Published: March 31, 2010

Call for young musicians to form new ‘big band’ in tribute to Duncan

The Jimi Hendrix Experience made a musical statement in the 1960s, and now a new Celtic “big band” is to be formed from young Scottish musicians to create “The Gordon Duncan Experience” to pay tribute to the late piper.

The Horsecross Arts organization is putting out a call to young musicians in the Perth and Kinross area of Scotland to audition for the new group that will perform new music by young contemporary composers commissioned by the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust and Gordon Duncan tunes arranged by Corrina Hewat and David Milligan, the musical directors of the new band, focusing on “playing traditional music with innovative arrangements carrying on the creative spirit of Gordon Duncan’s writing and playing.”

Hewat and Milligan are founders of the 22-piece folk orchestra, The Unusual Suspects. Horsecross is the organization behind the Perth Concert Hall and the Perth Theatre, and has obtained “substantial” funding for the two-year project from the Scottish Arts Council Youth Music Initiative, the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust and Perth and Kinross Council.

The group plans to make its debut at the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust’s annual fundraising concert at Perth Concert Hall on September 25th, as part of a larger annual celebration of Duncan’s contribution to the Scottish arts.

“The Gordon Duncan Experience is the biggest project the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust has been involved in so far and we’re delighted that it’ll carry forward both Gordon’s name and his groundbreaking approach to pushing the envelope of traditional music,” said Ian Duncan, chair of the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust. “It ticks all the boxes for us: it will provide dozens of young people with an amazing creative opportunity; it creates exciting challenges for young composers to write for an ensemble of this size and for two young musicians as trainee musical directors; and I’m sure the band will thrill audiences wherever they play.”

Auditions for The Gordon Duncan Experience will be held on March 13th at the Perth Concert Hall in Perth. Those trying out will have to play one piece of their own choice as well as sight-read a composition. Interested musicians have to submit their application by March 10th, with forms available from wither www.horsecross.co.uk or www.gordonduncan.co.uk or

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