North Ayrshire's Senior Chamber String Ensemble enjoyed some amazing success at the Edinburgh International Musical Festival recently.

Taking place during the last few weeks of the summer break, North Ayrshire's own Nicola Benedetti successfully led the high-energy classical music festival with a 24-day programme packed with events from 2,500 exceptional and diverse artists, representing 50 nations.

World famous violinist Nicola, from West Kilbride, is director of the Edinburgh International Music Festival this year and her committee invited  the North Ayrshire Senior Chamber String Ensemble to be part of the opening weekend performances on the Ross Band Stand in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: North Ayrshire Senior Chamber String Ensemble  in Edinburgh

Comprising senior musicians from North Ayrshire’s secondary schools, the ensemble is run and managed by the North Ayrshire Music Service.

The audience of parents, carers and fellow musicians were wowed at the opening of the festival when pupils performed as part of a huge celebration of youth and community music with many different groups from all over Scotland.

These included the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland, Drake Music Scotland, Musicians in Exile and the Tinderbox Collective amongst many others.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: North Ayrshire Senior Chamber String Ensemble  in Edinburgh

The NA Ensemble performed their solo 20-minute slot where the following pieces were performed: Andante Festivo – Sibelius; My Love is like a Red Red Rose – Arr, S Adams; Extract from ‘Scottish Rhapsody for Strings’ – Marie Dare.

The sun shone for their performance to delighted audiences both in the Ross Band Stand Arena and as far up as Princes Street.

The finale saw all 350 musicians involved in the day’s performances combine forces on stage to perform the commissioned piece ‘Community over Chaos’.

Led by Jack Nissan from the Tinderbox Collective, the final performance was met with a standing ovation in what was a glorious celebration of the diverse musical landscape which makes up youth and community music in Scotland.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Councillor Shaun MacaulayCouncillor Shaun Macaulay (Image: NAC)

Councillor Shaun Macaulay, cabinet member for education and young people, said: “We are so very proud of our talented young people who shone at this year’s festival.

“To be opening on an international stage and showcasing their talents, demonstrates just how far each of the ensemble members have come as they continue to inspire their peers and put North Ayrshire Music Service on the map.

"Thank you to everyone for giving it your absolute all. An excellent performance from an incredible group. Bravo!

“If you are a young person interested in learning something new, speak to your school to see how the North Ayrshire Music Service can nurture your musical journey. You never know, you could be in the spotlight too sooner than you think…”

Watch the festival video highlights on Twitter: