Concert Celebrates Creative Year in Village
The Pathhead Music Collective (PMC) in Pathhead, Midlothian held the last concert in their Creative Places Year series on 14 June with a live show from India Alba and The Corrina Hewat Band at Pathhead village hall. The performance was sponsored by Black Isle Brewery.
A village with only around 500 houses, Pathhead is home to 15 of Scotland’s most successful musicians. Those residents formed PMC in 2006 upon realising their area was lacking in musical events and educational opportunities for a hamlet so well populated with musical talent. Collective members have won eight BBC Folk Awards and a BBC Jazz Award, released over 15 internationally praised CDs and toured throughout India, the US, Canada, Australia, Japan and Europe.
PMC has gone on to provide their community with frequent concerts, talent shows, classes and musical scholarships. In early 2013 Pathhead won a Creative Scotland Creative Place Award. The £50,000 prize has helped PMC “in its aim to make Pathhead internationally renowned as a centre of musical excellence through a range of activities.”
India Alba is a collaboration between Indian musicians, violinist Sharat Chandra Srivastava and tabla player Gyan Singh, and Scottish musicians, cittern strummer Nigel Richard and Ross Ainslie who plays bagpipes, whistle and cittern. They merge their traditional sounds “showing there are no boundaries between them.” The band is said to “have a sound of their own which is not an imitation of any other band or genre.”
Corrina Hewat is a harpist, singer, composer and arranger who is also a Principal Harp Tutor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Her “stunningly earthly voice” combine with bassist Tom Lyne, pianist Dave Milligan, multi-wind instrumentalist Fraser Fifield and drummer Alyn Cosker. Hewat is said to sing with “a jazz singer’s flexibility, a blues singer’s economy and a folk singer’s heart” and possess “a creative and powerful technique on the harp.”
Organiser Emma Jackson says they advertised through their website, mailing list, social media and with posters, but believes word of mouth by way of their existing mailing list and local audience was most effective. Jackson notes that faith and perseverance are important to promoting any event.
“It was a bit of a struggle to get ticket sales going in June, with so many gala days and family commitments around. But, have faith in your loyal local customers and keep on telling people about the opportunity. Even if you don’t sell out you can still create a great atmosphere.”
How do you promote events in a small community?