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The Shetland Community Orchestra will be performing their first concert on Saturday 1st October at St Columba’s Kirk in Lerwick. Following initial planning by a small steering committee, the Orchestra was officially launched earlier this year, aided by funding from Scotland’s Islands and Shetland Arts.

This will be the first of two concerts planned within the first year, with an intensive period of rehearsals leading up to each performance. The Orchestra draws from the wealth of instrumental skills to be found across the Isles with some players travelling from Yell and Unst to take part. Musicians represent a wide age range and this is seen as a very positive feature of the group. String players are drawn from both classical and traditional fiddle-playing backgrounds, including award winning local musician Maggie Adamson, who will be leading the orchestra. Nigel Hayward and Neil Morris share the conducting duties.

Players have a say in the concert planning and this is reflected in the range of music in their first programme. The first half features a swashbuckling selection from “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and some well-known James Bond themes, but it also offers some more mellow moments.  “Fantasy on Greensleeves”  by Vaughan Williams features Shetland’s only classical harpist, and Deirdre Hayward plays solo piano accompanied by strings in Finzi’s beautiful “Eclogue”. Haydn, that most cheerful of German composers, crops up twice in the programme, with a short Divertimento for woodwind in the first half, and a full symphony in the second entitled ‘The London’ after the capital city he loved to visit.

The Shetland Community Orchestra is a fantastic initiative, with a richly varied membership from all areas of Shetland who come together to perform well loved and timeless music. We urge anyone with an interest in classical music to come along and support the ensemble and maybe even get involved themselves.

Shetland’s Community Orchestra gives listeners the chance to hear over 40 local musicians of all ages playing together. The concert is at 7.30pm on Saturday 1st October in St Columba’s Kirk in Lerwick and tickets are priced at £8 and £5 for concessions available from the Shetland Box Office, Islesburgh Community Centre – 01595 745 555 – or online at www.shetlandboxoffice.org

This event is part funded by “Scotland’s Islands”

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