Work & Project History

Routes to Hoots

Since 2016, Oi Musica has delivered the Routes to Hoots street band project for Primary 6 & 7 pupils in Inverclyde (Ardgowan, St.Patrick’s, Moorfoot, St.Andrew’s, Newark, St.Francis & St.Michael’s primaries), Edinburgh (Brunstane, Duddingston, Craigentinny, Castleview, Niddriemill & St.Francis Primaries) and Glenboig & Our Lady St.Joseph’s (North Lanarkshire)
The dream team of Oi Musica’s Marcus Britton with Mat Clements from Where’s the One keeps going from strength to strength!

Summer School 2018

In July 2018, we ran a great summer school in Portobello in collaboration with Edinburgh Youth Theatre. It was a fantastic opportunity for young musicians to work together with us for a week and experience creating and performing a live soundtrack for a theatre show. Here are some pictures, courtesy of John Davy Photography –

Summer School 2017


Hoots on the Streets

Hoots on the Streets ran from 2012-2015, offering specialist training and support to youth street bands throughout Scotland. The project was launched in Highland in April 2012, with funding support from Creative Scotland, enabling over 500 young people to take part in workshops, masterclasses, training, creative collaborations and performances across Scotland.

Hoots on the Streets worked with four bands – all of whom are open access, welcoming players with no musical experience into their ranks. Each group operates with a youth-led approach to rehearsals and running their bands.

The Penguin’s Tuxedo from Nairn was founded in 2012 by young people in the town who had taken part in street band activities, and wanted to set up something permanent. Based at Nairn Community Centre, they are entirely led by young people (with support from youth workers), and continue to attract a core of dedicated drummers, running workshops and performing in their local area.

Guarana Street Drummers has been running in Aberdeen since 2002. They draw their membership from a huge range of ages and backgrounds (from children to older adults), and they perform a staggering 70-odd gigs per year! Hoots on the Streets supported Guarana’s youth membership by providing new young leaders with training and mentoring, and by building a horn section for the group.

Pulse of the Place from Edinburgh is Scotland’s original and largest youth samba band. From humble beginnings as half a dozen young teens drumming at Duncan Place Resource Centre in Leith each week, the group grew and grew until in 2012 they took more than 70 youth drummers to perform at Olympic Park for the Paralympic festivities! Hoots on the Streets supported Pulse of the Place to bring on a wave of new leaders in 2014-15.

Pace in Grantown-on-Spey was set up by a Primary 7 class in 2009 who’d had a taste and wanted to continue playing in a street band through secondary school. They ran for 8 successful years, offering excellent opportunities for local youth musicians to develop their playing and performance skills, with members aged 11-15.

TNT Youth Street Band
Hoots on the Streets established Scotland’s first regional youth street band in autumn 2012, bringing together players from local groups in an exciting cross-region collaboration. They performed at Belladrum Festival, Insider Festival, Inverness Street Theatre Festival, Cawder Castle, Findhorn Bay Arts Festival and West End Festival in Glasgow amongst others.

The group supported local bands throughout the region by providing their members with the opportunity to take their skills to the next level. The membership was made up from players from The Penguin’s Tuxedo, Pace and Guarana Street Band. They met around 6 times per year, tutored by some of Scotland’s top street band musicians, including Roddy Dickson (SambaYaBamba), Tom Pickles (Orkestra del Sol / Horndog Brass Band), Rory Clark (Puff Uproar) and Marcus Britton.


Frontiers Orchestra

In Autumn 2014, Oi Musica worked in partnership  with award-winning youth music charity Tinderbox Project to support the establishing of their newest youth ensemble – Frontiers Orchestra, inviting players and non-players to join forces and build a band like the city has never seen before!

With funding from Creative Scotland, we delivered a short programme of taster and recruitment workshops across the city, followed by a 5-week course of rehearsals at North Edinburgh Arts Centre. During the course, the ensemble developed a core of young orchestral instrumentalists, a samba drumming section, guitarists & keyboardists, a ukelele section,  singers, live electronics and an 8-strong balafon section.

Here is a clip of Frontiers Orchestra’s first public performance, at Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre (in the foyer) on November 25th 2014.

Eyemouth Sound (2016)

Oi Musica worked with a handful of young people to support the launch of the project, creating digital music tracks and learning music making skills. More info here:

Eyemouth Sound



Sound Out @ Seven Lochs (2014)

Marking the opening of Seven Lochs Wetland Park in East Glasgow, Sound Out brought together a whole range of musicians from the area to celebrate East Glasgow’s diversity, and the outdoor opportunities offered by the new park. With support from Platform Arts and The Bridge in Easterhouse, Marcus worked with over 80 musicians to create a series of collaborative performances.

To mark the end of the project, in November 2014, the groups involved recorded their set at The Bridge. The recording features East End Voices Community Choir; samba bands and brass & reed pupils from Lochend, Smithycroft and All Saints secondary schools, and local singers The Undecided from The Musical Workshop.

