This year’s Shetland Schools Music Festival has been hailed as an “enthralling and entertaining glimpse” into the vast amount of musical talent and ability in schools across the isles.
The week-long festival drew to a conclusion on Friday evening in the Town Hall after 260 entrants had performed there and at Clickimin Centre over the course of the week. The festival – back on the calendar after being cancelled by the council’s schools service in 2008 – centred on secondary schools and primary seven pupils with over 260 entrants. As many as 1,000 young people are estimated to have participated in the many activities with an array of solo, duet and group performances.
The two big winners were singer Erin Sandison from Scalloway, who gained the accolade of Shetland’s Senior Young Musician of the Year for 2009, and violinist and pianist Sophie Wishart from Cunningsburgh, who won the award for Junior Young Musician of the Year.
After winning the prestigious award with a performance described as “flawless”, a “chuffed” Erin said: “I’ve put in a lot of work and I’ve been really busy with exams comin’ up too. But it’s been worth it.”
Sophie gave a big smile after winning her award and said she felt “great” about her success. “I was a peerie bit nervous but I am really happy,” she said.
The competitive element of the festival was adjudicated by the internationally celebrated music educator Eric Tebbet, who described some of the talent on display as truly “world class”.
Along with the performance elements, there were also a series of workshops for Shetland’s primary 6 and 7 pupils, delivered in Lerwick, the North Isles, north Mainland, west Mainland and south Mainland, featuring “Songs of the World”, African drumming and Samba.
You can read full coverage of the 2009 Shetland Schools Music Festival by Shetland Arts’ music development officer Bryan Peterson here.