The 2020 Grand Orchestra Play-Along

Our Grand Orchestra Play-along took place 13-18 July 2020 in place of our sadly cancelled summer residential course. All the videos and resources that we created are still available to view on our Facebook page and on our Youtube channel – feel free to have a browse! We’ll be releasing the final ‘Even Grander Orchestra’ video in August 2020, so check back later for updates – or sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know.

At SScOT we’ve held a summer residential week every year since 1985 – but of course this year the global health situation means we can’t all meet and make music together. However, we’ve teamed up to put together something special and we want YOU to get involved!

The SScOT Grand Orchestra – each and every participant, tutor and assistant on the course – always plays the last piece in our celebration concert each year. On 18th July, which would have been the end of our 2020 course, we’re inviting you to join our tutors and assistants for a play along to one of our Grand Orchestra favourites: Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March no.4.

Our summer courses offer a fantastic opportunity for young musicians aged 9-15 to get orchestral experience in a friendly and supportive environment. But the great thing about running a virtual orchestra is that there’s no age limits – this is open to ALL and we’d love to see as many people as possible taking part, whatever your instrument, wherever you are in the world! 

Here’s what you need to do….

DOWNLOAD your part from the list on this page. There are lots of parts available for different grades. If you can’t find one that’s quite right for you, feel free to borrow from another instrument. Percussionists – we know you might not have a set of timpani or a bass drum at home….but feel free to improvise with whatever you’ve got!

TELL your friends and get them involved!

PRACTICE! We’ll be releasing a range of coaching videos starting on Monday 13th July – keep an eye on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram, see our Youtube channel, or sign up to our newsletter to stay involved

STREAM our video from Facebook or Youtube at 3pm on Saturday 18 July and play along at home

TELL us what you think – we’d love to see photos or videos of you taking part! Share them with us on our social media channels or drop us an email on [email protected]

After the play-along it’s not all over because there’s still an opportunity to take part in….

THE BIG ONE: record yourself playing your part and we’ll add your to a video to create a virtual grand orchestra performance! You will need to do this separately from your play-along with us on Saturday 18th as we’ll need you to wear headphones to listen to the backing track rather than playing along with the recording out loud, and we’ll ask you to do a couple of extra things to make sure we can make it look and sound as brilliant as possible. You’ll want to play along to this backing video.

You can join our playalong without any special equipment – all you need is your instrument and a way of watching the video. But if you want to make a recording for us, you will need:

  • 2 devices – one to play the video (a laptop/computer/tablet) and a second one to record yourself with (a smartphone is ideal).
  • Headphones so you can hear the backing track as you play.
  • Your music!

A few notes on recording:

  • Make sure the device filming you is in landscape mode, not portrait (ie your phone should be on its side). This is very important! If it’s in portrait we may not be able to use your video. Try and sit in the middle of your video.
  • At the beginning of the track we ask you to clap. This is so we can sync the video/audio/backing tracks easily, so please make sure you clap in front of the camera! Also please make sure you are ready to play after clapping since you cannot pause the video (this would defeat the point of clapping). There will be time to pick up a bow but not time to empty water out all your pipes!
  • Remember to smile!!


  1. You’ll need to have your headphones in so we don’t hear the sound from the video in your recording – we only want to hear you!
  2. Record your part in one take – don’t stop and start the video. It doesn’t have to be perfect – we just want you to have fun!
  3. Fill in a consent form here: we need to know who you are so we can credit you in the video. We also need to make sure we have a parent or guardian’s permission to use videos of anyone who is under 18. If we don’t receive the form from you we may not be able to use the video.
  4. Once you are happy with your recording please name your video file “Instrument_Name” (eg. Bassoon1_BelindaHawes or BassoonSimplified_KateWhitlock) and upload it the dropbox using this link: If there are any problems with the upload you can email your video to [email protected], use WeTransfer, or send us an iCloud or Google Drive link.
  5. Please make sure you upload by 5pm on Monday 20th July. If you upload after that time we may not be able to add in your video.

We’ll email you when the video is ready to watch – we can’t wait!


Taking part in our Grand Orchestra Playalong is absolutely FREE, but for SScOT, as for so many organisations, the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis and the resulting cancellation of our summer course has been significant. If you’d like to help us by making a donation to support our future activities we would be enormously grateful. You can donate via our Totalgiving fundraising site, or contact Kate on [email protected].