I would walk 5000 miles – 4 aspiring young traditional musicians from Mallaig High School fly to Chengdu City to perform in the largest students art event in Southern-West China, at the invitation of the Chengdu Government next month.
Hats off to these four emerging musicians from Mallaig who are thrilled to have been invited to attend the 9th China Young Cultural Ambassadors Performing Festival to showcase their traditional Scottish talents. Their journey to Chengdu City will take them over 5000 miles from their home in Mallaig, Lochaber to perform at the China Young Cultural Ambassadors Program. The program is held by The China Society of Education, is the largest association under the direct lead of Chinese Ministry of Education. Since 2010, in which the program launched, more than 500 million students from Beijing, Tianjin, Chengdu, and Guangzhou and beyond have participated in this project.
The 9th China Young Cultural Ambassadors Group Art Performing Festival is an important part of the program under the cooperation between the China Young Cultural Ambassadors Organising Committee and Chengdu City Government (The City Department of Education,Chengdu City Department of Culture, Radio, Television, and Tourism). It is also the largest students’ art event in Southern-West China. This year, the program gathers together 50 youth music groups of more than 2000 students, and will be reported by Chinese Centre television (CCTV), Global Times, Tencet, as well as other media.
Under the tutelage and musical direction of Lauren Moir, Head of Music Mallaig High School and musician in her own right with band Riska, the four musicians, Ellie Tevendale, 17, (scots fiddle), Georgia Dennis 17, (guitar), Struan Robertson 14, (Highland Bagpipes) and Anna Robertson, 16 (Scots fiddle) are all pupils at Mallaig High School. Regular performers in the Lochaber area and further afield, with between them and under their belts individually they have tallied up competitive playing, public performances at the opening night of Celtic Connections, Blas Festival, Feisean and a host of trad music events.
“Our youngsters are passionate about Scottish traditional music, its part of their culture and their identity. What an amazing opportunity for them to showcase their talents and represent their heritage on an international platform.” commented Lauren Moir, the pupils Head of Music, Mallaig High School.
The preparations are already underway with rehearsals and sound checks in the diary, visas to collect from the Embassy in Edinburgh, not least the luggage allowances for all the instruments. The band fly out on the 19th April to a packed itinerary and three public performances on their 4 day event before returning back to Mallaig just in time to take their Higher and Advanced Higher examinations, in music of course!