Newton Stewart and District Music Club is a registered charity, formed in 1990 to encourage the practice and enjoyment of music. It organizes an annual programme of concerts and workshops, bringing high quality music and professional musicians to the relatively remote and rural local communities. The Club keeps ticket prices affordable, in order to ensure concerts are as widely accessible as possible. In particular, concerts are free to young people under the age of 26, with the aim of encouraging youth engagement in music.
Wigtownshire and South Ayrshire community groups can access community benefit funds from the Kilgallioch Community Fund. The Fund, provided by ScottishPower Renewables, is linked to its Kilgallioch wind farm between Barrhill and Newton Stewart. A Board of volunteer residents makes decisions on awards, supported by grant-making charity Foundation Scotland.
The Club pays artists’ fees and travel, as well as venue and other costs. Concert costs are rising, and although the Club earns income from ticket sales, in 2017 and 2018 it had to subsidise concerts from its reserves. In 2018, the Club was awarded £750 from the local Kilgallioch Community Fund, which helped to keep the 2018-19 season of concerts free to young people and enabled the club to strengthen its financial position.
Over 586 people attended the 5 concerts, including 36 young people. Concerts took place at the community run Cinema in Newton Stewart and the County Buildings in Wigtown, helping to reach audiences across a wide geographic area. The grant is a good example of how a small amount can make a big difference, and help keep music accessible to all.
More information about Newton Stewart and District Music Club can be found here: https://newtonstewartmusic.co.uk and information about Kilgallioch Community Fund can be found here: https://www.kilgallioch.co.uk