Nevis Ensemble thrills in the hills

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Visitors to Auchindrain Farm Township were treated to a special open air concert by Scotland’s newest street orchestra Nevis Ensemble.

The 40-piece orchestra is currently on a 70-date tour around Scotland on its mission to provide ‘music for everyone, everywhere’ and arrived on Sunday afternoon, August 5, at Auchindrain to perform a lively mix of classical, ceilidh and even a bit of the Proclaimers before heading off to Craignish Village Hall for another recital later that evening.

One concert-goer, Davy MacDonald, expressed his admiration for the Ensemble: ‘What they’re doing is so important because normally to go and see an orchestra you need £20, £30 right away but you don’t see that up here. It’s the best gig venue I’ve been at in a while.’

‘It’s been really great,’ said Nevis Ensemble general manager Jamie Munn. ‘The musicians only met last Friday in Garelochhead, but despite never having played together we did our first concert four days later.

‘Most of them are not from Scotland. Many are from the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Most of them have never been to Scotland before, so coming to the highlands is really, really lovely.

‘Yesterday we had a performance on a vegetable farm in Glasgow amongst the runner beans, which was nice, but this is the first one on the border of the highlands so it’s great to be surrounded by hills and mountains.’

The concert was free to attend and saw a large number of locals and tourists turning out to enjoy the music, with many getting up to join the ensemble for a dance at the end. Though the orchestra had been delayed on their drive up from Glasgow, spectator Frances Doherty said it didn’t affect the mood.

‘The fact the weather was so nice meant you didn’t mind. No-one got anxious or fidgety because it was so nice just sitting there enjoying it all,’ she said. ‘It was a fantastic setting and the music was brilliant.’

Alison Hay, convenor of The Auchindrain Trust, said: ‘We are delighted to have been able to welcome Nevis Ensemble to the museum and pleased that everyone who attended the concert enjoyed themselves so much.’