More than a thousand school children will be taking to the stage this month for the annual Shetland Schools Music Festival.
With around 250 entries in 24 different musical classes, the event has been described as one not to be missed. The festival itself runs from Monday 19th to Thursday 22nd March, and culminates in a gala concert on the final night at the Clickimin Centre.
This year the festival will feature solo, duet, choir and group performances from primary school age children at Lerwick Town Hall and Clickimin.
Taking up the challenge of adjudicator is recently-retired Neil Morris, who has many years experience as a teacher, adjudicator and professional musician.
As always, the festival will incorporate the Junior and Senior “Young Musician of the Year” competitions, with no less than 21 entrants playing at least 10 different instruments. This year the competitions will be judged by David Griffiths and Brian Jones, both hugely experienced instrumental teachers from Orkney.
Several schools have been lucky enough to take part in singing and choir development workshops this year, with the help of the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS). They have been practicing hard, and will come together for an exciting performance at the gala concert – to be co-ordinated by Anne Murphy from NYCoS.
SIC training and development officer Sarah Henry said: “The Schools Music Festival is a very important date in the calendar, giving children and young people the chance to come together to celebrate all the music-making which goes on in schools and the wider community throughout the year.
“The opportunity to watch performances and participate in a professional setting is something that doesn’t happen every day. For many of our young people, it will be the start of a life-long passion for, and involvement with, music.”
All the festival events, including the gala concert, are free of charge, although donations will be more than welcome. The organisers would like to thank all the individuals, groups and organisations that have provided donations to support the festival so far.