Tourists and local travellers got a surprise on Wednesday morning when members of the Scottish Ensemble gave a short pop-up performance at Sumburgh Airport.
Six musicians from the group arrived in Shetland shortly after 11am and immediately get their four-day residency under way with a taster concert for the assembled punters.
Around half of the members of the all-string orchestra were present for the performance, with the remainder of the band arriving later that day on a flight from Glasgow.
Playing a short stripped back set the band blended classical music with pop songs and also managed to squeeze a few quirky renditions of Scottish staples Auld Lang Syne and Scotland the Brave into the set.
The intimate performance allowed spectators to enjoy the sensation of being present for a private classical performance – even if that illusion was intermittently broken by tannoy announcements asking for “passengers to proceed to the departure lounge”.
Once the remainder of the band arrived later that day the group were able to kick off their residency proper, with a “Musical Feast” at Sandwick’s Carnegie Hall.
This concert will see the musicians providing the paying spectators with music and food, cooked under the tutelage of award-winning writer Marian Armitage.
The group plan to spend a great deal of their time in Shetland working alongside local musicians, such as the Shetland Community Orchestra. They will take time to tutor students at the Anderson High School and also to learn about traditional Shetland music from local fiddle players.
Residents of care homes around the isles will be treated to quartet performances on Friday, before the group reassembles in the evening to perform a second pop-up concert at a secret location.
The musicians will conclude their residency on Saturday by performing two concerts at Mareel. The first of these is geared towards children and will take a narrative format as the youngsters are introduced to classical music via the medium of storytelling.
Finally the band will play a set entitled “En Rêve” which will be heavily inspired by the music of French composers such as Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy and Gabriel Fauré.
Speaking after the performance at Sumburgh Airport Elaine Craig, project manager for the ensemble said: “We’re very much looking forward to our time in Shetland.
“We always enjoy our residencies as they give us a chance to get out and about and to take our music out of the concert hall setting.”
The group were also keen to thank Inksters Solicitors for sponsoring the residency, with Miss Craig adding “we couldn’t have done any of this without them.”