Lightkeepers orchestra

Lightkeepers orchestra


We’re looking for players with a good technical grasp of their instrument. You should be comfortable keeping in tune and in time, and have a good awareness of rhythm and be able play in a wide range of keys. You should also have some experience of playing arrangements and accompaniments, and following arrangement instructions. Non-music readers are very welcome, as long as you are able to learn at home with the audio files provided. Music readers are encouraged to use the audio files as well to get a good overall sense of the music.


We’re looking for players of all commonly played trad instruments: fiddles, viola, cello and double bass; flutes; strummed and plucked strings–guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, clarsach; accordion, melodeon, concertina; keyboard.


This is a great opportunity for those interested in playing harmonies and accompaniments, rather than tunes/melodies. We’ll be including an instrumental piece to showcase the orchestra’s talents.

Here’s a short sample from First Stars of Evening which which will be one of the pieces in our repertoire. The tune was written by Gavin Marwick and has been arranged by Sarah Northcott. This isn’t a final arrangement – just a midi recording of a few of the instrument parts, which we hope will help give you an idea of the sort of thing we might be playing when we all gather together for a Lightkeepers weekend.

Resources and equipment

Written music and audio files will be provided well in advance of the weekends. Instrumental recordings will be computer-generated midi files. You should bring a music stand, pencil and paper for notes and a recording device if you think you’ll need one (voice recording apps on phones are great for this).


Fiddle players

We’re asking all players to record something to show what they can do. We want to make sure that you’re going to be able to play the material and that you’re not out of your depth. This can be recorded on your phone and doesn’t have to be long or complicated – a well-played nursery rhyme is much better than a badly played symphony! Play us your favourite tune, chord riffs or even a scale or two. Good tone, phrasing and ‘feel’ will be valued above speed and technical ability. Fill in the on-line form and tell us about your experience. To achieve balance in the orchestra there will be a restricted number of places for types of instruments.

Reserve list

As we’re aiming for a good balance of instruments, we have a maximum number for each. You can still apply if that number has been reached and we’ll put you on a reserve list and contact you if a space becomes available. Or you may be flexible about which weekend you can come on. Let us know when you register, and we’ll do our best to find you a place.

How it will work

On the weekend, we’ll gather on Friday night for an introductory session. Here you’ll get to meet, play and sing with all the other participants and get an overview of the pieces we’ve chosen. On Saturday we’ll split into 2 groups -singers and orchestra. We’ll work on pieces separately in these groups before coming together to put everything together.

Lunches teas and coffees will be provided throughout the weekend, and participants will find their own accommodation and evening meals. There will be an informal ceilidh on the Saturday evening.

Find out more about registering for a Lightkeepers weekend