Aberdeenshire Council’s Music Service held their first ever Youth Music Session for over 250 parents and guests.
There are currently three projects in the works with each offering a series of intensive sessions over a short period of time with a presentation on the final day for parents and invited guests to enjoy.
Aberdeenshire Youth Music Sessions (AYMS) has replaced Music Centers in providing music making opportunities for extra-curricular band.
Together, the three projects have attracted more than 150 participants.
Justin Brooke, Aberdeenshire Council’s Director of Music Development, said: “We are so fortunate in Aberdeenshire to have such a dedicated team of coaches who are leading our young people in a new way of working for service, coaches and pupils.
“The inclusion of young musicians at the beginning of their musical journey as well as the involvement of advanced young musicians is an important part of these new projects.
“We will continue to offer the local authorities the opportunity to play in bands in a difficult period financially. Congratulations to all the staff and pupils who have made their first AYMS project a success.”
The first AYMS took place at Mackey’s Academy on Sunday, March 5th with performances by a middle band led by Music Service instructors Sarah Goff and Bruce Wallace and assisted by volunteer musicians Rosie Martin and Rhys Gordon.
The band played Rock One by Peter H Riddle, Chaos Mountain by Michael Oare, Fires of Mazama by Michael Sweeney and Smoke on the Water arranged by Johnny Vinson.
It has also performed with a small string orchestra conducted by Martin Cosin, Joseph Hibbs and Sandra Thompson, playing Kingston Calypso by K&D Blackwell, New World Symphony by Dvorak and Mbube by Solomon Linda.
AYMS also offers opportunities for older and more advanced students to support projects as Young Leaders. This role, which 11 young musicians have taken up this term, involves assisting during sessions in a variety of ways, both musically and practically.
AYMS’ third project, the String Orchestra in Inverurie, is conducted by Zoe Davidson, Sarah Gove and Martin Couzin, with assistance from volunteer musicians Douglas Watt and Katie Bowes.
Their final session took place at the Inverurie Academy on Saturday March 11th with performances of Tom-Tom-Tomahawk by Sheila M. Nelson, and Susannah and Lisa Meet Polly at the Races by Stephen Foster.
It is planned that similar projects will be implemented in the next academic session in the northern regions.
Aberdeenshire Council’s Director of Education, Lawrence Findlay, who attended, said: “The young musicians clearly enjoyed the sessions and played with great enthusiasm to the delight of the crowd.
“Free music lessons were introduced last year and there has been a need to make significant changes to the extracurricular elements of the music industry given our ongoing budget challenges.
“I am glad to see – and hear – the positive progress that has been made so far with these opportunities for our youth.”
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