Young Musicians Prepare for Auditions

Over 300 young musicians from across the Highlands are busy rehearsing for the Regional Music Groups Audition Day which is held in Inverness tomorrow (Saturday 30 May).  Taking place at Millburn Academy, the day will involve workshops, performance groups and individual auditions for the young players to join one of the Regional Music Groups.

The Highland Council currently run seven Regional Music Groups, as an extension to the work of the Instrumental Tuition Service in Highland.  Membership for all the groups is by with musicians drawn from all areas of Highland .

The groups are ;

• Highland Regional Youth Orchestra
• Highland Schools Wind Band
• Highland Youth String Orchestra
• Highland Youth Big Band
• ‘snas (ceilidh Band)
• Highland Youth Pipe Band
• Còisir G (Regional Gaelic Choir)

The Highland Council’s Music Development Officer Norman Bolton said:  “The Audition Day is vital to ensure that high musical standards are maintained and it is aimed at players of around Grade 4/5 AB/Trinity standard and above from schools across the Highlands.  Many members of the groups are also members of national instrumental and vocal ensembles.

“During the 2008/09 session the Groups have all had an incredibly successful year.  It began in November with a Gala Concert in the McDonald Aviemore Highland Resort in November to celebrate the 20 years since the Highland Regional Youth Orchestra, our first group, was formed. At this stage we had 6 Groups and an audience of nearly 1000 supported the event.”

“March and April 2009 saw all the groups give highly acclaimed performances in other Highland venues.  The Highland Regional Youth Orchestra in Eden Court’s Empire Theatre, the Highland Youth Strings Orchestra, Còisir G, ‘snas & the Highland Youth Pipe Band in the Black Isle Leisure Centre and the Highland Schools Wind Band and the Highland Youth Big Band to a packed One Touch Theatre at Eden Court.

“2009 saw the formation of Còisir G, made possible by additional funding from Bòrd Na Gàidhlig and the choir performed so well at their debut performance that we are currently planning to include them on the forthcoming CD recording with ‘snas.

“In March the Wind Band gave an outstanding performance in Perth’s Concert Hall at a Trinity College Showcase event and the Big Band are now confirmed to perform on two days at this years Belladrum Festival.

“The Highland Youth Pipe Band has also attracted attention in its first year and we have negotiated exclusive use of Piper’s Trail tartan with the Armed Forces, the only group in Scotland to have permission to wear this beautiful tartan, and the members new kilts are currently being made.”

The Audition Day tomorrow runs from 10.30am until 4.30pm.  Parents and carers are able to come along at 3.45pm to hear some short performances and also find out about The Friends of Highland Young Musicians, an organisation which plays a vital part in supporting all the Regional Music Groups.



28 May 2009