Music4Uist celebrates with Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

James Slimings enjoyed leading the newly named Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's Uist based workshops.
James Slimings enjoyed leading the newly named Royal Conservatoire of Scotland's Uist based workshops.

THE Royal Conservatoire of Scotland launched its new name on September 1, with 30 days of events taking place all over Scotland.

Each day during September, musicians, singers and other artists from the Royal Conservatoire – formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama – are performing at a number of locations including performances at the Scottish Parliament, the Falkirk Wheel, the Govan Ferry and a whistle stop tour of ScotRail stations, all forming part of the calendar of events to celebrate the new name.

And three of the first events were held in South Uist, North Uist and Benbecula on Saturday, September 3.

Young singing student and conductor at the former Academy, James Slimings, led ‘Sing Sing Sing’, a series of lively singing workshops where African chants and Gaelic songs met the Beatles.

Although there was a strong focus on singing technique the workshops were enjoyed by everyone who was willing to give it a go, as James said: “Singing isn’t only an intellectual beast, it is also physical, social and hugely enjoyable. Making some friends and having the spark of singing in a group ignited is honestly addictive!”

“Can we have him back again?” said several participants.

Commenting on the name change, Principal Professor John Wallace CBE, said: “The old name no longer reflected who we are and after a great deal of consultation and debate, we settled upon the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

“The name change is a once in a generation event. This has been Scotland’s national conservatoire for many years, all but in name. Now it’s official and I am delighted to be part of this momentous event.”

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is unique in the UK in its offering of specialist training in the five disciplines of the performance arts. Dance, screen, production arts, as well as music and drama, are all part of the Royal Conservatoire’s portfolio.

“I was thrilled to realise that our workshops would come at the very beginning of this special month of events”, said organiser, Catherine Eunson. “The very high level of enthusiasm and skill shown by James reflects tremendously well both on himself and his teachers at the RCS.

“This is our first experience in Uist of collaboration with the Conservatoire, and I hope it will be the first of many,” she added.

Music4Uist are grateful to People Making Waves for the funding to enable these workshops to take place.