THE National Youth Orchestra of Scotland’s Junior Orchestra got the NYOS summer-season ball rolling on Friday night with a cracking concert in Perth into which the orchestra of 13-year-olds and under packed a hefty calling card of five numbers in an event running close to 90 minutes including an interval.

I did wonder if the youngsters’ stamina and concentration was slipping towards the end, and if perhaps a bit less might have eased the strain on the physical strength and sustained focus necessary to deliver the goods at a consistently high level. That’s a discussion for another place.

With conductor Holly Mathieson, now in her penultimate season with NYOS and soon to take up her new role as Assistant Conductor at the RSNO, the young musicians tore into the repertoire with their terrific discipline and bottomless musicianship unleashed in a tremendous account of Strauss’ Fledermaus Overture, brilliantly-characterised with all the push-me pull-you flexibility of pacing required to animate the piece.

Then solo trumpeter and former NYOS principal Calum Tonner gave a dazzling performance of Oskar Bohme’s acrobatic, tuneful and winning little Trumpet Concerto, which we should hear more frequently, before the musicians of the Junior Orchestra laid down the full pack if credentials in Brahms’ Fifth Hungarian Dance, delivered with real string depth and bite, and a Dvorak Slavonic Dance with incisive impact. But the climax, unquestionably, arrived with Khachaturian’s Spartacus Suite and a gloriously-sustained performance of that “Onedin Line” movement which featured the best string playing of the night. Just one thought: they should watch it with Copland’s Hoe-down, a favourite encore. It’s tricky; it needs more discipline.