Perth-based Celtic big band for young people, the Gordon Duncan Experience is holding free 2-hour masterclasses in Perth and Glasgow for school-aged musicians this summer.

School-aged instrumentalists of Grade 3 equivalent standard and above from anywhere in Scotland are invited to join Musical Director Patsy Reid at one of two Summer Taster Sessions – at the Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on Thursday 21 July and in Perth Theatre on Friday 22 July.

Music reading skills are not a prerequisite for the free 2-hour masterclasses which are intended to break down stylistic barriers in music and nurture musicians who will be skilled, versatile and sensitive listeners. The sessions will look at melody, rhythm, accompaniment, chords, theory and learning music by ear - all the skills needed to develop as a musician. All instruments are welcome.

Musical Director Patsy Reid said:

“The Gordon Duncan Experience is a great opportunity for young people to get together with other like-minded musicians and share the joy of learning, rehearsing and performing together as part of an exciting and eclectic band. We know from past experience that the Gordon Duncan Experience has been at the root of many a young person’s musical journey, teaching them valuable skills, bringing a real sense of fun and camaraderie, and forging some lifelong friendships along the way.”

Following the Summer Taster Sessions, musicians can audition to join the Gordon Duncan Experience as it prepares to take to the stage at Ar Cànan 's Ar Ceòl - a celebration of Gaelic and Music in Perthshire for the Royal National Mòd festival, held at Perth Concert Hall on Saturday 15 October 2022. The band will also be collaborating in a final 'stramash' alongside stellar, well-known musicians, Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton, Margaret Bennett, Patsy Reid, Mhairi Hall and Jenn Butterworth, as well as local musical groups including The Tayside Young Fiddlers, Perth Gaelic Choir and others yet to be confirmed.

Auditions will take place over Zoom on Sunday 24 July, with a possible second audition date of Sunday 21 August to accommodate those who can’t make it to the first date. Musicians don’t need to have participated in the taster sessions to apply to audition.

To sign up for the Summer Taster Sessions or the audition process, contact the Horsecross Arts Learning and Engagement team on

Launched by Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre in 2010 in honour of late, great Pitlochry piper Gordon Duncan, The Gordon Duncan Experience plays and creates music rooted in Scottish traditions with influences from jazz, rock, pop and classical. The young musicians who have come through its ranks have performed at high-profile events and shared the stage with some of Scotland’s top artists, with many of them going on to study and make a career in music and performance.

For further information about the Gordon Duncan Experience and the many opportunities it offers young musicians visit the Learning and Engagement pages on the Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre website here.

The Gordon Duncan Experience is supported by The Northwood Charitable Trust.

Horsecross Arts is supported by Creative Scotland, Perth & Kinross Council and The Gannochy Trust.

Tuesday 12 July 2022