"The Declaration" – Celtic Connections 2020 – Info and Tickets available on October 3rd 2019 from

The Grit Orchestra will present a new large scale Symphonic work for 2020 featuring brand new commissions by 8 of Scotland’s leading composers. Supported by the Scottish Government’s Festival Expo fund, "The Declaration" will feature new compositions inspired by the 700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath of 1320. Scotland has one of the richest and most varied musical heritages in the world – one that transcends categorisations of musical genres – and right at the heart of this living heritage is the extraordinary Grit Orchestra.

"It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom - for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself."

Extract from the Declaration of Arbroath



It took a musician of the diversity of interests of Lawson to put together an ensemble that so successfully combines the top talent of Scotland’s classical, traditional and jazz music worlds.

The Herald

The Guardian

It’s a stroke of deadpan brilliance, spoken work stripped back to a single redolent syllable.

The Guardian

The Scotsman

The festival has surpassed itself with its most ambitious, theatrical and slightly bonkers event to date as the orchestra reconvened under the baton of the irrepressible Greg Lawson to perform an epic arrangement of another Bennett album, Bothy Culture.

The Scotsman

Fiona Hyslop

Spectacular sound, vision, energy, bike + aerial at the #GritOrchestra concert @ccfest performing Martyn Bennett’s Bothy Culture

Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture

The Times

At the heart of the pageant was the music, however, a glorious procession of bagpipe glissandi, parping brass, addictive fiddle figures, heavy duty cello riffs, gongs dipped in buckets of water, and brushes stroking the sounds of waves from snare drums.

The Times