Young Musicians Start On The Right Note

Millburn Academy in Inverness will be alive with the sound of music this weekend as three of The Highland Council’s Regional Music Groups begin rehearsals fro this year’s packed programme of events which will include a special weekend of celebrations later in the year, culminating in a gala performance to be held in the Empire Theatre, Eden Court to mark the 21st anniversary of regional music groups.

Currently there are seven 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 and  invitation after an annual Audition Day and members are drawn from all areas of Highland. 

The 2009/10  session will see almost 300 of our most talented young musicians involved with the Highland Regional Youth Orchestra,  Highland Schools Wind Band,  Highland Youth String Orchestra, Highland Youth Big Band, ‘snas (ceilidh Band), Highland Youth Pipe Band and Còisir G, the Regional Gaelic Choir 

Norman Bolton, The Highland Council’s Music Development Officer said: “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 2500 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. 

“This year, we celebrate the 21st anniversary of the formation of Regional Music Groups in Highland and a number of very special events will be taking place.  November will see all the groups performing at Eden Court over the course of 2 days culminating in an Empire Theatre Gala Concert on Saturday 14th November.  More details of this can be found at or on the Eden Court website.

“Highland Youth String Orchestra and ‘snas will also premiere a new piece by Patsy Reid at their spring concert in Fort William and throughout the year a number of prominent professional groups and musicians will work with our young people during their rehearsals.”

 Chairman of the Education, Culture and Sport Committee, Councillor Bill Fernie said: “The young musicians have a busy time ahead and I look forward to having the opportunity to hear them play during their gala performance in November.”

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:


26 Aug 2009