TWO Talented Young Musicians In The Spotlight At Peter Pan’s Birthplace


At a press call featuring a number of council funded arts organisations — the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, Spring Fling, the Wigtown Book Festival and the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust — the faces of Elia Davidson (aged 16) and Kate Kyle (aged 14) illuminated the growing involvement of young people in Scotland’s largest rural performing arts festival.

Elia, who is a pupil of St Joseph’s College and Kate who goes to Dumfries High School are just two of the young performers and music promoters who have taken advantage of the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival’s popular guarantee scheme.

They will give a concert at the Usual Place, Dumfries, on Thursday, 26 May, at 7.30pm.

This show will take the form of an intimate musical gathering featuring these fresh acoustic singer/songwriters. The pair will perform a selection of original material and a few popular covers.

On Saturday, 28 May, Elia and Kate will perform alongside two world acts and some of the best musicians in Scotland today at a free outdoor event on the Plainstanes in Dumfries. The line-up for the day includes performances by the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, the Scottish Ensemble, Robyn Stapleton and Canada’s Ian Sherwood.

Elia and Kate will also be appearing at a special gig with Emily Smith and Jamie McClennan in Thornhill on Saturday, 21 May. Entitled Music Beats, the concert gives the region’s young musicians a chance to showcase their work to a live audience as well as an opportunity to enjoy the concert experience.

Kate, who will also be performing alongside Emma Gillespie for the festival and who has been asked to play at this August’s Festival of Politics in Edinburgh, said: “I have experience of performing in front of a live audience, having been a regular musician at the Stove and the Globe Inn, but someone else normally curates and promotes my appearances.

“The festival has given us the opportunity to put on our own show and experience the work involved in all aspects of promotion.

“It’s a really great experience for me as I’m looking to pursue a career in music

“It’s also good to be in full control of the event.

“It has been interesting to find out how much work has to be done in the background and I’m grateful to the festival for giving me the opportunity by guaranteeing the performance against loss. The whole experience has helped to build my confidence.”

Other young artists who have promoted and will put on their own performances include Samson Sounds, an exciting five-piece Glasgow electronic act, three members of which are from the region, who will bring their energetic and immersive performance to the Thornhill Community Centre on Saturday, 21 May; the award-winning Emma’s Imagination brings her guests to the CatStrand on Friday, 20 May; and the Oasis Youth Centre in Dumfries will host alt pop-music internet sensation Nathan Grisdale at the Centre on 26 May.

On a classical note, as part of its Dumfries and Galloway four-day residency, the Scottish Ensemble will be holding musical workshops in schools and, on Saturday, 28 May, the musicians will be collaborating with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Music Works who will be holding music sessions with young people at Dumfries Academy ending in a performance by the older participants at the town’s Plainstanes.

Aspiring young musicians will also have the opportunity to take part in a unique multi-arts performance, brought to the Stove in Dumfries by Orphaned Limbs Collective.

The Scotland-based artist group will be working with communities from 25 May to 27 May holding live music sets, workshops and performances in dance and drama.

The festival is also supporting young audiences (under 26) who are being offered half price tickets for shows on the main festival programme plus an extra 15% discount of tickets for groups of eight or more.

Further information from www.dgartsfestival.org.uk

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