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More recognition for Saxophone Orchestra 

A collaboration between Abedeenshire Saxophone Orchestra and Ugie Voices has been shortlisted for this year’s Creative Lives People’s Choice Award.

By Morag Kuc  

Full House Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra

From craft groups to choirs, drama companies to amateur orchestras, Creative Lives is currently celebrating groups from across the UK and Ireland, and all they have achieved, through this year’s Creative Lives Awards.

In October 2021 Aberdeenshire Saxophone Orchestra, based in Inverurie and Ugie Voices based in Mintlaw started the live rehearsals of an amazing project which saw these two very different, amateur music making groups working with a young autistic composer, Ben Lunn, from Airdrie to compose, rehearse and perform a new piece of music.

Ben was funded to do this by the UK umbrella organisation for leisure music groups, Making Music, and based his new composition on the poems of William Thom, an early 19th century handloom weaver who lived and worked near Inverurie.

As well as creating and playing the music, they incorporated readings of the original Doric and Scots poems into the work.

The readings were performed by well-known Doric expert and translator Gordon Hay who is also a member of Ugie Voices.

In February 2022 they produced a professional recording of this suite of music comprising prelude and seven movements each representing one of the poems. In March, at the Acorn Centre in Inverurie, they performed the première.

Commenting on the project, Foss Foster from the Saxophone Orchestra said: “We feel that our two groups have broken new ground with our collaboration and formed new friendships in the process.”


“Our sense of achievement is tremendous and we’ve demonstrated that this sort of thing is not just for professional music ensembles to tackle.”

Judging panels from each nation will choose a winner for England, Ireland/N. Ireland, Scotland and Wales, while members of the public can vote for their favourite in the People’s Choice Awards.


Voting in the People’s Choice Award is open until January 27. To cast your vote, please visit

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