Phoenix heads north for Aberdeenshire tour


Two saxophone orchestras who built up a lasting friendship online during the Covid lockdown will be performing together live this summer for the very first time!

Phoenix Saxophone Orchestra (PSO) is travelling the 480 miles north to meet with their friends and hosts, Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra (ASO), and the two groups will be performing together at two live concerts:

The Acorn Centre, Inverurie
Saturday 3 June, 7pm
Tickets £7.50 from

Aden Country Park, Mintlaw More…
Sunday 4 June, 10am
Tickets £10 on the door or from the Aden gift shop

The 40-strong combined orchestra will perform three joint pieces, with the grand finale being a rousing arrangement of Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, better known as Fingal’s Cave, that’s been specially commissioned by the groups from Scottish musician and arranger Catriona Melville-Mason.

The two groups will also play a selection of music from their own repertoires, which cover a mix of musical styles that ably demonstrate the versatility of the instruments, including classical, folk, choral, jazz and rock. The musicians will be performing on seven different types of saxophone, from the tiny sopranino, through the more commonly seen soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, to the giant bass and contrabass.

These live concerts are the next step in an exciting story for these two orchestras, who in 2021 were jointly nominated for a prestigious national Royal Philharmonic Society Inspiration Award – the ‘Oscars’ of the classical music world – for a joint lockdown recording of Julius Fučik’s ‘Entry of the Gladiators’. A joint live rendition of this exhilerating piece will also form part of the concert.

Jane Smith from PSO said: “We are really excited to be making the trip north to meet and play live with our friends in Aberdeenshire for the very first time. We’ve built a very strong relationship online over the past three years, and this is a fantastic example of how music really can unite us, across borders.”

ASO’s Foss Foster said: “Both our orchestras are very new, but we are growing fast and already we are breaking new ground and looking for exciting opportunities. This joint venture with PSO is just such an opportunity to bring the saxophone to the attention of a wider audience.”

To make the most of their time in Scotland, Phoenix will also be going on a whistlestop sightseeing tour around Aberdeenshire on Friday 2 June, and are planning to perform a couple of mini pop up concerts en route, at The Bothy in Braemar village at around midday and, weather permitting, in the courtyard at Crathes Castle mid-afternoon.

For more information about the concerts, including ticket prices and booking links, please see our events page.