Free Inverness gigs to showcase fresh student talent

Seventy music students and staff from the University of the Highlands and Islands are to descend on Inverness on 9 September for a musical celebration.

The university’s applied music students will spend four days rehearsing, creating music and performing gigs as part of a FREE mini festival to kick start their new academic year. Based at the Old High St Stephen Church Halls in the city’s Church Street for rehearsals and creative workshops, the students will be performing in various locations including the Centre for Health Science, The High Church itself and three times at Hootenanny with musical genres including traditional music, classical, jazz.

Wednesday 11 September, 1pm - Centre for Health and Wellbeing, Raigmore Hospital

Thursday 12 September, 5.30pm - concert Sponsored by Moray Firth Pianos at Old High St Stephen Church, Church Street

Thursday 12 September, 8.30pm - rock music/indie concert at Mad Hatters Hootenanny, Church Street

Thursday 12 September, 9pm - traditional music session Hootenanny, Church Street

Audiences can also expect pop and rock and high quality performances as the BA (Hons) applied music is a demanding course with students from 17 to 74 years old coming from Orkney, Shetland, Uist,  Fort William, Aberdeen and the east and the central belt. And there are students from Austria, Isle of Man and Eastern Europe.

This is the first residency of four to be held at different locations throughout the academic year. The next will be in Shetland in the November, and another is planned for the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow in January.

James Fraser, principal and vice-chancellor, University of the Highlands and Islands said: “This is great for the city and for the university. We aim to enrich the communities we work in and kick-starting the course here in Inverness and then spreading out across the Highlands and Islands, is a clear example of how we operate.”

Iain MacMillan, principal of Lews Castle College UHI, where the Applied Music course is based added: “This is the second year of the course and the quality and the variety of music is stunning.”

Anna-Wendy Stevenson programme leader and leading fiddle player said: “Having five concerts over four days in Inverness is a great professional experience for these students.”


Media contact

Anna-Wendy Stevenson

Tel: 07989 354155


Notes to editors

Now in its second year, the new BA (Hons) applied music degree has attracted huge numbers of applicants of multi genre backgrounds from the Highlands and Islands and central belt.  Focusing on performance, composition and the various applications of music from health and wellbeing to digital recording and performance, the range of experience offered on this course makes this a truly dynamic and outward looking degree.

The course enables students to stay in their own communities and learn using a blended learning model.  Combining online, face to face and video conference learning with intensive residential courses, students are provided with an opportunity to explore and engage with the cultural and educational assets of Highlands and Islands region.

Over the past year residencies have taken place in the Outer Hebrides, Glasgow, Perthshire and Inverness, and included performances at various festivals including Celtic connections and various radio and TV broadcasts. Every September this degree programme will run a residency in inverness home to the executive office of the University of the Highlands and Islands - essentially a small music festival.  This is an exciting time for the university as new degrees in music are added to the portfolio of innovative programmes including a masters level MA music and the environment which is attracting international students to the region.