Eilidh Trust makes music on Mull

Making music on Mull. Picture by Richard Kellett Photography.

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Two Mull music projects are celebrating receiving funding from the first round of grants in memory of a young Barra piper killed in the Manchester Arena bombing.

Mull Music Makers, whose future was in jeopardy last year, and Mull Mod Club will receive a share of £12,000 awarded to 13 youth music initiatives by the new Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust.

Money will be used to  develop young musicians’ skills by paying for tuition and buying much-needed instruments. The hope is the cash will help young people follow in Eilidh’s musical footsteps and continue her musical journey.

The two Mull schemes will each get £750 to keep up their work on the island.

Earlier this year Mull Music Makers raised £5,050 from crowdfunders in just 28 days to help it keep making music on the island after it unexpectedly lost its core funding from Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI) that supported it for the past six years to bring tutors to the island each month helping children learn music through song, movement, performance and violin/fiddle tuition, as well as getting them ready for performances and competitions. News will come in March whether this year’s YMI funding application has been accepted.

Laura Mandleberg from Mull Music Makers said: ‘We are so honoured to receive an award from Eilidh’s Trust, the music education charity set up in memory of young Eilidh MacLeod from Barra.

‘This funding will help to support an entire generation of youngsters from across Mull to keep learning music.’

Eilidh MacLeod died along with 21 others in the Manchester Arena attack in May 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert. The 14-year-old was a member of Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band.

The trust, in her name, will also manage and maintain a permanent Memorial to her and a garden of remembrance and reflection on Barra.

Annag MacLean, trustee of Eilidh’s Trust and former headteacher of Barra’s Castlebay Community School said: ‘We are delighted and thrilled to announce the first full funding round of grants for local community music groups across Scotland. This support will contribute to the excellent work they are doing to encourage and nurture the local talent among young musicians and will allow them to continue developing their skills.

‘These grants are a demonstration of our commitment and intent to support young musicians in their ambitions in Eilidh’s memory. This financial support could only be made possible through the huge generosity of the many people who have donated to our
fundraising efforts and the organisations who have supported our work.’

Other groups who benefited included  Castlebay Community School and
Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band in the Western Isles, Lewis and Harris Youth Pipe Band, Skye Youth Pipe Band Highland and the Ceilidh Trail (Feisean nan Gaidheal) Across Scotland.

Manchester Community Pipe Band has also received a special award from the trust in recognition of the work it does in its area.

It is hoped a further round of funding will be made in the first half of 2020.

Any groups wanting to be considered should contact Eilidh’s Trust at