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Stiùidio Ostaig puts music at the heart of the college and the community

Stiùidio Ostaig, the new recording and music facility at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, was opened yesterday, providing the Gaelic college and the community of Sleat on Skye with one of the premier recording studios in Scotland.

The new studio and recording facilities provide professional musicians and community members with a high-spec, industry-standard environment to record their music, and will also serve as a training resource for college students who are on the degree programme for Gaelic and Traditional Music.

Musicians using Stiùidio Ostaig will also be able to make use of the college’s various performance and rehearsal spaces, as well as Sabhal Mòr’s catering facilities and accommodation. The studio also boasts one of the largest’˜live’ rooms in Scotland.

Dave Thompson MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, who opened the new studio, said:’I’™m delighted to have been invited to open the new Stiùidio Ostaig at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. It is a place that I have visited many times over the years, both in an official capacity and as a student of the Gaelic short courses which I thoroughly enjoyed. The studio and the college are fantastic assets for Sleat, Skye and Scotland, and it is pleasing to see Sabhal Mòr continue to expand and develop. I very much support the college and developments such as Stiùidio Ostaig, and so does the Scottish Government.’

Sabhal Mòr has offered short courses in music for many years, and has been the venue for many concerts and ceilidhs since it was established in 1973. In 2006, the first full-time degree course in music was established through the medium of Gaelic at the college, the BA in Gaelic and Traditional Music, and the degree was expanded to an honours course in 2010.

Dr Decker Forrest, Director of the Music Programme at SMO, said:’The music programme was a natural development for Sabhal Mòr Ostaig considering that many excellent musicians have studied or taught at the college over the years. The programme comprises some of the worlds’ finest Gaelic-speaking musicians and academics, including Christine Primrose, Dr John Purser, Prof. Hugh Cheape, Allan Henderson, Ingrid Henderson and Fergie MacDonald, and state-of-the-art facilities, like Stiùidio Ostaig, ensure that students are given the best training possible for a variety of career options within the music industry.’

One of the aims is that the studio will provide local and college-based musicians and sound engineers with contract opportunities through the various recording projects which will take place and that musicians from across the globe will make use of the studio and the local talent. It will also enable students and members of the community to undertake recordings in a fully professional and supported environment. In order to mark the opening of the studio, a new CD was produced and recorded by Studio Manager Allan Henderson, which features students and musicians associated with the college and its music courses.

Mr Henderson said:’The new studio is a fantastic facility, and I hope that the people of Sleat and the community as a whole will see the benefit of this. We are confident that our technical specifications are every bit as good as anything you would find in an urban recording studio, or anywhere else for that matter, and our’live room’ is as big as anything you would find in Scotland today. Because of this, we believe the studio would be ideal for larger ensembles like Gaelic choirs or pipe bands, although we are happy to tackle any kind of project. There is no job to big or too small.’

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