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Jonathan & Bryan

Shetland Arts is delighted to announce the appointment of Bryan Peterson as Head of Creative Opportunities and Jonathan Ritch as Head of Production.  The appointments come as part of the ongoing restructuring process within the organisation.

Both Bryan and Jonathan are established figures within Shetland’s creative community, and have been firm friends since first meeting at the Anderson High School, where they both began performing in bands and promoting gigs together. Bryan said ‘It’s great that after starting out together and going on to do different things we’re back working together and able to contribute to the community that first inspired us.’

Born and brought up in Lerwick, Bryan began playing bass, guitar, drums and harmonica in local bands when he was 12, and went on to be one of the founding members of innovative folk funk band Bongshang when he was just 15, releasing Shetland’s first ever CD Crude a year later. After working in engineering and construction, he left Shetland in his early 20s to study on the mainland. He has since achieved qualifications in music, business, information technology and has had a varied career in the Creative Industries including freelance work as a musician, web developer, record shop manager, writer and broadcaster.

Bryan first joined Shetland Arts as an Arts Development Officer in 2007 as the organisation embarked on the Mareel project, where his background in music, education and construction were invaluable. He has led on the development of Mareel’s Creative Industries education programme and is currently Course Leader for the music and video courses delivered in Mareel in partnership with Shetland College UHI. In his new role he will oversee all Shetland Arts’ creative output including education, outreach, creative industry and artform support, performance and exhibition programming.

Originally hailing from Unst, Jonathan has enjoyed a varied musical career to date, notably as bass player in a number of Shetland bands including Fiddlers’ Bid and Shoormal. In 1998 he graduated from the School Of Audio Engineering in Glasgow and has since recorded and produced a substantial catalogue of work for a broad range of artists. He has been involved in countless community arts projects and theatre productions as both a technician and musician and has written and recorded soundtracks for film and TV.

Jonathan spent 13 years working as a freelance sound engineer, touring musician, painter and guitar tutor before joining the Shetland Arts team in 2011. He was closely involved in the technical fit-out of Mareel and is a familiar face behind the mixing desk. During his time with the organisation Jonathan has fulfilled the role of Senior Technician and has helped to build a strong reputation for himself and the technical team at Shetland Arts. His new appointment puts him at the forefront of technical delivery across all Shetland Arts’ venues.

Graeme Howell, General Manager of Shetland Arts says ‘I am delighted to be able to confirm Bryan and Jonathan’s appointment, and am very much looking forward to working with them in their new capacities.’  He adds,’ These new appointments herald the start of an exciting new era for Shetland Arts which will allow us to really focus on our goal of enabling and supporting creativity in Shetland.’


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