Two days of musical excellence to commemorate 21 years of Highland Regional Music Groups are now reaching the final stages of preparation.
Over the last 21 years, thousands of young musicians have trained and performed with the local authority’s Regional Musical Groups and a showcase event on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 November at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness will provide a fitting tribute to the hard work of past tutors and pupils whilst celebrating new emerging talent.
21 years ago saw the formation of Highland Regional Youth Orchestra and whilst this group was the mainstay of provision until recently, there are now seven Regional Music Groups run by The Highland Council as an extension to the work of the Instrumental Tuition Service. The groups are: Highland Regional Youth Orchestra; Highland Schools Wind Band; Highland Youth Strings Orchestra; Highland Youth Big Band; ‘Snas ceilidh band; Highland Youth Pipe Band and Còisir G (Gaelic Choir).
Norman Bolton, The Highland Council’s Music Development Officer said: “Over 300 young musicians are currently involved in the music groups. Annual auditions for places in the groups are held with members being drawn from all areas of the Highlands. These talented musicians are worked very hard at the rehearsal weekends throughout the year culminating in public performances which have a growing reputation for excellence. This 21st anniversary is the ideal chance to highlight their talent and provide members of the public, the opportunity to enjoy listening to a mixture of live music played to a very high standard.”
The 21st celebrations start on Friday 13 November at 8pm in the One Touch Theatre. Còisir G ‘snas and the Highland Youth Pipe Band will be performing a concert to celebrate the best of Highland traditional music, with a twist! Entitled” Highland Traditions”, the programme will allow the young musicians to show their versatility, confidence and excellence in their performances with youthful vigour; boundless accomplishments and a 21st century view of our musical heritage. Tickets cost £8 or £6 concession for school children.
Also on Friday the Highland Youth Big Band will be performing a special late night programme in the Stalls Foyer at Eden Court starting at 10pm. This free session will feature a varied selection of swing, jazz and rock charts. Donations appreciated.
On Saturday the musical celebrations continue with a free informal concert from the Regional Gaelic Choir and soloists starting at 12.30pm in the Stalls Foyer. This will be followed at 2pm by a free lively session by Regional ceilidh band, ‘snas who will be warming things up for the evening concert.
The Gala Celebration concert takes place in the Empire Theatre at 7pm. After the opening march-in from Highland Youth Pipe Band, this concert will feature all the Regional Music Groups. The programme can’t fail to contain something to suit everyone’s musical tastes and will definitely be an evening not to be missed. Tickets cost £8 or £6 for school children and Friends of Eden Court.
Also on Saturday at 7.30pm there will be a piping recital featuring the Highland Youth Pipe Band with John Mulhearn, National Piping Centre and soloists in the One Touch Theatre. All tickets cost £5
Convener of The Highland Council, Councillor Sandy Park said “This two night gala festival will involve around 320 talented young musicians and will commemorate the impressive musical abilities of former pupils and celebrate new emerging talent.
“All the performers have shown dedication and loyalty and are a credit to themselves, their schools and their families. It is due to their commitment and the support of parents and all the staff involved with the Regional Music Groups that such an ambitious event can take place. I would like to wish everyone taking part a very successful celebration.”
Tickets for both the Friday and Saturday performances are available now by contracting the Eden Court box office on 01463 234234.
Full information about the activities of all the Highland Council Regional Music Groups can be found at: www.highland-young-musicians.com