TALENTED musicians from all over Ayrshire have given a series of special performances in London to celebrate the life and legacy of Robert Burns.

Five young members of the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra were invited to play at the House of Commons in an event organised by Central Ayrshire MP Dr Philippa Whitford and hosted by her Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock counterpart Allan Dorans.

They played in both the Strangers Bar and the Strangers Dining Room, with the two events attended by a number of MPs, their guests and Parliament officials.

Many of those in attendance made a point of speaking with the group to congratulate them for bringing Scottish music to Westminster during the annual season of Burns Night. 

It is very rare for live music to be permitted in Parliament – though it's an honour that the orchestra has enjoyed on several occasions over the past few years.

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During the visit, the players were also treated to a tour round the Palace of Westminster, met the SNP's Westminster leader Stephen Flynn, and were able to watch Prime Minister's Questions from the viewing gallery.

The following night, the orchestra entertained at the Prime Minister’s own Burns Night celebration at 10 Downing Street, with attendees including the Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden and Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, who is both an MP and an MSP.

On Burns Night itself, January 25, the AFO gave a concert at the Scotland Office in Dover House in Whitehall for the members of the Treasury Music Society.

The well-attended performance was also streamed live across government departments including the Scotland Office in Edinburgh

The AFO senior players, all 17 years of age, were Ross Neillie and Alistair McMahon from Belmont Academy in Ayr, Heather Anderson from Kilmarnock Academy, Daniel Robinson from Prestwick Academy, Hannah Carrie from Jordanhill School, and Kirsty Gemmell from Robert Burns Academy in Cumnock.

The group were led by AFO directors Euan and Kathleen Terras.

The talented ensemble finished a busy week playing for the Scottish Cities Alliance Burns Supper elsewhere in London, an event they have played at previously.

AFO Chair, Euan Terras, said: “These can be daunting venues for a small group of young musicians to perform at, but their performances were brilliant and standard of musicianship absolutely superb.

"We are very proud of them!"