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New opportunity for young orchestral musicians in Edinburgh

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra Youth Academy is a new, high quality orchestra for young musicians

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) and St Mary’s Music School have announced the launch of SCO Youth Academy, a new, high quality orchestra for young musicians, which will build on the recent success of the SCO String and Wind Academies.

This unique and distinct youth orchestra will offer secondary school-aged young musicians the opportunity to work with top professionals over a series of Sunday afternoon sessions in the centre of Edinburgh. Designed to complement existing provision, it aims to enhance musical learning in a welcoming environment. The course starts on 1 November 2020 and the application deadline is 28 August.

Conducted by SCO violinist Gordon Bragg and tutored by SCO musicians, the SCO Youth Academy is open to aspiring secondary school-aged orchestral musicians who have reached Grade 6+ for strings and timpani and percussion or Grade 7+ for winds and brass and who are able to commit to a series of five sessions. Repertoire for this course is Sibelius’ Finlandia and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Places will be allocated following submission of a successful video audition.

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and St Mary’s Music School are committed to making this opportunity accessible to all young musicians and bursaries for up to 100% of the £90 course fee and travel expenses are available.

Kirsteen Davidson Kelly, Creative Learning Director at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, said:

‘The programme combines the outstanding musical skills of the SCO musicians and the educational expertise of St Mary’s to create (and I quote an SCO String Academy participants here) ‘a fantastic experience’ playing ‘amazing music with really friendly people’ in a ‘really good environment’. The range of abilities that young people develop through orchestral playing are hugely valuable transferable skills for their future.

‘SCO Youth Academy will be a brilliant way to support successful learning, develop confidence, and give participants the opportunity to contribute to high-quality ensemble performance.’

Kenneth Taylor, Headteacher of St Mary’s Music School, said:

‘St Mary’s Music School is delighted to be working with SCO in offering advanced young musicians from all over Scotland the chance to work in a range of ensembles under the expert guidance of SCO musicians. Our courses so far have proved very popular, offering high quality music making in a friendly, supportive and inspiring environment. We are excited to be offering both a full orchestral course in November followed by a repeat of our successful String and Wind Academies in Spring 2021.’

Visit the SCO Youth Academy webpage for more information.