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Montrose Academy Wins National Music Competition


TALENTED pupils from Montrose Academy in Angus have scooped top place in a nationwide music competition.

A group of nine gifted youngsters are making a song and a dance after winning the ScottishPower Powerful Performance contest.  The artistic teenagers outperformed schools across the country to win the opportunity to play at Celtic Connections - one of the biggest folk, roots and traditional music festivals in the world.

Montrose Academy pupils will perform at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on 27th January 2011, as part of the final Education Concert of the festival, as well as in the highly competitive Danny Kyle Open Stage competition, which the group will automatically be entered into.

The Powerful Performance competition invited S1 - S6 youngsters from schools across Scotland to submit a short recording of traditional music using instruments, vocals, or a combination of the two with the prize of performing at the internationally renowned music festival.

ScottishPower, the principal sponsor of Celtic Connections, has supported the festival since 2007.  The company’s Group Sponsorships Manager, Heather McDonald, was on the judging panel, and was delighted to announce the winner.

She said:

“We’d like to congratulate Montrose Academy for their superb version of Rattlin’ Roarin’ Willie followed by Atholl Highlanders. It is evident that the pupils worked extremely hard to achieve the high quality of music they produced and we’re delighted to highlight them as the ScottishPower Powerful Performance winners for the 2011 Celtic Connections festival.

“What a fantastic start to the New Year for the pupils and teachers at Montrose Academy and we hope they enjoy performing at the festival later this month.

“At ScottishPower, we pride ourselves on encouraging young people and local communities to embrace Scottish culture and tradition. The quality of entries received for this competition and the excitement that it has generated amongst pupils and teachers reflect the continuing importance of the arts for enjoyment, education and entertainment. We’d like to thank each and every school for entering.”

Montrose Academy’s entry was performed by nine pupils from S3, S5 and S6 - Sarah Rennie, Isla Thomson, Rebecca Breen, Scott Smith, Alastair Walker, Sanan Moir, Ruaraidh Macfarlane, Charlotte Price and Drew Murray.

Jacqueline Cockburn, Music Teacher at Montrose Academy, was delighted with the news.

She said: “Our pupils are thrilled to be the winners of the ScottishPower Powerful Performance.  It’s fantastic news and I’m so pleased that all their hard work has paid off.  The whole school is very proud of our talented musicians and wish them good luck when they showcase their winning performance at the festival.

“The pupils spent a great deal of time practising their entry and are all very proud to be part of a music festival as big as Celtic Connections.  I’m not sure if they will be able to contain their excitement until their performance!”

Donald Shaw, Celtic Connections Artistic Director, said:

“Montrose Academy submitted a very impressive entry to the competition and we’re delighted to offer the pupils the opportunity to perform at Celtic Connections. They will be showcasing their talent to hundreds of school children and music fans by playing on the main festival stage in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and taking part in the Danny Kyle Open Stage competition. These will be very high profile appearances and I’m sure our audiences will thoroughly enjoy their performances.”
Renowned harp player and co-founder of the Scottish folk group The Unusual Suspects, Corinna Hewat, sat on the judging panel along with Tom Dalzell, Education & Outreach Manager at Celtic Connections and Heather McDonald from ScottishPower to determine the winning school.

The festival brings artists from around the globe to perform in Glasgow each January.  This year, Sir Tom Jones will perform at the festival, along with other reputed artists such as Eddi Reader, Fran Healy and Joel Plaskett.

Celtic Connections 2011 was launched on Thursday January 13th with a torchlight parade in Glasgow’s George Square.

Issued by The BIG Partnership on behalf of ScottishPower.

For more information please contact:

Susanne Grant on 0141 333 9585 / 07824 388 472 or email


Nicola Macnaughton on 0141 333 9585 / 07725 638 246 or email

Notes to Editors:

  • ScottishPower became Principal Sponsor of Celtic Connections in 2007. Through the sponsorship, the company encourages its staff and the communities it works within to experience and enjoy the arts. ScottishPower’s partnerships reflect the company’s belief in the importance of enabling culture to be accessible for all.

  • Celtic Connections has been brightening up the Scottish winter for 18 years. Held annually in Glasgow over 18 days in January, the festival features performances by an impressive array of international artists in venues across the city. Thousands of people from all over the UK and beyond flock to Glasgow to enjoy the best in folk and traditional music, alongside pop, rock, jazz, world and classical. Celtic Connections also has an extensive education programme which sees more than 15,000 schoolchildren enjoy dedicated concerts during the festival.

  • For background on ScottishPower log onto and more details about Celtic Connections, log on to
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