This year’s Shetland School’s Music Festival will take place next month over five days in Lerwick Town Hall, culminating with a gala concert in the Clickimin Centre on the evening of Friday 13th March.
The festival will in the main feature secondary school participants and performers along with primary seven soloists and duets, while the associated festival workshop programme will be open to primary six and seven pupils from across Shetland.
Over 260 individual entries have been received and there will be 40 different musical classes making up the programme, incorporating vocals, piano, brass, woodwind, strings and accordion.
Other classes include choirs and small and large groups of various kinds, ranging from orchestras to ensembles and traditional music groups.
As in previous years all participants will be assessed by a professional, and this year the festival welcomes back Eric Tebbett as adjudicator.
Festival classes and performances will begin at 9.30am on Monday 9th March and run each day through to late afternoon. There will also be concert-style performances, also in the town hall, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, featuring school choirs and many of the large and small music groups.
On Thursday 12th March, the Town Hall will play host to the prestigious junior and senior young musicians of the year competition, while on Friday the gala concert at Clickimin will feature not only the winners of these competitions but many of the other outstanding and diverse acts to have appeared during the earlier part of the event. Public entry to all events, with the exception of the gala concert, will be free. However, festival programmes will be on sale throughout the event and any donations, especially related to attending the evening events, will also be gratefully received.
Tickets for the gala concert will shortly go on sale at Islesburgh Community Centre, priced £5 and £3 concession, while all school pupils will be free of charge.
In addition to the performance elements of the festival, a programme of music workshops for primary six and seven classes will also take place during the week. These will be delivered in various parts of the Mainland and the North Isles.
The workshops will feature: songs from around the world (delivered by the Music Workshop Company from Stevenage); African drumming (delivered by Joy Duncan from Scalloway;) and samba (delivered by Shetland resident Angus Dow). Festival co-ordinator Davie Gardner said he and the Shetland schools service were delighted with the quantity and quality of participants, and equally with the sheer enthusiasm for the festival from staff and pupils alike.
Mr Gardner said: “The huge entry for this year’s festival clearly highlights the massive amount, quality and diversity of music-related work and studies currently ongoing throughout Shetland’s education system, both public and private.
“The festival will hopefully demonstrate and raise the profile of this within the local community, act as an important celebration and recognition of our young musician’s achievements, and create exciting and developmental performance related opportunities for them throughout the week.”