Scots Music Group are the eighteenth recipients of Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight Award. The “Limelight’s” are a monthly initiative (launched in October 2012) that recognises the outstanding contributions made by businesses and organisations who contribute, shape and influence the arts and cultural sector in Scotland today. Scots Music Group have served traditional music, song and dance needs in Edinburgh since 1991.
We asked Steve Byrne of Scots Music Group the following questions.
What is your principle company activity?
Providing classes in traditional music, song and dance for adults in Edinburgh, alongside community events, ceilidhs, concerts and sessions. We currently run 24 classes per week over 30 weeks of the academic year, September to June.
When and where did the company first start trading?
SMG started in 1991 as part of Edinburgh’s Adult Learning Project but became in independent organisation and registered charity in 2004.
What made you want to work in Scottish culture?
We have a fundamental belief that Scottish music, song and dance provide a great vehicle for community building and enhancing people’s lives. We also seek to create a positive and critical relationship of respect and status for Scottish music, song and dance that it may live in the heart of the local community and beyond. In doing so we aim to build a repertoire in the Scottish idiom, with reference to the past, present and into the future. Alongside that, we aim to foster connections with, and explore the traditions of music, song and dance of other cultures.
Can you tell us of any particular company highlights?
Winning the Scottish Trad Music Award for Community Project in 2007.
Also the support we received from our students and members in keeping the organisation going after withdrawal of funding several years ago has been fantastic, and we are now entirely self-funded for our core programme.
What are your company’s plans for the future?
We plan to consolidate our popular programme which has been gradually increasing in participation over the past three years since our reorganisation. We will be looking to add new classes and expand our offering to include further short courses following their introduction in the past year. Overall, we want to continue enhancing the health and wellbeing of Edinburgh communities through the joy of trad music and song.
How will you celebrate receiving Hands Up for Trad’s Business Limelight award?
Probably with a wee dance at our monthly fundraising ceilidh at St Bride’s Centre (hint hint!)
Contact Scots Music Group
Eric Liddell Centre
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