Improvisation - The courage to move from one note to the next


On Tuesday 19 July, a dynamic group of 50 young singers and instrumentalists from across Edinburgh gave a remarkable display of creative talent, energy and passion for group music-making.

A tangible sense of anticipation and enthusiasm filled the performance hall at Holyrood High School as the young musicians prepared to perform their new compositions to friends and family.


Our non-auditioned ‘fusion orchestra’ brings together young people from any musical background (e.g. classical, folk, rock, jazz) and encourages them to work collaboratively to create and perform their own music.

Tuesday’s performance in Edinburgh was the culmination of our latest SCO VIBE project - delivered in partnership with Drake Music Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council. SCO VIBE courses take place regularly in Edinburgh and Glasgow. We also look forward to launching SCO VIBE in Aberdeen next year.

Internationally renowned animateur and guitarist Paul Griffiths is the Artistic Director of SCO VIBE. His musical roots lie in jazz, rock and funk and, with over 25 years of experience in music and cultural projects, he has a profound understanding of the impact that creative arts work can have upon individuals and communities.

Edinburgh SCO VIBE 2017

Participants are encouraged to cast their inhibitions aside and let their imaginations take off. With the support of our committed team of professional musicians, the young people develop their abilities in composition, improvisation and performance.

Perhaps most significantly, SCO VIBE courses help the young instrumentalists and singers develop a range of fundamental interpersonal and leadership skills. Young people are encouraged to listen to each other, to work without written notation and to try out new ideas.

A participant at SCO VIBE | Edinburgh (July 2017) commented: "The workshops were really effective because of the unique style of learning and SCO Tutors being open to suggestions, as well as having the freedom to create your own parts. I've experienced a lot of different styles of music which has greatly improved my improvisation as well as learning new chord progressions."

SCO VIBE | Glasgow is kindly supported by The Peter Carr Charitable Trust, Merchants House of Glasgow, The Robert Haldane Smith Charitable Foundation, Miss E C Hendry's Charitable Trust and The McGlashan Charitable Trust.

SCO VIBE Edinburgh 2017

SCO VIBE | St Andrews

In February 2017, we launched a three day SCO VIBE-inspired project at The University of St Andrews, designed specifically to engage university students who may not have a classical music background, and those who have attended (and not attended!) our 2017/18 St Andrews Concert Season at the Younger Hall.

In December 2016, applications were opened for student songwriters, singers and instrumentalists. Songs written by five students were developed over the workshop weekend by the other student participants, as well as with Paul Griffiths, SCO Violin Aisling O’Dea and percussionist Pete Vilk. They arranged these songs together and worked without notated music and used improvisation as the main tool of arrangement. On Day 3, the project culminated with a performance of the five songs for fellow students in the Students' Union of the University of St Andrews.

SCO VIBE | St Andrews is kindly supported by The Cookie Matheson Charitable Trust, Kinburn (St Andrews) Charitable Trust, Mrs M A Lascelles Charitable Trust, The R J Larg Family Trust and St Catherine Trust

We are delighted to have commissioned University of St Andrews student and talented videographer Noel Heaney to produce the following preview of the project.


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