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New String Academy launched to help young musicians

The scheme is a partnership between the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh.

A violinist holding a 1684 Stradivari violin (John Stillwell/PA)
A violinist holding a 1684 Stradivari violin (John Stillwell/PA)

The Scottish Chamber Orchestra and a specialist music school have launched a new partnership programme to help young string players develop their skills.

The free initiative is open to young musicians who play violin, viola, cello or double bass, and have reached Grade 6+.

The SCO String Academy, in partnership with St Mary’s Music School, will give young players the opportunity to work with Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) musicians to develop their technique, musicianship and orchestral playing.

The first project will be in Edinburgh in March 2019, with sessions taking place over three Sundays.

Kenneth Taylor, director of St Mary’s Music School, is delighted by the partnership.

He said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for young people who have already worked really hard to learn the fundamentals of playing a string instrument and who look for opportunities to progress to the next level.

“There are so many young people excited about music and eager to play more, and they will really benefit from the coaching SCO musicians provide.”

It is hoped the sessions will also help participants develop life skills such as social confidence, teamwork and communication skills, and give them a sense of accomplishment.

SCO musicians have worked with more than 10,000 young people across Scotland in the past year.

SCO violinist and conductor of SCO String Academy Gordon Bragg said: “This is such an exciting new initiative.

“As well as developing musicianship, SCO String Academy is about being active and bringing young people together to enjoy making music with like-minded musicians”.

There are no auditions for the initiative and young musicians are encouraged to sign up at

Press Association


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