A DOLLAR Academy teenager is jetting off to Russia as he prepares to perform in one of the world’s iconic theatres.

Archie MacKechnie, who studies accordion on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Junior Conservatoire music programme, will take part in a series of prestigious performances at venues including the renowned Bolshoi Theatre.

The 13-year-old pupil, from Bridge of Allan, has been playing the accordion since the age of seven and is the youngest member of the party travelling to Moscow.

He said: "I am really looking forward to the trip. I was telling my school friends and they were all really surprised – it’s not your usual concert."

During the trip, Archie and his fellow students will perform at the Vladimir Spivakov Foundation Festival before taking to the stage in the Bolshoi Theatre.

The Junior Conservatoire students’ trip to Russia is the latest collaboration between the Royal Conservatoire, ranked in the world’s top three of performing arts education, and Rostov State Rachmaninov Conservatoire. Earlier in 2017, Erasmus+ funding was granted for an innovative project of musical and educational collaboration between the two institutions.

It comes as the Royal Conservatoire, ranked number one in Scotland for graduate employability, celebrates its 170th anniversary.

Jenn Adams, head of the Junior Conservatoire, said: "Students at the Junior Conservatoire like Archie are empowered and encouraged to be the best they can be.

"The trip to Russia will give our students the opportunity to broaden their horizons as they seek to fulfil their artistic potential and develop crucial life skills which will stand them in good stead for their future careers in the arts and beyond."

More information on the Junior Conservatoire is available by heading to rcs.ac.uk/jr