SCO String Academy 2019 – Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

The course is free.

Is any financial support available to help with travel?

If it is difficult for you to afford the cost of travel we may be able to help. We have a limited budget available on a first come, first served basis. To find out more please contact Susan White, | 0131 538 7766.

What standard do I have to play at?

You should be playing at a minimum of Grade 6 or equivalent.

If I don’t have ABRSM grades can I still take part?

Yes, as long as you have a recommendation from your teacher. We may ask your teacher to confirm that you will be able to manage the repertoire.

How do I book a place?

-          Apply online at

-          You will receive an automatic response from our website

-          We will email you within a week to let you know that we have received your application

-          We will contact you again by email on or before 16 August to confirm whether we can offer you a place. At this point we will ask you to provide all the details we need from you (such as medical information)

-          If your section is full, we will ask if you would like to be added to the waiting list and will let you know as soon as possible if a place becomes available

Do I have to audition?

No, there are no auditions for a place on the SCO String Academy. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Who will lead the sections?

More advanced students may like to audition for the role of section leader. We will ask you about this when we get in touch in August

What if I can’t come every week?

We expect participants to be able to attend all 5 weeks.

Who will be coaching?

Gordon Bragg will conduct, and the SCO musicians who will tutor sectionals and play alongside you during rehearsals include Rachel Smith (Violin), Felix Tanner (Viola), Su-a Lee (Cello) and Adrian Bornet (Double Bass).

What is the repertoire?

EDWARD ELGAR Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20

BELA BARTOK Romanian Dances for String Orchestra

HAFLIDI HALGRIMSSON Daydreams by Numbers (selected movements tbc)

When will we be sent the repertoire?

You will receive the repertoire by email four weeks before the first session.

Do I need to learn the repertoire beforehand?

You should familiarise yourself with the repertoire but we don’t expect you to perfect your part before you arrive at the course.

What is provided?

Music stands and printed copies of the music will be provided at the course, but you will not be able to take these home. If you wish to practise between sessions you will need to work from your own copies.

Double bass players - we can provide ¾ size double basses if required. Please contact Mary Walls | 0131 538 7766 to discuss.

What do I need to bring?

Your instrument in a labelled case, a pencil, drinks and snacks.

Will there be a public performance?

There will be an informal presentation for family and friends at the end of the final session.

What do I need to wear?

Whatever you like – but for the final session, please wear bright colours, preferably block colours rather than patterned. No blacks. This helps photography.

What should I do if I need special assistance?
Please talk to Mary Walls | 0131 538 7766 if you need help with access or other requirements.

Who should I talk to if I need to know more?

If you have any please speak to Mary Walls, contact details above.


click here to sign up now!