This year the annual October Gaitherin has come back to Inverurie.
Over 80 young people, of secondary school age, are “gaitherin” at Inverurie Academy this week, and classrooms are full of young people playing pipes, whistles, fiddles and clarsachs (Scottish harps).
The assembly hall has become a “hip-hop dance” studio, and there are voice, keyboard, guitars, drums and drama classes around the school.
The Gaitherin’s tutors are all well known professional musicians and artistes, picked specially for ability to work well with young people. And this year, back due to popular demand, is an option to learn more about sound engineering. Supporting the young people is an enthusiastic team of youth workers, and many parents also help in different ways during the week to make this a real community experience.
The Gaitherin has now been running for 21 years and this year’s participants come from across central Aberdeenshire, including Oldmeldrum, Ellon, Newburgh, Inverurie, Kemnay, Kintore, Lyne of Skene, Alford, Insch and Huntly. Participants are all enjoying the informal atmosphere and a chance to meet up with friends from previous Gaitherins and welcoming those attending for the first time.
As always, a number of the participants are residential at Sir Arthur Grants Centre at Monymusk where additional activities are provided. Many of the youth workers are themselves former participants.
The Gaitherin is run by volunteers with very welcome donations of funds from the Garioch Charities Shop.
The event climaxes with the annual end of week concert that will be held in Inverurie Academy on Friday night to enjoy everyone’s achievements.
The event runs until October 17, and an event for primary school age children runs during the Easter holidays.