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SEA CHANGES: Free story and song workshops in Musselburgh

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Changes Community Health Project is collaborating with Our Big Gig EXTRA to set up an exciting new community project in the seaside town of Musselburgh. ‘Sea Changes’ will take place on Thursday evenings from May 21st - June 18th 2015.

Musselburgh and the coast of East Lothian is alive with rich culture connected to the sea – stories and songs of life in a fishing community, emigration, the land, disasters, love, longing, work, and play – and in recent years the local communities have told their stories through many successful and creative projects including ‘Follow the Herring’ which wove together theatre, song, music, craft, and even knitting!

They will be adding to this rich cultural seam with ‘Sea Changes’, a free series of 5 ‘song and stories of the sea’ workshops open to all adults in East Lothian and held at Fisherrow Community Centre. Based in the heart of Musselburgh, the Centre is a fantastic, much-treasured community resource. Formerly a local primary school, the building was saved and given a new lease of life by the Fisherrow Trust and now functions as a vibrant hub for local community activities of all kinds.

No experience of singing is required to attend the workshops – just enthusiasm and willingness to give it a go! - and participants will be encouraged to share songs and stories as well as learning new ones. Musicians are also welcome to come along and join in the sessions which will be centred round fun, relaxation, and enjoyment!  The workshop series will culminate in a jam and informal performance for all involved.

‘Sea Changes’ will be co-led by well-respected Scottish singer Eileen Penman and established community artist Martine Robertson, and supported by a voluntary team with a wealth of experience, local connections and enthusiasm for the project.

Eileen is a folk singer, songwriter and activist from Edinburgh, a founder member of "Stairheid Gossip" acappella singing group and Wildfire Women’s Community Choir. Eileen has taught traditional songs of struggle, protest & freedom from Scotland, America & Africa, and also tutored in folksong with the Gorgie/Dalry Adult Learning Project for 10 years. She is a solo performer and lives in Portobello where she is active in local community arts projects.

Martine Robertson is East Lothian-based, working across Scotland to lead innovative person-centred training around social inclusion, diversity and creative arts projects. She has worked with the Drake Music Project, Scottish Poetry Library and Craigmillar ‘Better Days’ project amongst others. She is currently studying Celtic studies with Gaelic, and is a member of Sangstream and Sea Sang Choirs.


CHANGES was established in 1996 and promotes positive wellbeing, providing opportunities for people in East Lothian to find ways towards healthier and less stressful living. For more info email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

‘Our Big Gig Extra’ is happening in six areas across the UK, including Musselburgh, and is about building volunteer skills, knowledge and resources to support music-making in the local community.


For more information on the workshops contact Gica:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  0781 465 7029