Scotland invites the world to join its national day celebrations and connect through culture for St Andrew’s Day
Scotland is inviting the world to share in a very special Scottish experience which starts today (Friday, November 27) in celebration of St Andrew’s Day.
The Scottish Government has commissioned a series of cultural performances to create a unique virtual festival which unites up-and-coming Scottish and international talent and brings Scotland’s core values – welcoming, kind, inclusive, fair and empowered – to life through music and arts.
A highlight of Scotland’s Winter Festival is a specially commissioned performance, which was produced in collaboration with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, to mark this year’s St Andrew’s Day (30 November) and this will be the first in a series of cultural events taking place online, giving people across the world the opportunity to watch, experience and enjoy Scotland’s rich culture.
The 45-minute performance features music performed by an ensemble of six traditional music students from RCS.
The students made contact with an array of talented musicians from countries around the globe – including Ireland, America, France, China, Germany, England, Canada and Belgium – and each musician gifted the students a tune from their own country. The musical performances, interspersed with spoken word bringing Scottish verse to life.
Working with award-winning Scottish musician Jenn Butterworth, one of the most notable folk guitarists on the UK acoustic scene, each piece has been adapted and now reflects a combination of each nationality, demonstrating the welcoming and inclusive values that people across Scotland are known for.
The performance will also feature BA Acting students.
Alongside the powerful piece of footage, a programme of virtual events is being hosted online by the Scottish Government, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Live Music Now Scotland and Cryptic, to celebrate the spirit of St Andrew.
With overseas communities and Scots diaspora being encouraged to stay at home due to the ongoing pandemic, it is hoped that the virtual arts festival will allow Scotland to connect with others across the world and provide some positivity this St Andrew’s Day, coming together through the power of performance.
The full festival line-up and schedule can be found at Scotland.org.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, said: “Scotland is well-known for being welcoming, open and inclusive, and this year it’s more important than ever for us to connect with our friends and communities across the world.
“We’ve curated an incredible programme of virtual events to mark St Andrew’s Day and celebrate our patron saint, showcasing Scotland’s talent and reminding people from across the world that they are welcome.
“Music and the arts communicate no matter the language and we are encouraging our friends to tune in and soak up the incredible talents of Scotland’s most impressive, traditional young artists.
“We hope that, especially during these uncertain times, this sharing of a cultural experience can help to bring positivity to others and hopefully inspire a future trip to Scotland when restrictions allow.”
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) is one of the world’s top ten destinations to study the performing and production arts (QS World University Rankings 2020).
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Scotland is renowned for its culture of gathering and sharing art together, an ethos that flows through the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
“As the nation’s conservatoire, with an international outlook, we’re delighted to co-present this special St Andrew’s Day concert which will showcase the talents of lecturer Jenn Butterworth – one of the most in-demand folk musicians in the UK – and students from our Traditional Music programme.
“We are living in challenging times but we can call upon the arts to bring joy, beauty, comfort and hope. We’re looking forward to taking a moment with audiences near and far to celebrate St Andrew’s Day in an uplifting and meaningful way – through the power of music.”
St Andrew’s Day is marked annually on 30 November to remember Scotland’s patron saint, Saint Andrew.
Image of Jenn Butterworth © Louis DeCarlo