SoundOut@SevenLochs Big Band – ‘No Diggity’

SoundOut@SevenLochs Big Band – ‘No No No / Down In The River’

SoundOut@SevenLochs Big Band – ‘Follow The Heron’



Hidden Door Festival 2014 (Edinburgh)

We ran an open Massed Band workshop for all comers and all abilities, and after a 45-min rehearsal, we brought 70 players together for a rendition of ‘Hidden Dub’ – a specially-arranged medley for the event. Brass & wind, fiddles & strings and samba bateria. Here’s how it sounded…


Music for Youth Festival

In June 2013, Marcus & Oli spent two hours working with 40 drummers and 40 brass players from across Scotland to put together an arrangement of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’. The young musicians were all taking place in the Music for Youth’s National Festival Scotland.


Mardi Gras Edinburgh!

In February 2013, Oi Musica teamed up with Return to the Hearth to put on Edinburgh’s first New Orleans-inspired Mardi Gras. On a bitterly cold Sunday, when thousands in New Orleans were out in full costume enjoying the parades, hundreds in Edinburgh donned masks and costumes and second-lined across the Meadows to Summerhall. Here, in the Courtyard, a whole selection of groups Oi Musica has been working with in recent months performed to large audiences – ending with a 100-strong massed band finale, including 10 (ten) sousaphones – the most ever seen playing together in Scotland!
The evening progressed with a fantastic line-up of live music, street bands, dance, authentic New Orleans cuisine, dressing up, and general revelry…


Digital Music Making at 6VT (Edinburgh)

During Autumn 2012 and Spring 2013 Marcus teamed up with multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer Barney Strachan to run  music making sessions at 6VT youth centre. They worked with small groups of young people, teaching them how to use samplers, drum machines, keyboards and guitars as well as working on songs and vocal technique and artwork for their CD. The course ended with a recording session at Verden Studios, where the young people learnt all about studio recording and went away with a finished CD each at the end.
Julie-Ann Trusler – ‘Being A Clown’ (mixed by Barney Strachan)
Shannon O’Neill – ‘Read All About It’ (by Emili Sande, mixed by Barney Strachan)

The Band @ Lochgelly Arts Centre (Fife)

With over 100 participants, The Band wass a fantastic community project in Fife offering adults a first-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make music! Every Tuesday at the Lochgelly Arts Centre, citizens of Fife gathered to take part in samba drumming, brass, saxophone, guitar, keyboard, drum kit and choir activities. 
The project attracted huge numbers of beginner musicians, and during the initial phase, Marcus worked with 15-20 beginner brass players each week, with tuition support from Pete Petrie (FYJO) and Rory Clark (Puff Uproar). After an exciting summer of outdoor performances, the autumn term focused on a collaboration between Fife Jazz Orchestra and The Band’s brass players, guitarists, keyboard players and singers – the results of which can heard below….
The Band, Lochgelly with Fife Jazz Orchestra – ‘It Don’t Mean a Thing…’

The Band, Lochgelly with The Edinburgh Samba School – Maracatu


Soundblast Sinfonia – (Reading)

In December 2011, Marcus led a weekend of coaching workshops for Berkshire’s newest street band, Soundblast Sinfonia, which emerged out of a taster weekend that Oi Musica ran in July 2010 at Sandhurst Festival. The workshop focused on developing the band’s sense of collective groove and general performance confidence,and we were able to try lots of new ideas and techniques during some Christmas busking slots on Reading High St over the weekend.


Carnival Summer School (Grantown-on-Spey)

As part of our ongoing work with the community in Grantown, Oi Musica ran a 5-day open-access Summer School in July 2010 and the following year,  for young people in the town to get involved in putting on a street show. In 2011 we added break-dance to a programme which also featured drums, brass & woodwind, circus skills and carnival art. At the end of five intensive days the group put on a street show in the town square.


Scratch street band for Sandhurst Festival (Sandhurst, Berks)

In July 2010, Oi Musica ran a weekend of brass and drum workshops for a mix of new players and more experienced musicians, culminating in a parade at Sandhurst Festival. The group warmed the crowd up before Orkestra del Sol too the stage. The participants have since set up their own group Soundblast Sinfonia. They rehearse weekly in the Bracknell/Wokingham area.


Balkan Brass master classes – National Street Band Gathering (Oxford)

Marcus ran Balkan Brass master classes at the UK’s first Street Band Gathering, which took place in May 2010 and was organised by Oxford Contemporary Music. Participants came from a number of street bands from across the UK including: Orkestra del Sol, Horndog Brass Band, Soundblast Sinfonia, The Horns of Plenty, The Peace Artistes, Frome Street Bandits, The Ambling Band, Blast Furness and Tongues of Fire. The clip below shows a rehearsal of Marcus’s original composition, ‘3 Horse Race’, played by over 60 musicians…


Street Band Workshops – West Lothian Brass & Wind Ensemble (Bathgate Festival)

Building up to playing a support slot for Orkestra del Sol at the Bathgate Music festival, Oi Musica worked with around 20 members of West Lothian Brass and Wind Ensemble, leaving the music stands to one side and playing as a street band.
West Lothian Wind & Brass Ensemble – ‘Seven, Eight, Bathgate’

The birth of Puff Uproar…way back in 2008!

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