The students, who are the first intake for the university’s new BA (Hons) in applied music, are gathering in Inverness to start their course with a four-day intensive residency. After meeting on Monday (17 September) the budding musicians will work together to compose original pieces which they will perform at the Centre for Health Science from 1-2pm on Tuesday (18 September.)
Coming from as far afield as Shetland in the North and the Borders in the South, the students bring a range of influences, interests and skills. They will be performing a diverse set which could include anything from rock and pop to jazz, classical and traditional pieces.
The students will also be showcasing what they learned over the course of their residency with a final concert at Inverness Cathedral. Starting at 7pm on Thursday 20 September, the free concert will include newly composed songs as well as some of the students’ favourite performances pieces. The concert is being supported by Forres-based company, Moray Firth Pianos, which is providing free loan and delivery of a grand piano.
Speaking about the concert, University of the Highlands and Islands principal and vice-chancellor, James Fraser, said: “We’re delighted that our music provision has ignited a flame of creativity and culture across the Highlands and Islands. The Highlands and Islands’ heritage of traditional music enriched by other styles provides new opportunities for composition and performance for all our students.”
Validated in the spring 2012, the university’s BA (Hons) in applied music aims to support students to use their skills in a variety of areas, including educational and community settings, performance practice, research and IT and remote based collaborations. The course is led from Lews Castle College UHI’s Benbecula campus, but can be studied from several locations in the Highlands and Islands. This allows students to capitalise from and contribute to the cultural assets in their own communities.
Course director, Anna-Wendy Stevenson commented: “The demand for this course is clear as we have been able to select a very strong and diverse cohort of students who are based all over Scotland. These students will be taught using innovative approaches and by some of the top tutors, practitioners and entrepreneurs in the industry. It’s exciting to be involved in a course which recognises the need for music to have application and relevance, for the practitioner, the industry and the community.”
Iain MacMillan, principal of Lews Castle College UHI, added: “The BA (Hons) applied music will provide opportunities for all students and partners in the university to draw on the cultural assets in our communities. The cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands and our musical traditions are unique and worth investing in so we are delighted to be leading this programme from the Western Isles. This innovative approach to the study of music is flexible and responsive to the contemporary requirements of those pursuing a musical career and it provides many exciting and relevant learning opportunities afforded by the links we have established with key organisations in music and creative industries.”
You can find out more about the BA (Hons) in applied music at www.uhi.ac.uk or by calling 0845 272 3600.
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