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Shetland Arts is absolutely delighted to announce that it is moving the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland’s Summer MusicFest concerts from Lerwick Town Hall into Mareel this Saturday and Sunday. Audiences will also be treated to a classical piano recital by Neil Georgeson in the venue on Thursday next week, and public film screenings and other events will open on Friday with the start of Screenplay and Wordplay. As well as all this, inductions for the new educational courses based in Mareel (delivered in conjunction with Shetland College UHI), including a BA in Applied Music, HNC and NC in Music, and a whole host of vocational and short courses, will begin early next week. Mareel's Official Opening Season will begin in October this year.

Shetland Arts’ Director Gwilym Gibbons said: “The excellent NYJOS Summer MusicFest, which includes two showcase concerts on Saturday and Sunday (25 & 26 August), wasn’t programmed to take place in Mareel, but we are very pleased to be able to move it there to kick off the public’s first experiences of the building in style.”

Corinna Gregory, Jazz Ensembles Manager for NYJOS, said: “We’re delighted to be the opening act in Mareel and with the warm reception we’ve received in Shetland. We’re going to create a real buzz while we’re here!”

Shetland Arts’ Music Development Officer, Bryan Peterson is looking forward to the educational activities. He said: “We’re excited to start inducting students for courses in Mareel next week. The educational opportunities provided in Mareel are world-class and learning is embedded into all aspects of the venue’s operations. The NYJOS concerts are also a very fitting way to open the doors because several of the local members of NYJOS are actually students on the forthcoming courses.”

From Friday 31 August, Shetland Arts’ annual film and book festivals, Screenplay and Wordplay, will open in Mareel with an excellent selection of events and film screenings, and classical music lovers will also be in for a real treat the night before, Thursday 30 August, when Neil Georgeson performs a classical piano recital in the Main Auditorium.”

Neil Georgeson is originally from Shetland and now lives in London. He said: “For the recital in Mareel I have chosen the concept of Preludes to mark or reflect the beginning of a great new development in Shetland. I will be including Preludes by Bach, Chopin, Debussy, and Rachmaninov, as well as sonatas by Mozart and Prokofiev.”

Shetland Arts would like to sincerely thank everyone who has worked so hard to get us to this point. The Mareel team has put in an astounding effort towards getting the building open and we are very grateful to everyone involved.

Tickets for these events are available from Shetland Box Office, Islesburgh Community Centre, 01595 745 555, www.shetlandboxoffice.org

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