Stornoway tunes up for music residency

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Stornoway is set to welcome music students from across the University of the Highlands and Islands April 19th – 22nd 2016.

This will be the final residency for fourth year students who will be graduating with honours degrees in the BA Applied Music in the summer.

The week will include a showcase concert on Thursday 21st April and performances as part of the New Music Sessions on Wednesday 20th April both at the town’s An Lanntair arts centre (pictured).

Students will also have the opportunity to engage in a variety of workshops delivered by expert local musicians and artists, including psalm singing with Calum Martin, with a series of step dance classes, a song-writing workshop with contemporary musician Willie Campbell of Astrid, Artist and Representation with Pete Fletcher.

The residency will open with addresses from the Lews Castle College Principal Iain MacMillan and from Creative Scotland’s head of Creative Industries Clive Gillman.

First validated in June 2012, ‘The Applied Music Degree’ is innovative in its delivery and structure and is the only practical networked multi-genre music degree in the UK and has offered creative solutions to students based all over Scotland.

With modules delivered online and through video conferences, students can tailor their study around their professional development – enabling them to teach, tour, rehearse and realise their potential whilst studying.

Iain MacMillan explained the significance of this event: “We are proud to be the lead academic partner delivering what I am sure is one of the most ambitious and innovative degree programmes in the UK and look forward to hearing our music students perform.”

Programme Leader Anna-Wendy Stevenson explains: “We are delighted to bring our students to Stornoway – residencies are the opportunity for students to collaborate with each other and also to explore the culture of a different geographical region in Scotland.

“Each year students travel to four residencies as part of this degree programme and the Hebrides are a culturally rich and beautiful location – bursting with talent to share.”

Previous residencies have been held in Shetland, Inverness, Glasgow, Benbecula and each has a focus project.

The Stornoway residency will end with a visit to Callanish which will be the field trip set to inspire for a series of new compositions which will be performed at the next residency in Inverness September 2016.

Anna-Wendy Stevenson, continued: “Applied Music is about learning how to develop and apply, be entrepreneurial and develop a career in Music and music related industry.

“It values community and educational engagement, the development of practical skills and initiative required to work effectively.

“Many of our students are operating in informal and formal music education contexts whilst studying for this degree, so their practice is enhanced and their degree study is relevant and meaningful.

At the recent re-approval, the degree was commended for the development, teaching and learning and management.

Still new to the educational landscape, this degree has pushed boundaries in many respects including engagement and collaboration with other universities in Australia and Sweden in a real time online pass the parcel composition project as part of a Virtual residency.

The teaching staff on this programme, drawn from several academic partners in the UHI network are all engaged in international research work – as performers, composers and experts in online and video conference pedagogy and in community engagement.