Let Nature Sing to an Orchestral Overture!


Join the Solway Sinfonia for an evening of music inspired by nature and bird song with proceeds going towards RSPB Scotland’s conservation work in Dumfries & Galloway.

The Solway Sinfonia is a not for profit amateur orchestra based in Dumfries & Galloway.  Its members are drawn from the south of Scotland and north of England. The Solway Sinfonia likes (every spring or summer) to put on a concert in support of a local charity or a local branch of a national charity. We are delighted that this spring the Sinfonia’s concert will be in aid of RSPB Scotland.

This particular concert is conducted by Solway Sinfonia Guest Conductor, James Young, who is frequently a member of the Sinfonia’s viola section. James was born in Edinburgh and studied at Birmingham University and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Over the years he has conducted a wide range of ensembles including orchestras, choirs and Amateur Operatic Groups. For 8 years he worked in the area choirs of the National Youth Choir of Scotland, in Edinburgh and also in Midlothian, where he founded and directed the choir for 4 years.

Crystal Maw is RSPB site manager for the Galloway reserves. In addition to her skills in nature conservation, she is also a talented musician and she recently joined the Sinfonia as a double bass player; this will be her second concert.

Crystal said, “I’m over the moon to be part of the Solway Sinfonia. It’s wonderful seeing musicians from all over the region coming together, just doing what they enjoy and creating something magical in a few short hours. Obviously, I’m looking forward to the next concert as it’s for a cause very close to my heart and I hope people enjoy it.”

Birds are the ultimate musicians and have inspired composers for hundreds of years. The Sinfonia have chosen a range of pieces that reflect this:


  • Caerlaverock Suite by Sinfonia lead violinist Sarah Berker – inspired by her time living at this wonderful reserve on the Solway, the intention of this work was to create sounds representing specific birds pink footed geese, greenshanks and curlew


Photo of curlew by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

  • Flute concerto "The Goldfinch" by Vivaldi – evoking the sounds of birdsong.


  • Symphony No 6 "The Pastoral", 2nd movement by Beethoven – part of one of Beethoven’s most loved works, this movement includes the songs of the nightingale (flute), the quail (oboe) and the cuckoo (clarinet).


  • "The Lark In The Clear Air" by Pauline Roe - an arrangement of an Irish folk song, two flutes represent larks in an aerial display of wondrous song.


  • "On Hearing The First Cuckoo In Spring" by Delius – this work was specifically written for a small orchestra and celebrates the arrival of the cuckoo as a harbinger of spring.


Photo by RSPB (rspb-images.com)

  • Symphony No 83 "The Hen", by Haydn – parts of the first movement of this piece are reminiscent of the clucking of hens, which gives the piece its nickname.


RSPB Scotland has reserves across Dumfries and Galloway including Mersehead, Wood of Cree, Ken-Dee Marshes, Crook of Baldoon and Mull of Galloway where we are creating and managing habitats for all kinds of birds and other wildlife and helping people get closer to nature. Thanks to the Sinfonia, this concert will be raising money to help protect some of the area’s most important places for nature.


Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.dgboxoffice.co.uk/18468in advance or on the evening, at the door.