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Student musicians tune up for Belladrum

Belladrum 2017 students

Nicky Murray and Liam Ross

Ross music students are gearing up to showcase their skills at the Belladrum festival. Two University of the Highlands and Islands’ acts have been given the opportunity to open the Seedlings Stage at the sell-out event.
Liam Ross (22) from Invergordon will take to the stage at 11:30am on Friday 4 August. A skilled acoustic guitarist, he will entertain the audience with a range of original compositions and classic covers which showcase his lightning fast, finger picking style.
Liam, who has has been playing guitar since he was eleven and is now in the fourth year of a BA (Hons) in applied music at North Highland College UHI, is excited about his festival debut. He said: “I feel ecstatic to not only to be playing at Belladrum, but to be opening the Seedlings Stage this year. It is a great platform for me which is important to help my music to grow and to reach new people.”
Nicky Murray (21) will open the Seedlings Stage at 11:30am on Saturday 5 August. Originally from Glasgow, Nicky moved to Tain to study for a BA in applied music at North Highland College UHI. An experienced singer and guitarist, Nicky will deliver a set of original, acoustic material accompanied by local fiddlers Shannon McGuinness and Chloe Rodgers.
Nicky has already played at the Eden festival in Moffat this year and is looking forward to adding Belladrum to his itinerary. Speaking about the style of his music, he said: “We play soft acoustic music. I’ve never been sure how to describe our genre, it’s been described as weird many times. I strongly believe in expression. I’m working hard on my second album just now which will hopefully be out this winter.”
As well as honing their skills on stage, university students will also be gaining experience behind the scenes. Belladrum’s organisers have been working with the university to provide six placement positions. Students from across the University of the Highlands and Islands will be taking up roles as box office assistants, press assistants, entertainment assistants and will be working with the production and artist liaison teams.
Festival founder, Joe Gibbs, said: “We are excited to be supporting talented young University of the Highlands and Islands’ musicians again - they have a wonderful track record of excellence at Bella and I am sure this year will be no different.”

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