This year’s Shetland Schools Music Festival is set to take place from 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 Musician of the Year competitions.
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 go to some interesting and exciting music development workshops courtesy of the Scottish Arts Council’s youth music initiative fund.
All performance 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 31 music classes 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 throughout Shetland’s schools.
To adjudicate the various classes and competitions the festival organisers have invited back Eric Tebbett, who adjudicated at last year’s 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 an extremely popular one with pupils and staff alike.
The music workshops for pupils of secondary age 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 DJing for beginners with DJ Nadia and Fraser Mouat; and vocal improvements 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 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 Tebbett, will also be appearing on stage. 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 co-ordinator Davie Gardner said the festival was coming together well and everyone concerned, including the young people involved, 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 and 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.”