Students, past and present, have welcomed the new campaign (#studyliveplayhebrides) to encourage people to study on and from the Western Isles.
At a time of reopening to the outside world, the campaign aims to boost the islands of the Outer Hebrides as not just a place to live and a place to visit, but as a place to study – both actually on the islands and on-line from the Islands.
The new campaign is built around a website with the theme of Studying, Living and Playing in the Hebrides – www.studyliveplayhebrides.co.uk
The new website aims to showcase the whole experience to remind islanders of what’s on their doorstep, to encourage people from afar to move here to enjoy the opportunities, and also to generate more students to study the huge range of courses on-line, an area where the Lews Castle College was a genuine pioneer 25 years ago.
And tomorrow (Thursday July 16) there’s a Virtual Open Day giving prospective students the opportunity to connect with college staff from the comfort of their own homes - 9.30am to 4.30pm.
Emilia Marienfeld is a well-regarded fiddler and musician who won a scholarship to study in Uist for 2019/20 and has had to return to Germany. She writes: “”I am from Germany and studying Applied Music at Lews Castle College. Right now due to Covid-19, I am stuck in Germany but this new website makes me feel connected to what's going on and highlights what a great place I have found the Hebrides to study in. I made a great choice to come to the islands and I can’t wait to return.”
Barry Nisbet is going into his 4th year of studies with Lews Castle College and is already an established professional musician. He writes: 'I am based on the mainland and very much look forward to coming to the Hebrides for music residencies each year as part of my degree studies. This new website reminds me of what an inspiring place the Hebrides is to study and what a warm welcome I have always had.”
Chloe Steele, pictured above, is just graduating from the Applied Music degree. She says: “I have been so fortunate to be able to stay on my home island of South Uist whilst studying for my music degree with Lews Castle College. This new site is great and will help publicise and showcase all that is special about studying in the Hebrides.”
Since completing her studies, Chloe Steele has been collaborating online with musicians in Ireland, and presented the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar online E-Ceilidh in June and continues to be employed in her Uist community teaching local children Gaelic song, piping and chanter with Fèis Tìr a' Mhurain.
The Applied Music degree will launch the 2020-21 academic year with new accreditation from the Scottish Music Industry Association and a series of virtual residencies which will see students exploring new avenues for income generation through composing new music for sync and working remotely with a university in Finland on online collaboration.
Lews Castle College UHI offer a range of music courses including HNC Music as a foundation to the BA (Hons) Applied Music. The MA Music and the Environment and the MRes Creative Practice are some of the progression opportunities available from BA Applied Music. https://www.lews.uhi.ac.uk/about-us/find-us/benbecula-campus/music-courses/