There are currently eight Regional Music Groups, run as an extension to the work of the Instrumental Tuition Service in Highland. Membership for all the groups is by audition / invitation after an annual Audition Day and members are drawn from all areas of Highland.
- Highland Regional Youth Orchestra (HRYO)
- Highland Schools Wind Band (HSWB)
- Highland Youth String Orchestra (HYSO)
- Highland Youth Big Band (HYBB)
- ‘snas (ceilidh Band)
- Highland Youth Pipe Band (HYPB)
- Còisir G (Regional Gaelic Choir)
- Highland Youth Choir (HYC)
Players of around Grade 4/5 AB/Trinity standard and above in all instrumental disciplines populate most of the Groups.
Highland Council Instrumental Instructors can advise on suitability for membership and the application procedure.
Regional Groups provide an ideal extension to the many school and area groups which already exist. They are an ideal opportunity for members to make friends amongst many of the 2700 Highland pupils who receive tuition in our schools whilst promoting a high standard of musicianship. Many members of Highland Regional Instrumental Groups are also members of national instrumental & vocal ensembles.
Due to the nature of Highland geography, the groups meet for intensive rehearsal weekends rather than weekly practices. There are normally two rehearsal weekends before December each year then a third which involves a performance. This pattern is repeated between January and April. Performances are given in a variety of Highland venues and are normally advertised on the Hi-Arts website.
There is also a history of Regional Groups performing in other areas of Scotland, and abroad. In June 2006, HRYO gave Concerts of an extremely high standard in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Guest soloist at both these events was Wilma MacDougall, soprano. This tour also included HYBB who were subsequently invited to attend a Youth Music Festival in Kristianstad, Sweden – a trip which was made in June 2007. March 2007 also saw another ‘first’ for HRYO, when they performed with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in Aviemore’s McDonald Highland Resort. The programme contained the world premiere of a specially commissioned piece for double orchestra – John Macleod’s Fling!
All the Regional Groups are grateful for the continued support of The Friends of Highland Young Musicians. This group of supportive parents provide practical assistance at Concerts when required and continue to seek much-needed sources of finance for the replacement of instruments, equipment and the subsidy of a number of the Groups’ activities.
Information about all regional music groups can be found at http://www.highland-young-musicians.com/
More details of any of the Groups, or more information about performances can be obtained from Norman Bolton, Highland Council’s Music Development Officer on 01349 863441 or at: email@example.com