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Make Music Day: Events across Scotland to celebrate world’s biggest grassroots DIY festival

© Andy GottsNicola Benedetti
Nicola Benedetti

A range of in-person and online events are planned across Scotland and the UK to mark Make Music Day on June 21.

The global celebration of grassroots, DIY music encourages musicians, producers, promoters and music lovers to collaborate and organise in-person and online performances in their communities.

Among those backing it are ambassadors Nicola Benedetti and Iona Fyfe.

Violinist Benedetti said: “I wholeheartedly support Make Music Day, a truly global music event that encourages everyone to find their creativity, be it as a performer or listener and to share in the joy of making and appreciating great music.”

Singer Fyfe added: “I’m delighted to support Make Music Day. Music transcends generation, background, class, language barriers and more. Make Music Day brings people together and allows communities to connect, even virtually at a time when many people are struggling with isolation and loneliness. Make Music Day is inclusive and widens access to music making all over the UK. ”

© Elly Lucas
Iona Fyfe

In Scotland, events already planned include the launch of a new film and song by asylum seeking and refugee musicians Musicians in Exile, in association with The Glasgow Barons (Artists in Residence in Govan).

Live Music Now are planning live concerts outdoors and online for care home residents and Hands Up for Trad will be broadcasting live traditional music performances from Scotland and around the world including fiddler Ellie McLaren and singer Ellie Beaton.

Scottish youth bands and choirs will be taking part in the Music Education Partnership Group’s online concert and for the Signing Glee School Challenge, children across the country will learn to sign Stand By Me and connect via livestream for a simultaneous performance.

In Edinburgh, the Syncopate digital concert organised by Reel Youth Media will showcase young performers taking part in music making activities across the capital’s 23 high schools and 88 primary schools.

A range of free, comprehensive support is available to musicians and event organisers, including a suite of toolkits, Covid-19 rehearsing and performing guidelines, meetups and online workshops on topics from live streaming to publicity, and much more.

All events can be listed free on the Make Music Day UK website, where anyone can search for an event happening in their local area or online.

Musicians are also invited to take part in one of the many national and international projects, designed to encourage global collaboration and tackle some of the unprecedented challenges of music making and inclusion during the global pandemic.

On the day itself, Make Music Day UK’s official Livestream Broadcast will feature performances and projects from Scotland and across the UK, showcasing the breadth of the celebrations of this global event.

Barbara Eifler, Chair of Make Music Day UK, said: “There are even more reasons to get involved in Make Music Day this year, when Covid-19 has shown us how much music can help and heal.

“As we look forward to a gradually post-pandemic world, celebrating Make Music Day seems a particularly fitting way of bringing our communities together again after months of isolation, pain and loss.

“Of course, it’s not yet all over – but the resilience of this celebration is that it can be online or offline and speak to millions of people, and also connect us to musicians just like us across the world.”