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National Youth Orchestra Of Canada Ryan Buchanan 1 Photo: Ryan Buchanan

Our work with Communities

Think Global, Act Local

Patrick Geddes

Every year, the International Festival brings the best artists and productions to Scotland. A large part of our Learning and Engagement work is to make sure the people who live in Edinburgh and beyond are able to share in experience all of the great work being put on. We work closely with a range of communities to help provide access to the programme, engagement and education in the arts, and the ability to participate in the International Festival.

Lau-Land Big Tune Machine | Photo: Ryan Buchanan
Lau-Land Big Tune Machine

The backbone of folk music is the thousands of people who play this music informally, and the teachers who keep the traditions alive. The Lau-Land Big Tune Machine is an unashamedly joyous celebration of this music and the wonderful social community that surrounds it.

As part of their Light on the Shore with Edinburgh Gin Seaside day of curated folk music at Leith Theatre, Lau collaborated with the International Festival on the Big Tune Machine. Bringing together players of all ages they created a folk music big band like no other. Rehearsals took place in June with Amy Geddes and Donald Knox of Fyne Fiddles, before the troupe came together at Leith Theatre to perform a brand-new composition. The afternoon culminated in an open session for those who wished to stay and play.

Youth Ensembles

As part of its 2018 Usher Hall season, the International Festival presented an extraordinary collection of hugely talented young musicians from all over the world.

As part of this celebration of young talent, the International Festival worked closely with communities throughout Edinburgh and beyond, to make sure that the young people of Scotland were able to see some of this incredible live music. Groups including Edinburgh Young Carers, the Welcoming Association, NHS Merchiston, WHALE Arts and a variety of ESL schools in Edinburgh received complimentary tickets and travel support to attend classic music performance.

Connections made included Tinderbox Orchestra musicians getting the chance to meet with the young performers for NYO-USA Jazz before they watched their full concert. We were also pleased to be able to offer a free pop-up performance from the brass players from the National Youth Orchestra of Canada who performed at 6VT Youth Café, providing an opportunity for those unlikely to traditionally engage with classical music the chance to hear it live in their own surroundings.

National Youth Choir of Scotland at the 2018 International Festival | Photo: Ryan Buchanan
Audience Engagement

Following on from this year’s audience engagement focused specifically around the youth ensembles, further opportunities were created to expand the reach of the communities connecting with the International Festival and the work they attended. From Stewart Laing’s new theatre production, The End of Eddy, to the finale Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, community groups were all welcomed to the International Festival to enjoy and celebrate the programme on offer.

Autobiography | Photo: Richard Davies
Wayne McGregor

To coincide with the International Festival’s presentation of Autobiography, the latest work from Wayne McGregor, two dancers from Studio Wayne McGregor came to Edinburgh in June to present three days of workshops.

Working closely with Dance Base, the first workshop was presented to an intergenerational class of the Lothian Youth Dance Company and PRIME, the semi-professional dance company for over 60s. The first time the two groups had come together, the workshop taught the participants elements of the Autobiography choreography and enabled them to create their own response pieces to the themes of the work which culminated in a sharing of work. The groups would later go on to work together on Bonnie and her Splashmob, a pop-up dance performance as part of the Glasgow Championships 2018, and as such the Wayne McGregor workshop was the perfect way to begin their partnership.

The other two days of workshops took place at Broughton High School, working one day with a group of their dance specialist students, and then other day with pupils from the school who do not actively engage in dance.

Soul Boxes Workshop © Mihaela Bodlovic 050

Our work with Children

International Festival Young Peoples Awards © Mihaela Bodlovic 12

Our work with Young People

Power Gender And The Arts Ryan Buchanan 012

Our work with Talent Development