Adjudicator praises ‘above national standard’ of music festival youngsters

Monday morning saw the opening session of the Shetland Schools’ Music Festival in Mareel.

This year is the turn of the primary pupils and with a huge number of entries from schools across Shetland, it has been an eventful week.

Adjudicator Hughina Naylor was undertaking the role in Shetland for the first time. She works for the Scottish Qualifications Authority and lectures in conducting and teaching. She was previously resident conductor of the National Wind Band of Scotland and is frequently invited to guest conduct bands throughout the UK.

Speaking after the morning session, which included drum set, brass, piano, guitar, accordion and open classes, Ms Naylor said she was extremely impressed with the standard of the youngsters she had watched. In particular, she thought that the drum kit playing was “exceptional” and that such a high standard was quite unusual from children so young.

Ms Naylor put some of this down to the standard of teaching which is taking place across Shetland. She said: “There must be a lot of good teaching going on in Shetland to help produce the quality that I’ve seen today, which is above national standards.”

Woodwind was the focus of the afternoon session, with both solo and duet classes.

A concert followed on Monday night with groups including the Bell’s Brae Orchestra, the Shetland Community Brass Band Juniors and the Scalloway String Quartet.


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