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Calling all school students studying music at National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher level.


Scottish Freelancers Ensemble invites you to our open call competition, to compose a brand new composition for our string ensemble. The winner will be chosen by a specialist panel and be recipient of £250 prize money, plus a digital performance and recording of SFE performing your work.


To be eligible for this competition, you must be currently studying and living in Scotland. 

(Applications open 12pm Friday 5th February 2021).

The remit for composition is included in the online form.

Closing date for applications: 12pm (noon) Monday March 29th 2021.

We are a community of freelance orchestral musicians living and working in Scotland, whose members perform variously for every professional orchestra and classical ensemble in the country. Like others suffering during the coronavirus pandemic, our individual sources of income almost entirely disappeared overnight. Collectively we have noticed the lack of organised support for freelance musicians.


This project is for orchestral freelancers in Scotland who have lost their voice during this difficult time, and who wish to continue creating music together. Initially we will share our music through virtual platforms, with the intention of undertaking physical performances as Covid-19 guidelines are eased.


Classical music must address its role in a world of rising inequality: our promise is to strive to narrow the widening gap between those who have little and those who have plenty. We will play our part in tackling the often elitist and hierarchical culture of classical music, actively championing works by those under-represented in our industry, including BAME and female composers. The group’s comparatively small and flexible line-up both opens up diverse repertoire and enables us to reach out to communities who might not normally attend concert hall performances.


Our first video (premiered on 22 July 2020) features a 36-piece string ensemble, performing ‘Adoration’ by African-American composer Florence Price, arranged for strings by Elaine Fine. As well as being a beautiful composition, the name of this piece reflects the sentiment of feeling in the Scottish Freelancers Ensemble. We are a network of colleagues and personal friends, having worked together in numerous settings over the years. We are an organisation built on affection and respect.


We hope that by raising awareness of our current circumstances, this project will help to amplify our voices as a freelance community so that ultimately, we can begin to share music again. We sincerely hope you will consider donating towards our cause.

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We're absolutely delighted to announce our brand new partnership with the Scottish Arts Club.

The Scottish Arts Club is a members' club, open to anyone with an interest in the Arts. They have a dynamic calendar of musical events and our exhibitions showcase the work of many outstanding and award-winning artists in their gallery spaces. 


We are very excited about the future of our partnership so watch this space!

For more information about the Scottish Arts Club, head to their website

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