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New fund to help Highland musicians

By Andrew Dixon

Moira Leslie and Kyle Cameron outside Balnain House, the former Home of Highland Music.
Moira Leslie and Kyle Cameron outside Balnain House, the former Home of Highland Music.

A HIGHLAND music charity is launching a new funding scheme to help and encourage young musicians, students and groups in the study, performance and promotion of Scottish traditional music, song and dance.

The Friends of Highland Music Youth Fund of £5000 is open for applications from people aged up to 23 based in the Highlands or Western Isles.

This is the first time it has created a fund specifically targeting young people and applications are open until August 31.

Moira Leslie, chairwoman of Friends of Highland Music, said: “We exist to promote traditional music skills in their many forms from fiddle to clarsach, to Gaelic and Scots song and step dancing, and we want to encourage more young people to come to us for support to develop and maintain those skills in fun and creative ways.

“This fund can help with fees for tuition and residential courses, but we would welcome applications for more innovative projects, from individuals and groups alike. This is a first for us, and so is very much a pilot scheme, but if successful, we hope to repeat it.”

Friends of Highland Music has given support to traditional musicians for many years, including Rachel Campbell of Astar School of Traditional Music, Gaelic and Highland Culture in Inverness and talented young piper Kyle Cameron who has received several grants from the organisation over the last few years, enabling him to attend events across the country.

Grants from the youth fund will be given towards meeting the cost of specific expenditure and will not impact the group’s usual grant-giving capacity.

Friends of Highland Music was originally known as Friends of Balnain House.

Apply at www.friends-of-highland-music.org

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