Youth orchestra is able to play on once again

Young people from across Dumfries and Galloway are thrilled to be back together again as members of the Dumfries and Galloway Youth Orchestra.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 7:15 pm
Members of Dumfries and Galloway Youth Orchestra are able to get together in person once again after months of Zoom sessions

The orchestra, which usually meets on Saturday mornings in St Joseph’s College, Dumfries, had been forced to conduct its gatherings on-line during the pandemic.

“It was great to be able to continue to do things online, but it’s just not the same”, says musical director and conductor Jane Hainey.

“To be together again in the same room, making fantastic music is wonderful.

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"When lockdown came, we had only been together as an orchestra for a couple of years, and we really didn’t want to see the hard work of these great kids go to waste so Zoom became the way we had to do things.

"But now, we’re back to doing it all live and we’re all loving it!”

Jane, a top-class violinist herself, has spent many years playing with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and performed across the world in all the major concert halls.

The Dumfries & Galloway Youth Orchestra is unique in this region.

It accepts young players without audition and without any payment, but that doesn’t stop it aiming high.

At every rehearsal, professional musicians are brought in to coach the players and to encourage them to make the best possible sound as they play pieces from Thunderbirds and Pirates of the Caribbean to classics by Verdi and Shostakovich.

Jane added: “It’s really exciting to be in the midst of this wonderful wall of music, and we’d love more young people to be able to benefit from this fabulous and life-changing experience.

"For that reason, we’re ready to help families from the distant parts of the region with travelling expenses to get to Dumfries for the rehearsals.”

The orchestra has received support from various sources, particularly the Holywood Trust, in order to offer this experience to local young musicians.

There are no joining fees or weekly payments – young people wishing to play an orchestral instrument can visit or email [email protected]