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Contours of Cairngorm in Plockton – 28th Sept 2013



Contours of Cairngorm, Plockton – Saturday 28th September 2013

…in partnership with the National Centre of Excellence for Traditional Music.

Thanks to financial assistance from Enterprise Music Scotland, we have been offering string players the opportunity to perform Contours of Cairngorm with us in concert. The successful applicants assume the role of the string quartet, learning the art of ensemble playing at the forefront of the Scottish music scene. The experience will be extremely beneficial to all bowed string players interested in experiencing traditional music from a classical approach or vice-versa. As a result, instrumentalists from both backgrounds have found the process highly challenging, rewarding and enjoyable.

After four successful events at Perth Concert Hall, The Woodend Barn in Banchory, An Tobar in Mull and Culloden Academy, we are once again offering this fantastic performance opportunity to string players of all ages and levels of experience. Applicants will perform Contours of Cairngorm with us at Plockton High School on 28th September. Click here for further information.

Who can take part?

If you play the fiddle, violin, viola, cello, and are of a Grade 4 standard (or equivalent), please do not hesitate in applying. We hope to attract all ages and abilities, whilst ensuring the project will be of equal benefit to all. You should be comfortable with reading music.

What will happen?

From 9:30am on Saturday 28th September, the appointed string players will learn Contours of Cairngorm under the direction and expertise of Patsy, Mhairi, Michael and Fraser.  That very night, they will perform the piece in the Main Hall, Plockton High School, Plockton alongside the Mhairi Hall Trio and Patsy Reid.

How do I apply?

Simply fill in the application form, listing your performing experience and any musical qualifications you have. Please return the form as an attachment to [email protected] or send to Rhona Sharp, NCETM, The Pupil Residence, Plockton High School, Plockton, IV52 8TU. Download the application form here.

How much does it cost? 

The cost of the two-day workshop and concert, including a Contours of Cairngorm CD and sheet-music is just £35, and £25 for those still at school or over 60.


“It was such a  privilege to work on such a gorgeous piece of music with Patsy and Mhairi and to get the chance to play and perform it surrounded by such a mix of players. It was a really comfortable environment to learn in and we were led through the process with cheerful, calm  determination and encouragement. The best analogy I can come up with is that it felt to me a bit like white water rafting where you feel like you are really travelling along under your own efforts and need to work hard and get it right – but actually that one guy on the back is keeping everything under control and is ready to cover your mistakes. All told, for an amateur like me, the chance to be part of that lovely sound in such a dynamic group setting with all that fab percussion going on is a huge pleasure and will be a happy memory for a long time to come.” Fiona Munro (Tain)

“It was a great weekend and so good to be involved in something completely different with a new group of people.” Jennifer Louden (Ardrishaig)

“I had a great time at Contours in Culloden. Thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a lot.” Ruiaridh Gollan (Tain)

Sometimes it does you good to push yourself out of your comfort zone. My initial thoughts were, am I good/confident enough to play along with professional players? I am so glad that I made the decision to go for it. The day passed in a flash, and although hard work, it was a great learning experience for me. The concert was the culmination of the days hard graft, and I really enjoyed it, after settling into the initial few bars. Thanks for the opportunity to do something like this, and for the encouragement.” Dave Guy (Newtyle)

“Brilliant Contours of Cairngorm weekend in Mull with Patsy Reid, Mhairi Hall, Michael Bryan and Fraser Stone – a great chance to play amazing music with amazing people. If you play the fiddle, look it up, you’d love it. I’m going back!” Libby McGugan (Glenfarg)

“Thank you so much for running the course. I really enjoyed it! I learnt a lot and it was great to meet some new people too! It was great to get to perform as well. Thanks again!” Rachel Colbeck (Laurencekirk)

“Thank you very much for an amazing day on Saturday! I really enjoyed both the daytime workshop and taking part in the evening concert – even though it was a long day, I had a great time! Mhairi, Mike, Fraser, and of course, yourself, were all very inspirational and made it a fun day!” Ellie McLaren (Braemar)







Our wonderful string section hard at work at the Woodend Barn, Banchory – 20th April 2013. Photos by Sean Purser.


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