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Water Under the Bridge

As we continue through our "Happily Ever After", we're always most excited about our current projects.

We've created this page in order to remember and share the delights and the lessons learned from past projects. The links include reports which might have been written for funders, newsletters or newspapers.

Scottish Chamber Orchestra Connect Workshop 2018

In June 2018 we welcomed eight members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to help lead a workshop for young musicians. The symphony orchestra which emerged from this project was 70 strong!

We played extracts from the SCO's evening programme, including an arrangement of Haydn's Symphony no 49 and Mendelssohn's Symphony no 4. This was our first chance to work with the SCO Connect team, and we are looking forward to welcoming them to Caithness again in the future!

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SCO Connect Orchestra in Thurso, 2018

SCO Connect Orchestra in Thurso, 2018

An orchestra of seventy musicians came together in Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, under the baton of Susie Dingle to play extracts from Mendelssohn's Fourth Symphony and Haydn's Symphony no. 49. Eight...

Schools Bell-Ringing Festival in 2014

Castletown Primary and Mount Pleasant Primary Schools came together for this amazing composing / bell-ringing project. There are clips on our YouTube Channel, and we also make it into the local newspaper!


At a time when there was no inclusive youth orchestra here in Caithness we decided to create The Far North Youth Orchestra. It provided the first ever opportunity for young musicians, aged 8 to 18 living anywhere in the Highlands, to have fun playing together. Thanks to the support of the Lyth Arts Centre and the Robertson Trust, we enjoyed two financially supported youth orchestra days in 2014 and this got us off to a great start.  

The orchestra then met six times over 2014 and 2015, and brought together hundreds of young musicians, and many of the performances are up on our YouTube channel. We are grateful for the generous support we received from friends and families of orchestra members, some of whom travelled a very long way to support their young musicians.

As a result of the success of the FNYO, the Caithness Junior Orchestra was created, giving young musicians the opportunity to rehearse weekly together. The CJO goes from strength to strength and forms a core of very able young orchestral musicians here in the far north of Scotland. We still do regularly organise BIG youth symphony orchestra workshops, but no longer under the banner of FNYO.  

Happy memories of some great times together - here's how we did that:

Far North Youth Orchestra "How exactly did you do that?!"

Since the first performance by the Far North Youth Orchestra happened on Saturday 19th April 2014, after only 3 hours of rehearsal together, the most frequently asked question we have heard from paren...

Lyth Arts Centre Community Development Project 2012/13


Lyth Arts Centre, funded by the Roberston Trust, supported this project, which comprised 3 main strands:

1. Outreach work to encourage participation in musical activities among disadvantaged teenagers.

2. Developing Lyth's "VIP" ticketing scheme which provides subsidised tickets for socially disadvantaged members of the local community.

3. Organising and promoting community music workshops at Lyth Arts Centre.

For a full report on our Lyth/Robertson activities during 2012/13, click here.

Mount Pleasant Primary School Music Club 2012-14

We started this inclusive after school music club for pupils from primary 4-7 when Susie first came to Caithness in 2012. The staff and parents of Mount Pleasant Primary School were very supportive, and from being a small recorder group, the club quickly expanded to become a small youth orchestra. In September 2014, we developed the music club and opened it up to players from all schools in Caithness, forming the Caithness Junior Orchestra. But we're very grateful to everyone who encouraged these first tiny steps towards making orchestral playing accessible to children in Caithness, and especially to head teacher Suzanne Urquhart, who continues to encourage orchestral music making in her school. :)


Mount Pleasant Music Club rehearsing in January 2014

Mount Pleasant Primary School Symphony Orchestra Day 2013


This ambitious event brought together 70 young musicians, aged 8 to 11, all from the same primary school, to form a symphony orchestra. We performed three world premieres and had loads of fun!

Here's the report of the day, with lots of photos, which Katrina wrote to share the good work that's happening at Mount Pleasant School with other teachers and musical communities throughout the UK and the world: Social Enterprise on a Symphonic Scale

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