Fife young stars set for grand bandstand weekend

Thursday 8 June 2023

Young musicians are taking over bandstands across Fife this weekend for stellar performances as part of an award-winning music outreach programme run by the University of St Andrews.

Pupils from local brass bands taking part in the St Andrews Music Participation programme (StAMP) will play in St Andrews, Cupar and Dunfermline on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June, performing a piece of music on which they have been working with composer Andrew Knight-Hill and astronomer Anne-Marie Weijmans.

The players will perform the piece from memory whilst moving around the bandstand to an electronic backing inspired by the life cycle of stars.

Ellen Thomson, Head of Outreach at the Laidlaw Music Centre, said: “Our young musicians have had some fun developing this piece with the composer Andrew over the past few months. It’s not a standard score, so they have some choices and decisions to make about what and how they play the work, which requires an understanding of the scientific concepts, as well as musical confidence. They have all risen to the challenge brilliantly, and I can’t wait to hear them play.”

Anne-Marie Weijmans, from the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “So often when music and astronomy are linked it is about using music to create a sense of awe and wonderment about the cosmos, but there is so much more. We’ve really worked to have the music and astronomy closely linked and I think the children have really benefitted from this.”

The cosmic vision of the piece is a development of previous work from a long-running arts, science and music project at the University, called Shine.

The performances are free and there is no need to book:

  • Saturday 10 June, 11am, Cupar Bandstand, KY15 4HH. Featuring Tullis Russell Mills Band; The Wizards; Cupar Beginners Brass
  • Saturday 10 June, 3pm, St Andrews Bandstand, KY16 9AB. Featuring Kingdom Brass; Kingdom Brass Youth, St Andrews Brass
  • Sunday 11 June, 3pm, Dunfermline Bandstand, KY127QL. Featuring: Clackmannan District Brass Band and Beginner Band

Part of the music performed at the bandstands will also be used in an installation at the former observatory building in St Andrews around the summer solstice in late June.

Entitled in colour, the installation will both fill and wrap around the former St Andrews observatory with sound, colour, light and shadow, providing an immersive experience.

Tim Fitzpatrick, the artist behind the installation, said: “This collaboration has given us all an amazing opportunity to breathe life into the old, unused observatory and it’s been thrilling to see new light brought into the dome which has been closed and dark for many years. I look forward with a huge anticipation to combining the effects of that light with Andrew Knight-Hill’s new composition that features StAMP participants.”

The installation runs at St Andrews Observatory, Buchanan Gardens on Wednesday 21 June from 8am to 11am; Thursday 22 June, 8am to 11am; Friday 23 June, 8am to 11am and 2pm to 5pm; and Saturday 24 June, 8am to 11am.

Image: Young musicians at East Neuk Festival. Photographer David Behrens.

Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.

Category Public interest stories

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