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Shetland Arts offers up music scholarships

The Harris Playfair Trad Big Band Project

TWELVE young musicians from Scottish islands are being given the chance to hone their skills with a free scholarship in Shetland this summer.

Shetland Arts Development Agency has been given funding by Scotland’s Islands to pay for a dozen music students to take part two major music events.

Fiddle Frenzy is Shetland’s internationally popular fiddle school featuring a week long programme of tuition from some of the islands’ finest musicians from 7 August.

Alongside the tutorials there will be concerts by the likes of Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, dances and other workshops, such as guitar accompaniment, knitting, creative writing and art.

The Harris Playfair Youth Trad Big Band Project runs for one week from 3 August, creating a youth “super group” with some of the best local young musicians and devising big band style arrangements incorporating jazz and traditional Shetland music.

Shetland Arts normally offers two free scholarships to the winners of Shetland’s young fiddler of the year competition, but thanks to the Scottish Islands funding project this year, 10 more places are available to islanders from elsewhere in Scotland.

Scholarships are open to young people aged 14 to 26, with two places reserved for young people from islands within the local authority regions of Highland, North Ayrshire, Argyll & Bute, the Western Isles and Orkney.

The offer includes travel, accommodation, food and entry fees but scholars must stay in Shetland for the full range of events from 3 to 14 August.

Shetland Arts music development officer Bryan Peterson said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young musicians to come to Shetland and immerse themselves in our culture, and share the music of their islands with Shetlanders.”

Anyone wishing to apply should contact Mr Peterson on 01595 743843 or info@shetlandarts.org by 27 June.

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