Wednesday 15 November 2023

The Cumnock Tryst: Celebrating East Ayrshire's young composers

The Cumnock Tryst logo
As part of The Cumnock Tryst's community engagement programme, pupils in the Higher and Advanced Higher Music classes at St. Joseph’s Academy, Kilmarnock have been taking part in a ten-week composition course with composers Gillian Walker and Sir James MacMillan (founder and artistic director of The Cumnock Tryst). Now 20 pupils and their class teacher are penning new pieces for a trio of professional musicians who will perform the works at a concert on 28 November 2023 at St Joseph's Academy.

MacMillan launched his hometown Cumnock as a Centre of Excellence in the Learning and Teaching of Composition in 2020. Since then, the work that he and The Cumnock Tryst have carried out in primary and secondary schools has been replicated around the world as an example of good practice. The project at St Joseph’s Academy will benefit both pupils and teachers: supporting the pupils in composing work that will be recorded and submitted as part of their SQA qualifications, while also helping the teaching staff write a piece alongside their students and provide them with fresh insights into teaching composition as part of the secondary music curriculum.

Gillian Walker, who is leading the project alongside MacMillan, is a composer from Ayr with strong ties to The Cumnock Tryst. She first worked with the festival on a work experience placement while a student of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 208. Since then, she has twice been commissioned by the Tryst to write music for their annual festival, however, this is the first time Walker has led a Tryst project herself as she takes responsibility for supporting and helping to nurture the next generation of young Ayrshire composers.

Tickets for the concert are free, available from EventBrite.

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