar - they’re all concerned about climate change and their futures, and about the adults of today leaving them a legacy that they don’t know if they’ll be able to sort out.

“So as much as they’re coming from diverse backgrounds, they are similar in what they’re feeling.”

Professional percussionist Calum Huggan is in no doubt that the SSO orchestra members will benefit from the youthful perspective brought by their new collaborators.

He said: “In some ways, the older you get, you streamline and conform to regulations and rules - you forget how to ‘play’.

“The students can help us be more creative and maybe get us thinking outside the box, too.

“It’s totally empowering for the children, and working with people outwith their social circles and comfort zones. They communicate through music, and that can help their confidence and abilities grow.”

The project sees the SSO partner with Big Noise Govanhill, run by Sistema Scotland. Of the country’s four Big Noise projects designed to provide over 2,000 children from disadvantaged areas with access to classical music, Govanhill’s is the largest, with around 1,200 children from nursery school to senior school attending rehearsals each week.

Sistema Scotland’s Kirsty Yanik said Big Noise Govanhill has become an integral part of the community.

“This is the most diverse community in Scotland, with something like 60 languages spoken in the area,” she said. “But one of the ways different communities come together is through a shared interest in music. And what we have here is children from lots of different backgrounds, some who are new to the area and some who have lived in Glasgow all their lives, learning music together, getting to know each other, and their families are too.

“Big Noise has been evaluated by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health and the feedback was that the project actually helped with the acquisition of English. Children whose first language isn’t English, or who maybe don’t know any English, acquired it faster and became more confident in class.

“The music is of incredible value, but the wonder of it all is that it helps children achieve in a lot of different areas.”

Young musician Ina Lazari, 13, came to Scotland from Athens four years ago. The first year pupil at Holyrood Secondary plays flute with Big Noise Govanhill. She is relishing the opportunity to learn from the best in the business this week.

She said: “It feels special be able to play with a real big orchestra, because they are professionals, and it’s their job. They can really help us get better.”

Holyrood fifth year music students Jack Keenan and Stefanie Varela, both 15, believe developing their musical ability alongside a professional orchestra will help them in other areas at a crucial formative stage in their lives.

Guitarist and drummer Mr Keenan said: “I’m heavily into sport and music is a large part of that in terms of motivation. It’s great that the SSO are coming into our school. It shows they believe in us as much as we know how good they are.”

Singer and xylophone player Miss Varela added: “It’s a really stressful time at the moment, as we’re doing prelims and exams, but playing music can really help you focus and relax.”

Holyrood head teacher, Sharon Watson, said: “We’ve over 60 languages spoken in school and that brings with it an incredibly rich cultural offering, especially when it comes to music.

“To have a full symphony orchestra play a concert on our doorstep is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For many of our pupils it will be the first time they have seen a full orchestra play.”