100 young cellists and bassists from the length and breadth of the Highlands gathered in Inverness earlier this week for a day of group playing, workshops and masterclasses.
The music day for players of all abilities and ages was organised by some of The Highland Council's Instrumental Instructors who led the workshop sessions and rehearsals, before the young musicians gathered to play en-masse for an informal concert at the end of the day in Ness Bank Church Halls, Inverness.
Strings Instructor Rick Lusher said: "The first ever Highland Cello and Bass day took place last year with more than 70 participants. It proved to be a very successful day and an enjoyable experience for all. We're delighted that the number of young people taking part has increased this year. It's so encouraging to see absolute beginners, some of whom have only been playing for a few weeks, take part in an event together with more experienced players. It's been an incredible opportunity for cellists and bassists to contribute to our year of culture."
It's been a busy term for Highland's Instrumental Instructors who, along with their collective 3000 pupils, have been helping to raise money for the children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent through a two-week Practice-a-thon, preparing for SQA Performance Examinations and local Music Festivals and end-of-term concerts. Members of Highland Regional Music Groups have also been involved in rehearsals for performances, including a joint concert with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Highland Regional Youth Orchestra in the MacDonald Aviemore Highland Resort on Saturday March 24th.
Highland Council's Music Development Officer, Norman Bolton said: "Due to the vast area of the Highlands and the travel distances involved, it is not easy for pupils from different schools to get together. Today we've had beginner, intermediate and advanced players from Thurso, Wick, Skye, Fort William, Ullapool, Tain, Fortrose, Dingwall, the Black Isle, Nairn, Dornoch, Drumnadrochit, Fort Augustus and Inverness - to name just a few! A day like today makes a huge difference especially for the younger students who get inspiration and are encouraged by the more experienced players."
The day, which is now destined to be an annual event in the calendar of the Highland's young musicians and Instructors, ended on a high note with all the participants performing a special arrangement of the Inspector Gadget theme tune.