Community and Education
Since its earliest days the Festival has had a central commitment to providing opportunities for development through participtaion in the festival.
In addition our Courses for young professionals, Community productions and events involving local people such as the 100-strong Festival Chorus, The Story of Magnus Erlendsson and The Giant Magnus Parade are a staple of the Festival.
Through such education and community projects the Festival has built up active participation by adults and children from all parts of Orkney, often devised in collaboration with visiting orchestras, ensembles and artists. Typically around 400 members of the local community perform at the Festival each year.
For some years the Festival has been involved in pioneering work on more inclusive forms of music-making for those with complex needs and this is reflected in the Inclusive Creativity project which involves our Composers' Course, and in Hear my Music's Project with young people from Caithness and Orkney.
Through 'Festival on Tour', the Festival send musicians to take part in concerts and workshops in the outer islands, schools and care homes and often this work has been carried out in conjunction with Live Music Now Scotland to give valuable experience to the rising generation of musicians. Over the years the Festival has provided a first taste of large scale performance for young Orcadian musicians who have gone on to succesful professional careers.
In addition, over 250 people volunteer to help make the Festival happen, either behind the scenes or front of house.