Jamming to the top

AMBASSADORS: DD8 Music project manager Graham Galloway with Angus Provost Helen Oswald at the studio.
AMBASSADORS: DD8 Music project manager Graham Galloway with Angus Provost Helen Oswald at the studio.

ANGUS Provost Helen Oswald recently visited DD8 Music studios, winners of the Angus Ambassador of the Year 2012, to meet project manager Graham Galloway.

Youth disenfranchisement may still be a hot topic in view of the UK’s economic challenges but Angus Ambassador Award winner DD8 Music prefers to focus on what young people can achieve.

Graham said: “If young people are involved in activities they enjoy, they gain confidence in themselves and others and aspire to be the best they can be.

“It helps them to overcome personal barriers and difficulties. Kids who would otherwise be hanging around the streets in the evenings are instead expanding their music tastes and learning life skills at our sessions.”

Provost Helen Oswald added: “DD8 Music is offering what young people want that is why it is so successful.

“Groups fail when they try and impose adult views of what young people want instead of what Graham and his team are doing, which is very much youth led but guided by adults.”

Now in its seventh year, DD8 Music, a Kirriemuir community group, whose activities include the highly successful Bon Fest and Live in the Den, has many people, young and old, going along every week to its jam and music recording sessions. Attendees are taught how to play in a band, work with others and develop studio skills.

Graham continued: “Our remit is to run musical events in the community and work where possible with community partners.

“The idea is to offer a range of music opportunities to appeal to everyone. When we are invited to Angus community events we build bands to play depending on their experience and chosen instrument.”

With no other rehearsal facility outside Dundee, the charity has up to 30 people at a time attending each of the Friday and Sunday sessions and has seen many going on to further education to train as sound engineers or music technicians.

Mrs Oswald said: “The charity’s positive impact on Angus impressed the Angus Ambassador Award judges last year when they became Cultural Ambassador for Angus in 2012.

“The award highlights those who reflect the distinct history, heritage or contemporary culture of Angus and music is at the heart of contemporary Angus.

“DD8 Music leads at engaging with Angus communities and nurturing interest in contemporary music. This award is well deserved.”

Graham added: “It’s fantastic to be recognised for the work we’ve done. It’s a great honour to be chosen for the award especially being up against very strong competition.”