OVER 300 young musicians from across the Highlands took part in the Highland Young Musicians Concerts Festival on Saturday 8th March in Eden Court’s Empire Theatre.
Opening the Festival, the Highland Regional Youth Orchestra conducted by Jean-Claude Picard, assistant conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, performed excerpts from Bizet’s Carmen Suites and Rimsky Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol.
The Festival continued with the Gaelic choir, Còisir G who delivered a varied programme in traditional style before they were joined for two numbers by Highland Youth Choir.
After the Highland Youth Choir’s own contribution to the programme, The Highland Youth Big Band under the leadership of Rob Farmer got the feet tapping with their tight swing band sound featuring vocal numbers from Alice Burgoyne from Golspie.
The Highland Youth String Orchestra, conducted by Rick Lusher, was followed by traditional music group `snas, who were joined in a set by a small group of pipers and drummers from Highland Youth Pipe Band.
The full HYPB followed with a set balanced between full band and drum corps.
The Highland Schools Wind Band, under conductor Mark Reynolds, finished the concert with an ambitious programme which showcased both their rich and vibrant sound and gentle and precise playing.
The eight Highland Young Musicians groups are organised and run by The Highland Council as an extension to the work of the Instrumental Tuition Service. Membership for all groups is by invitation after an annual audition day and the musicians in this year’s groups range in age from six to 18 years.
"Continued investment in the additional musical opportunities available to young people in Highland Schools enables the Highland Young Musicians groups to produce performances of which we can all be rightly proud," Highland Council music development officer Norman Bolton said.
"The level of commitment from members, staff and their families is incredibly high and I am very proud to be able to work with these groups and ensure that their reputation for excellent music-making grows in Highland and beyond."