ON Tuesday of this past week, the intrepid Nevis Ensemble invaded the Festival City, performing at Waverley Station, Edinburgh Airport, amongst the art at Jupiter Artland and eventually with something resembling a conventional concert at St John’s on Princes Street.

If you have not yet encountered Scotland’s newest orchestra I am slightly surprised, because they have been difficult to avoid. On Monday, as the most insane date of 70 performances the group has scheduled in the first fortnight of its existence, the musicians made good on a promise to live up to their name and climbed the highest mountain in these islands, trumpets, horns and cellos in their luggage. There is footage on social media (including @nevisensemble on Twitter) to testify to their performance on the summit on what was not a very nice day.

That was what the 40 musicians did on their day off. Between July 31 and August 13 they are more likely to see an audience, whether of commuters and tourists, or folk in care homes, day centres or homeless shelters – and even occasionally venues where you might reasonably expect to see a chamber orchestra. Following Merchant City Festival performances yesterday, today they are at Loch Lomond and after that until Monday evening they have a dozen separate gigs in the Glasgow area (see nevisensemble.org/performances for details).

The initiative of managers Jamie Munn and Judith Walsh and conductors Holly Mathieson and Jon Hargreaves, the Nevis Ensemble has been assembled, by application and audition, substantially – but not exclusively – from young professional musicians at the start of their career, although there are a few older hands in there as well. The line-up is broad, incorporating saxophones, drum kit and electric bass when necessary, and the repertoire is eclectic with Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Wagner and Stravinsky sitting alongside show tunes and jazz standards, arrangements borrowed from Salsa Celtica and the Treacherous Orchestra and pop hits by ABBA and The Proclaimers. Having rehearsed their varied book, the musicians’ crammed summer schedule is all there is this year, and next summer the whole project will be remade all over again.

There are some important antecedents for what the Nevis Ensemble is about in the work of Live Music Now, the local promoters in music clubs and societies across Scotland that form the network funded by Enterprise Music Scotland, and in National Chamber Music Day, which is on September 15 this year. Those organisations and initiatives have helped make Scotland a particularly fertile place for music (in part as a response to the country’s challenging geography, which makes the Nevis Ensemble’s choice of name particularly apt), but the new orchestra’s particular model and method of working is something entirely original.

I heard them right at the start of their huge run of performances in the special environment of the Britannia Panopticon, the ancient music hall that survives on Glasgow’s Argyle Street. In that context it was feasible to lend a proper ear to the group’s first commission, Attach, by composer Matthew Grouse, a recent graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, who has responded to what can only have been a tricky brief with some aplomb. I reckon his piece will also have fought its corner well in noisier places, despite the competing attractions of music in the band’s book that appeals more immediately to their distractible audience.

That tricky task of attracting attention could hardly be more obvious than in Edinburgh at this time of year, but I hope that the Nevis Ensemble’s visit to the bear-pit that is August in the Scottish capital won them a few friends among the influential and useful people milling about. If there is one exciting new thing about Scotland of which they should be spreading the news, it is the Nevis Ensemble.