News stories – 20th May 2021

Here’s a round up of what has been taking place recently and what’s coming up.

Lewis & Harris provincial Mòds

Both the Lewis & Harris provincial Mòds are taking place online this year and we hope that many of the pupils who have been working with the Instrumental Music Teachers during this year will contribute to these events.

Strings news

String pupils from primary & secondary schools in Lewis & Harris recently took part in a collaborative project with string pupils from North Ayrshire Instrumental Music Service. During the months of February & March the pupils rehearsed together online once a week, with senior pupils receiving online workshops with musicians from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, with the project culminated in the recording of 6 pieces.

The first of these videos (Mrs MacLeod of Raasay) can be viewed below and the remainder will be available shortly on this blog and via our social media channels.


Brass & wind

Two wind and brass pupils, Elizabeth and Francesca Greenstock, achieved places with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Junior Orchestra.  One current student and two former students have applied to join the reserve band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland.  The Lewis and Harris Youth Concert Band (LHYCB) achieved a Gold award in the finals of the Scottish Concert Band Festival with a video compilation of Neil Johnstone’s march ‘Colin Scott Mackenzie of Stornoway’. The bands entry into the festival can be viewed below

LHYCB have been asked to collaborate on a joint performance of a new commission with Eccleshall Band (Shropshire) to celebrate the ending of lockdown.  The lockdown activities of LHYCB are to be featured in an article by ‘The British Association of Symphonic Bands and Wind Ensembles’-


Instrumental Music Service staff, along with the Comhairle’s Multimedia Unit, have been working together to produce a legacy resource from the successful e-Ceilidh events which ran during lockdown and beyond in 2020. The eBook is nearing completion and we hope to be able to launch this early in the next school session – keep your eyes peeled for more information nearer the time.

Two of our Instrumental Music Teachers, Gavin Woods & Anna Murray, represented Comhairle nan Eilean Siar at the Gallipoli commemorations on the Monday the 27th of April.

Gavin noted the following : “In attendance was Colin Scott Mackenzie whose father was trumpeter with the RMB battery band during the first world war.  The regiment was based at the Drill Hall in Stornoway and it is interesting to note that Colin’s father may well have sounded the last post from exactly the same spot as I did. The regiment fought at Gallipoli and were the first TA regiment ashore and indeed the first artillery regiment to reach the beaches.


The memorial in the background commemorates the regiment whose full title was The Ross and Cromarty Mountain Battery.   The battery not only had the first regimental brass band in Scotland but also a mounted pipe band.”  



Anna played the newly discovered tune ‘Graves of Gallipoli’ which was written during the war and was arranged by Avril Allen, PT Music at The Nicolson Institute.

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