The Gordon Duncan Experience is looking for talented young musicians and budding composers from all over Scotland to take part in a brand new composition project.

Scotland’s Celtic Big Band is inviting musicians aged 14-21 of intermediate level and above, on any instrument and from any musical background who want to develop their composition skills, to audition to join its free Online Composition Masterclasses.

Led by Musical Director Patsy Reid, the 20 successful applicants will work alongside some of Scotland’s top musicians and composers, attending five masterclasses and five one-to-one mentoring sessions online, with the aim of creating a finished piece of music.

Launched by Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre in 2010 in honour of late, great Pitlochry piper Gordon Duncan, The Gordon Duncan Experience plays and creates music rooted in Scottish traditions with influences from jazz, rock, pop, blues and classical. The young musicians who have come through its ranks have performed at high-profile events and shared the stage with some of Scotland’s top artists, with many of them going on to study and make a career in music and performance.

Launching the call for auditions which closes on Sunday 14 March 2021, Andy Shearer, Creative Director for Contemporary Music for Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre said:

“As well as being an incredible player who changed how the pipes are played, Gordon’s greatest legacy is as a composer who revolutionised the way tunes are written for traditional instruments. Many of his compositions are now regarded as classics and he’s been a direct influence on an entire generation of musicians and writers, many of whom will be teaching on this course,

“With lockdown meaning people couldn’t get together to rehearse as a band, it made sense for us to focus on Gordon’s enormous influence as a composer and create this unique opportunity for young people, which can be pursued individually and from home."

Scottish musician, composer and educator Patsy Reid, who takes up the baton of Musical Director for the first time said:

“I’m delighted and honoured to be rolling up my sleeves and joining the Gordon Duncan Experience team as Musical Director. As a musician and composer, I’m ever in awe of the massive contribution that Gordon made, not only to the musical community of Perthshire and Scotland, but the impact he continues to make on the international stage by means of his trail-blazing compositions and significant teaching legacy. As part of that legacy, the Gordon Duncan Experience plays a very important role in developing young players’ musicianship, as well as providing an excellent platform for performance and composition. As an educator, I’m proud to be involved but also eager to maintain and sustain our young musicians’ social and creative outlet during this critical time, when musicmaking and creativity are being challenged so greatly. We are very excited to be launching our online composition project, which offers the opportunity to work with some of Scotland’s leading traditional musicians and composers through a programme of masterclasses and 1:1 mentoring sessions. Let’s keep the music flowing and we’ll be back performing again in no time!”

Blair Thomson, Head of The Northwood Charitable Trust who are funding the project said:

“The Northwood Charitable Trust is delighted to support the important role that The Gordon Duncan Experience plays in music and welcomes Patsy Reid to her new post as Musical Director.”

To find out more about the project and how to audition contact Emma Neck, Creative Learning Co-ordinator (Music) before the closing date of Sunday 14 March 2021.

Monday 15 February 2021