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Exciting New Music Opportunity Will Hit The Right Note With Young Players In Scotland

1st June 2020

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and St Mary’s Music School are delighted to announce the launch of SCO Youth Academy.

Developed in partnership between the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and St Mary’s Music School, SCO Youth Academy is 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 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.

Conducted by SCO violinist Gordon Bragg and tutored by SCO musicians, the SCO Youth Academy is open to secondary school-aged orchestral musicians who have reached Grade 6+ for strings and timpani and percussion, 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 movements 1 and 3 and places will be allocated following submission of a successful video audition.

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.”

The first session is scheduled to take place on Sunday 1 November 2020.

Apply now here. Applicants will be emailed full instructions about how to send their audition video.

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. See website for further details.

SCO Youth Academy is kindly supported by The Marigold Whittome Memorial Trust and The William Syson Foundation.

Despite the current movement restrictions due to COVID-19, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and St Mary’s Music School are looking to the future and these remain exciting times. Our priorities are to ensure the health and safety of our audiences, stakeholders and staff. We are monitoring the situation carefully and closely following the guidelines provided by the Scottish Government. This event will proceed only when it is assessed to be safe nearer to the event date, otherwise it may be postponed until further notice.