Netherlorn Music Scheme returns at last

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Stephen Arnold from The Netherlorn Music Scheme composed this piece in readiness of long-awaited performances by the award-winning Resol String Quartet joined by virtuoso saxophonist coming soon to Easdale, Seil and Oban.

The Netherlorn Music Scheme, which promotes community-based music-making in the rural areas south of Oban, first tracked down the Resol String Quartet in 2019 when its members were graduate students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

NeMS arranges residences so that young professional musicians can develop their skills and repertoire in peaceful rural surroundings, while enhancing the cultural life of the host communities. The Resol Quartet was offered the first of these residencies, with associated events in Kilmelford, Seil and Luing, to take place in April 2020.

Most readers will have already deduced what happened next: nothing. A total of seven NeMS’s community-based musical events involving around 40 musicians over the three months to June 2020 were swept away by Covid-19.

It is entirely appropriate that NeMS’s post-pandemic return to musical action again involves the award-winning Resol String Quartet, this time as full-time professionals, graduated from the RCS and joined by their saxophonist colleague, Richard Schofield. Richard champions the repertoire of saxophone family of instruments from its roots in the mid-19th century, long before they delivered the defining sounds of Jazz in the early 20th century. The opening work of the concert is by Demesserman, an early enthusiast and promoter of Adolph Sax’s many musical inventions.

The group is touring the West of Scotland with a unique programme entitled An Atypical Romance, their own custom-made sequence of short compositions and arrangements, many derived from folk sources which evoke the myriad ups-and-downs of universal human emotional experience.

While there are works by some very familiar composers such as Chopin, Vaughan Williams and Sibelius, it is certain you will be hearing things afresh or, indeed, for the very first time, as each piece has been crafted anew, to support the underlying narrative, and specifically for this group of friends.

This will be the first time that they will have been performed in Oban, in Netherlorn, or indeed, anywhere else.

The programme has a running time of about an hour, and is presented without an interval.

Both NeMS and the Resol Quartet are committed to supporting and developing music education. In addition to the local tour-dates listed below, NeMS has arranged a practical coaching session with the Resols and Richard for students from Oban High School, which will take place in Seil Community Hall on November 26.

Concert details are Thursday November 25 at 6.30pm at Easdale Community Hall. Entry is by donation and ferries leave Ellenabeich at 5.45pm, 6pm or 6.15pm returning at 7.30pm, 8pm or 8.30pm. A free car park in Ellenabeich is signposted.

On Friday November 26 there will be a performance at 8pm at Kilbrandon Church, Cuan Road on Seil. Admission is also by donation.

Then on Saturday November 27 there will be a final concert at 3pm at St. John’s Cathedral in George Street, Oban. This event is taking place under the auspices of the Cathedral authorities.  Admission is £10.

More information can be found at www.resolstringquartet.com

Caption: Award-winning Resol String Quartet
joined by virtuoso saxophonist Richard Schofield
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