Local pupil’s ode to Aberdeen takes centre stage in Music Hall song-writing competition

A heart-warming ode to Aberdeen written by a local school pupil will have a central role in the celebrations as the countdown begins to the re-opening of the city’s historic Music Hall.

The iconic city centre venue has been undergoing an ambitious transformation, designed to safeguard the 200 year-old listed building for generations to come.

Aberdeen Performing Arts, the charity behind the project, has been working on a unique initiative, The Words Project, to involve the local community in a special collaborative piece of music to celebrate the city which holds the Music Hall so close to its heart.

Pupils from city schools Aberdeen Grammar School, Robert Gordon’s College and St Margaret’s School for Girls took part in workshops with singer-songwriter Finlay Napier before being invited to submit poems to be considered as the lyrics of the composition. Aberdeen Grammar pupil, 13 year-old Daisy MacCallum’s poem, ‘Aberdeen is my Home’ has now been selected as the winning entry.

Renowned Scottish composer Katy Cooper will write the music around the winning lyrics, and the finished piece will be brought to life by the 80-strong Aberdeen Performing Arts community and children’s choirs when it is performed to an audience in the newly refurbished Music Hall later this year.

The relaunch of the refurbished Music Hall is supported by the Year of Young People event fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to be supporting The Words Project as part of the celebrations for Stepping In and Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018. The young people involved have done a fantastic job submitting their work for consideration. Daisy’s lyrics will make for a wonderful choral piece to be performed at the opening of such a central cultural hub in their community, the newly refurbished Music Hall. This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to share their creative ideas and thoughts about the city they live in. The performance will no doubt add to a memorable occasion in Aberdeen’s cultural calendar."

The judging panel was made up of Aberdeen Performing Arts Chief Executive, Jane Spiers, composer Katy Cooper, singer-songwriter Finlay Napier and actor, writer and HMT panto star Alan McHugh.

APA Chief Executive, Jane Spiers, said: “The standard of entries from the local school pupils really was outstanding and it was very difficult to narrow it down and choose a winner. Daisy’s lyrics are so full of heart and really beautiful.

“This initiative really embodies the spirit of the Music Hall; it’s a collaborative effort between established musical professionals and budding local talent, and it allows us a unique opportunity to really celebrate the city that has given so much support to the Music Hall.

“I’d like to thank Finlay, Katy and Alan for all of their efforts, as well as everyone who submitted an entry.

Fellow judge Alan McHugh said: “The quality of writing from these kids is exceptional and I know it’s a cliché, but it was so hard to narrow it down. I’d like to commend them all on their efforts.”

Photo credit: Richard Frew

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