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Serving the far north of Scotland

helping you to enjoy making music

CJO in March 2020

...we didn't think it would take us 18 months to get back together again!

We are delighted to announce that the Caithness Junior Orchestra is returning to rehearsals after an 18 month break because of the Pandemic - and we thought it was only going to be three weeks off! 😂 

The orchestra offers an exciting, inclusive opportunity for young musicians aged 8 and over to meet and play together every week with conductor Susie Dingle, orchestral coach Katrina Gordon, and a team of dedicated, kind-hearted volunteer helpers.

The orchestra meets at Mount Pleasant Primary School, Thurso, from 4pm to 4.45pm on Mondays during term time. New members are welcome to join the orchestra at any time during the year.  There are no auditions, but we must receive a fully completed membership form before you attend your first rehearsal. Please click the link to download, scan the completed and signed form, and email it to [email protected] before attending your first rehearsal.

The orchestra is open to participants from pre-grade 1 to grade 5+ from all schools in the area and we also welcome home-educated children.  There are no auditions and no minimum entry requirements. Everybody is welcome.

Because the Pandemic is still ongoing, we have had to put together a strict covid protocol in order to minimise the spread of the virus between households.  This is especially important because we have children from many different schools attending, and we don't want to spread the virus between school communities either.  In summary (revised September 2021):

Do not attend if you have covid symptoms or have had a positive covid test, or if you have been asked to isolate for any reason, or if any other member of your household is currently isolating.

 Unless medically exempt, all orchestra members and volunteers must wear a mask on entering the building and while moving around. Your mask may only be removed once you are seated at your place in the orchestra.

 Please always sanitise your hands on arrival.

 Parents are unfortunately not allowed to enter the building and should wait outside the front door to collect children at 4.45pm

 The school may provide us with seat covers – if they do, you must keep yours safe and bring it to each rehearsal.

 Wind and brass players must bring their own flannel to collect all drips and we will provide brass with bell covers as required.

 The orchestra will be spaced at 1 metre distance.

 We require a phone number for each orchestra member for track and trace purposes. If an orchestra member tests positive for covid, only their close contacts will be informed (i.e. anyone who has been within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) and they will be asked to isolate and organise a covid test for themselves.

Unfortunately, if any of us breaks the rules, the council has made it clear that they can discontinue our booking, so it is very important to do our best to keep each other safe, and we are so very grateful to you for your co-operation!

The Caithness Junior Orchestra on tour in Orkney, June 2016,

having just performed at the St Magnus International Music Festival.

In 2016 and 2017, the Caithess Junior Orchestra collaborated with an organisation called Hear My Music to bring inclusive music making to a wider audience in Caithness and Orkney. Here's a clip from the BBC Radio 3 show, Music Matters, which featured our project.

Our orchestra welcomes new members throughout the year and we would love to hear from you!