Sound Waves SCIO

Sound Waves SCIO

At a glance


  • Arts
  • Children / families
  • Education
  • Young people

Other details

Geographical remit: 


We help young professional musicians gain performance experience in chamber music by providing performance opportunities on the Isle of Mull. They play alongside established musicians in small chamber groups at venues throughout the island. The experience is unique in that the mentors and recent graduates work as colleagues rather than being coached from outside the group.

The beneficiaries are extremely talented young people who have already graduated and have often won international prizes. They are still at the beginning of their careers and need professional training and exposure to audiences. 

We also provide violin classes for the island children to re-generate the tradition of fiddle playing and to ensure we have future audiences. On an island with perhaps 200 children of primary school age, 40 of them are attending regular violin classes and most can now read music.


In early July each year, we put on 14 concerts in eight days in churches, and castles throughout the Isle of Mull, in Iona Abbey and in Oban Cathedral.  The young musicians have been recommended by their colleges and all their costs are paid. This is in contrast to many other master classes and courses where the students have to pay. This is a deliberate policy as young graduates these days already face repaying large student loans and we do not want to restrict access to those with the means to pay.  Our students are chosen for their ability to play rather than their ability to pay. 

All our concerts are free and after 27 years, every venue is packed to capacity.

Our work with the young island children has grown in recent years to involve monthly coaching sessions from specially trained tutors. We also run weekly violin clubs in the north and south of the island, and the children perform at a special concert during the festival week. 

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