• Scottish Chamber Orchestra launch MASTERWORKS online premiere featuring Sound and Fury by Anna Clyne [pictured]: Wednesday 30th September
  • SCO VIBE moves online for two virtual creative fusion orchestra projects
  • SCO Academy returns with instrumental academies for Strings and Wind in November

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra today showcases an ambitious series of creative learning schemes, taking classical music out of the concert hall and offering opportunities to young music lovers to learn more and develop their musical skills.

The SCO’s MASTERWORKS scheme takes pupils on a creative journey, offering upper secondary school music pupils (c.14-18 years old) the chance to experience the excitement of a live orchestra up close in concert, and to hone their listening, performing, composing and improvising skills through experiential workshops. The project is designed to open up new sound-worlds to young people, to encourage them to listen to a wider variety of genres, and to equip them with knowledge and musical tools to be more adventurous in their own compositions.

On Wednesday 30 September, MASTERWORKS will present the online premiere of Sound and Fury by Anna Clyne, introduced by Rachel Leach. The event will offer S4–S6 music pupils the opportunity to experience a contemporary masterwork, written in 2019 for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, performed ‘as live’. The premiere will be supplemented by a suite of video resources designed to support listening, learning, and composing in the classroom. For further information visit the SCO’s website.

SCO VIBE is a creative fusion orchestra project, bringing together young people of secondary school age from any musical background to work collaboratively to create, record and perform their own music. As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic the scheme has moved online for two courses in October, as Paul Griffiths leads young musicians through a series of improvisations, musical riffs and melodies before breaking out into smaller groups led by the SCO’s team of tutors, to develop and create new material collectively.  The courses run from Monday 12 – Friday 16 October and Thursday 22 – Monday 26 October, with a sharing day for both courses on Friday 30 October. Further information and details of how to sign up can be found here.  

The SCO Academy, in partnership with St. Mary’s Music School, returns with two free online courses in November. SCO String and Wind Academies are for ambitious school-aged musicians who have reached Grade 7 or above and who are able to commit to a series of three sessions on Sundays 8, 15 and 22 November. The String Academy offers coaching to violin, viola, cello and double bass players, and the Wind Academy is open to flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon and French horn players. For more information visit the SCO’s website.

The SCO’s New Stories mentoring scheme for emerging composers continues, supporting three female composers to bridge the gap between study and the profession by providing them with mentorship from Associate Composer Anna Clyne. In the first year of the scheme, composers Georgina MacDonell Finlayson, Electra Perivolaris and Gillian Walker will work with Anna to write and workshop a piece for mixed ensemble. These new works will be inspired by the art of storytelling in collaboration with writer and storyteller Janis Mackay. In the second year, one composer will go forward to write a new work for the SCO for performance in the summer of 2022. For more information visit the SCO’s website.

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

During the current pandemic we have moved all SCO Creative Learning activity over to digital platforms and have been surprised and delighted to find how effective this can be. Some young people have told us that they feel more comfortable and confident making music online than in person, and we know from our Vibe Online pilot in July that the project provided participants with a very real sense of connection and support during a difficult period of isolation. We are excited by the opportunities that online working opens up for young people right across Scotland to engage with the SCO, and are very grateful to our Creative Learning Partner, Baillie Gifford, and to various Trusts and Foundations for their continued support as we explore new formats and modes of delivery.”

The SCO continues its commitment to bringing world-class music to audiences at home throughout October, with four evening chamber concerts filmed at The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh and two lunchtime concerts livestreamed from St Andrews University. Further information can be found here.