Aberdeenshire’s Instrumental Music Service has received top marks in a virtual concert band competition.
Concert bands from Mackie Academy, Portlethen & Mearns Academy and South Aberdeenshire Music Centre all received gold awards with their shared conductor Sarah Gove.
It was the first time the Scottish Concert Band Festival has been held online, as usually bands would travel across Scotland to perform live at the event.
But working around coronavirus restrictions is something school concert bands across the north-east have become well used to.
Aberdeenshire’s Instrumental Music Service has been operating online since the start of the first UK lockdown back in March 2020.
Instructors quickly learned new skills in coordinating virtual concert bands in schools as well as overseeing rehearsals and a range of ensemble performances – many of which can be viewed online.
It appears their hard work has paid off, and in addition to the gold awards, South Central Academy Music Centre senior concert band picked up platinum, Central Aberdeenshire Music Centre junior band picked up silver, and South Central Aberdeenshire Music Centre orchestra were awarded silver plus.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Instrumental Music Service manager Justin Brook said: “We are incredibly fortunate in Aberdeenshire to have such a dedicated team of instructors leading our talented young people in such innovative ways in order for them to continue playing music in ensembles, even though at present it is in a virtual way.
“Virtual performances take a great deal of skill and time to produce. Significant amounts of time have been invested in, by instructors, to learn how to use the required technology.
“The results speak for themselves. Congratulations to all staff and pupils who took part in the festivals.”