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Caithness News Bulletins March 2006

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During a unique music day, over 70 young musicians from Highland primary and secondary schools gathered together to play en-mass in celebration of the Cello.

 Beginners, intermediate and advanced players from Thurso, Wick, Skye, Fort William, Ullapool, Tain, Fortrose and The Black Isle, Dingwall, Dornoch, Drumnadrochit and Inverness met up form the first time at Ness Bank Church Hall in Inverness. The day culminated with an afternoon concert involving all participants and featuring an arrangement of the Wallace and Gromit theme tune.

The event, for children aged 9 to 18, was organised by The Highland Council's String Tutors who led workshop sessions before the musicians gathered to play en-mass for the concert.

There are 16 string tutors working in the Highlands, 3 of which are cellists, including Rona Mackay who happened to be celebrating her birthday during the music day and was presented with a special cello cake.

Rona, who is based at Glenurquhart High School, said: "Today has been the first ever Highland Cello/Bass Day. We've had more than 70 students here today, ranging in abilities from absolute beginner to advanced cellists and bassists. We've been overwhelmed by the sheer number of willing participants, so much so, we've had to change venue to fit everyone in.

"Today has been a great opportunity for all the young people to use the skills they learn in their instrumental lessons, but on a much larger scale. It makes the difference especially for the younger students to see what they can do in a few years time! After a day of master-classes and workshops, the grand finale was rehearsed and performed in a short concert. Everyone has worked so hard and we're looking forward to Highland Cello/Bass day 2007!"