Shetland Schools Music Festival

by Deborah Leggate -

This year's Shetland Schools Music Festival is set to take place from the 8th to 12th March, and will as always feature a packed programme of adjudicated music classes, performances, workshops and concerts, together with the Junior and Senior Young Musicians of the Year competition, throughout its five day run.

The core participation element of the festival alternates annually between primary and secondary classes, with this year's festival focusing on primary pupil performance and adjudication, while secondary pupils will get the chance to access some interesting and exciting music development workshops courtesy of the Scottish Arts Council's "Youth Music Initiative" fund.

All performance related events will take place in the Lerwick Town Hall and Clickimin Centre, full details of which will appear in the festival programme and via adverts in the local press in due course.

In total there will be a staggering thirty-one music related classes featured as part of this year's festival, ranging from solo performances through to larger group classes. These classes will feature and illustrate the complete range of instrumental and vocal elements and styles currently taught and delivered throughout Shetland's schools.

To adjudicate the various classes and competitions the festival organisers have invited back Mr Eric Tebbett who also adjudicated at the 2009 festival. Mr Tebbett is an internationally acclaimed music teacher, examiner, adjudicator and performer in his own right. He has undertaken the role at a number of Shetland Schools Music Festivals in the past, proving not only to be a hugely experienced and entertaining adjudicator, but also an extremely popular one with pupils and staff alike.

As previously mentioned, music workshops will be delivered across Shetland throughout the festival for pupils of secondary age ranges. These will include "Rock Group Development" with the acclaimed London based organisation "RockSchool"; "Traditional Music Arranging and Performance" with Shetland's internationally renowned musician Jenna Reid; "Digital DJ'ing for Beginners" with DJ Nadia and Fraser Mouat and "Vocal Improvments" with Yell based singer Andy Ross.

A special concert to herald the opening of the festival will also be promoted this year, taking place in Lerwick Town Hall on Sunday 7th March at 7pm. More details of this very special event will be published shortly. However, the organisers say the bill will feature a range of top quality school-based performers, together with those involved in delivering the festival workshops, while the adjudicator himself, Mr Eric Tebbett, will also be appearing on stage in a performance related capacity. Tickets for this event will go on sale shortly through the Shetland Box Office in Islesburgh Community Centre.

This year's "Festival Gala Concert" changes to a Thursday night from its usual Friday night spot. The concert, which features the highlights and stand-out acts of the festival, will take place in the Clickimin Centre on Thursday 11th March at 7pm.

Festival Coordinator Davie Gardner said the festival was coming together well and everyone concerned, including the young people themselves, hoped it would be as successful as always. “With the emphasis being on primary age performers this year, it will inevitably be a very different event from last year” he said. However, diversity is one of the strengths of this particular festival. It's exciting in that it provides us all with a terrific opportunity to publicly profile and witness first hand not only the musical talents of our local school-based musicians, plus what we actually get for our financial investment in this respect, but it's also a unique snapshot of what the future holds in terms of emerging musical talent in Shetland”.

Further details of the festival, and all its related events and components, will appear in the local press shortly, while a full programme of classes and events will be made available prior to the festival commencing.

For more information on the above contact:

Davie Gardner on 01595 695675 or mobile 07867 654 509.