Musical pupils impress on festival’s first day

The Shetland Schools’ Music Festival got under way at Mareel today with woodwind, brass and piano musicians taking to the stage.

The focus is on secondary pupils and the adjudicator, Paul Clancy from Dundee, provided detailed and constructive advice to the youngsters who played in solo and duet classes.

Scondary 1 pupil Eilidh Mouat was among today’s performers and was delighted with the response she received from Mr Clancy.

Eilidh played both the recorder and the clarinet in the Woodwind Solo class. She said, “I really, really enjoyed it. I got gold for both.

“The adjudicator said that I played the recorder very well and that I had a really good musical feel for the clarinet. I think that is the best I’ve ever played the recorder.”

Festival chairwoman, Lesley Simpson, fresh from her involvement in the South Mainland Up-Helly-A’ as Guizer Jarl said there were more than 200 entrants. She said it was important because it gave each of them the opportunity to perform in Mareel’s professional setting.

“They get the experience of performing on the stage here at Mareel.” For some, she said it would be the only chance they get to do that, “for others it’s honing performance skills.”

Either way, “It’s amazing that there’s so many that just practise and practise. Some do more than one, or two, or three instruments. The standard is tremendous.”

In today’s evening session, which began at 7pm, it was the turn of the small and large groups from the Anderson High School and Brae and Sandwick junior high schools to show off their skills before Mr Clancy.

More on the festival online throughout this week and in The Shetland Times on Friday.


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