Aims of the project
This project sought to focus on the East side of the National Park, in particular Deeside. Following on from taster days and engagement events the project sought to employ a part-time development officer to consolidate the work began. The project aimed to sustain the current projects and work towards developing new Feis activities. The long-term aim was to establish a new Deeside Feis.
The new Development Officer organised Youth Music Initiative sessions in traditional music in all five primary schools in the area covered by the project. One very positive outcome from this initial six week taster project was the employment of a private fiddle tutor to continue teaching pupils in one of the five schools.
Following from this success a more ambitious project involving musicians, and sound and visual specialists worked with all the pupils, teacher and parents in one school. The six week project culminated in an evening performance and a DVD produced of the work.
These projects led to Aberdeenshire Council requesting the continuation of YMI sessions and an expanded programme of delivery.
Who is involved and how was it funding?
Feis Spe Ltd is a charity that focuses on offering young people access to, and participation in, Gaelic arts tuition and performance throughout the Cairngorms National Park. Total costs of the project: £20,000 and of that Cairngorms LEADER funding: £9,000
What have you learnt from the project?
Working with both schools and the council saw the project supported during its delivery and has seen these bodies become partners and advocates for the project. Engagement and tangible delivery has garnered enthusiasm in the community. The establishment of a standalone Deeside Feis in a long-term goal and was perhaps over ambitious given the timescale, but good groundwork has been done towards this.
What were the challenges you faced?
One of the aspirations of the project was to establish a Deeside Feis. The short duration of the project meant that this was perhaps unrealistic. However a fantastic base of enthusiasm and engagement was produced.
What was the impact of your project?
The tangible impacts of the project – for example the continued employment of a private music tutor and the engagement of all the schools and the council – are a fantastic legacy of such a short-term project.
The fact that all five of the primary schools in the area engaged with the project is a measure of its success.
What’s next for your project?
Feis Spe are seeking to build on the work completed, and hope to re-fund the Development Worker for future years. Aspirations of the project are still to establish Deeside Feis as a long-term goal.
It is clear, that although a permanent ‘Deeside Feis’ has not yet been achieved, that the project has gained the respect and trust of the council, schools and parents and means that the large body of work delivered in a short 12 month timeframe sits the project in good stead to continue.