Funding helps Sounds of the Gallery hit the right note

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Agroup of East Dunbartonshire-based inspiring musicians are realising their dream and heading into the studio.

Sounds of the Gallery has been awarded £1080 by Glasgow Airport’s FlightPath Fund to help the group produce a professional music recording.

The group, based out of the Kelvinbank Resource Centre, works with more than 25 young people from the Milngavie, Bearsden, Bishopbriggs, Lennoxtown and Kirkintilloch areas who have physical and learning disabilities, including those with autistic spectrum disorders.

Getting together to meet each week to perform music together and socialise has helped the members individually with their disabilities.

A lot of psychological work undertaken recently shows that taking active part in music performance is very effective in improving communication skills, developing self-confidence and personal relationships.

People with autism often have very high levels of anxiety and find it very difficult to communicate with others.

Those involved with the group have definitely noticed that individuals
are expressing their opinions more freely, speaking out in group meetings and getting their ideas across.

Members of the group have also developed friendships in a way that they might not have 
been able to do other-
wise.

Set up with a helping hand from Drake Music Scotland, Sounds of the Gallery definitely didn’t want to be a sing-a-long group doing cover versions.

That approach has its place, but Sounds of the Gallery wanted a group where people
with disabilities could create and perform 
their own ideas and 
songs.

East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust (EDLC)allow them to perform in the Lillie Art Gallery in Milngavie and also helped use some of the pictures to inspire the music – and that’s how the the name, Sounds of the Gallery, came about.

The award from FlightPath Fund will help pay for a professional recording of instrumental pieces and songs created 
by the Sounds of the 
Gallery band created over 
the last two years.

Members of the group, aged 14 years and over, have written, composed and arranged each of the songs to feature on the recording due to be completed later in the year.

The group members turned one of the rooms in the Kelvinbank Resource Centre into a make-shift recording studio, set up the band in there and then recorded four long songs one after the other in the style of a live performace.

All the music has been created and arranged 
by the members of the band.

Chris Furness from Drake Music leads that process while Jim
McEwan from Lenzie Academy set up all the recording gear and microphones.

The band members will begin making a start on the mixing and mastering process soon.

The finished CD will then be manufactured and put on sale for members of the public to enjoy.

George Burt, East Dunbartonshire Council’s local area co-ordinator, who works with the group, said: “Getting the group together to work on music for our CD has been a very moving experience.

“Many of the people we work with have difficulties in communicating and it’s been great to see new friendships grow and people learning to banter and socialise with each other as they work
together on their own music.

He added: “Thanks very much to the FlightPath fund for helping to make it happen!”

Peter Carroll, who sits on Glasgow Airport’s FlightPath Fund committee, said: “The committee was really impressed with the Sounds of the Gallery application and we’re certainly looking
forward to hearing the end product of the band’s endeavours.

“Music can have 
a positive influence on our lives and its therapeutic benefits are significant and well documented, so the committee was only too happy to support the 
work of George and the group.

He continued: “I met with the young people involved in Sounds of the Gallery just last week and it was clear to see that not only do they relish meeting up each week to practice their music but they also really enjoy socialising with each other too.”

And members of the public will get a chance to hear the Sound of the Gallery’s music live as the band have been invited to performing on the main stage at the Big Helix 
Picnic in Falkirk on 
Sunday, August 13.

For further 
information, check out the Sounds of the Gallery Facebook page, or email george.burt@eastdunbarton.gov.uk or ashleigh.grant-ng@eastdunbarton.gov.uk.