6 Broad Street,
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The Wrigley Sisters Links
Orkney Musical Links
Instruments of all sorts are available for free short or long time loan to local and visiting musicians of all ages.
AT THE REEL
a grand total of over 26,973.73 over the past eight years!
The Reel Life Foundation
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for lessons and classes online.
price £10 and join the free sessions with Karen Tweed and friends.
Lessons and classes are available online!
See our events below.
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March 17th 2020
Sorry the building is closed meantime but the music goes on!
The Reel Life Foundation
You can now buy a download of the fabulous Wrigley Sisters,"Trad Secrets Book 1". The music for 35 of their favourite tunes including harmonies and chords is available securely through PayPal price £10.
Press Release August 7th 2020
A lot of folk have been asking if and when ‘The Reel’ is going to re-
‘The Reel’, situated in the centre of Kirkwall right next door to the historic St Magnus Cathedral, is privately owned and run by Jennifer and Hazel Wrigley where it occupies a large, prominent, characterful, Georgian style former townhouse under a rental agreement with Orkney Islands Council.
It neatly combines six fully equipped teaching rooms, a licensed café bar with pavement seating area, performance and rehearsal spaces and Orkney’s only music shop, serving as a highly popular, central cultural hub for all ages. It is the only music school dedicated to Orkney music and culture.
However, the inability to trade during the government lock down period since March has had a devastating impact on the business. Like so many local other local concerns it is heavily reliant on the period from April onwards to survive the quiet winter months.
Additionally, the cancellation of the cruise liner traffic, key events such as the Orkney Folk Festival, St Magnus Festival and the agricultural and horticultural shows has had a considerable impact -
Coupled with this, a great deal of The Reel’s trade is from music and live events which, it seems, may not be able to resume for some considerable time with many live events postponed until next year.
After 16 fantastic years trading, in the wake of the corona virus pandemic, the twins have decided that, although they would like to continue with the music tuition that is the foundation of their work, they now feel they have no choice but to step down from running The Reel.
Jennifer said “Rather than see The Reel’s doors close permanently, we are seeking a buyer for the business and we are inviting anyone to step forward who is interested in investing in and developing The Reel’s activities to secure its future as the unique and well celebrated part of Kirkwall’s heritage it is today. It is with heavy hearts that we have made this decision, but we feel that the time is right for someone else to take over. Seeing past the recent difficulties of the Covid-
Since its formation in 2004 The Reel has employed over 350 people. The Reel Music School has been a base for more than 70 self-
The Reel has also provided an all year round venue for countless local groups including The Reel Orkney Tradfest, Orkney Strathspey and Reel Society, Orkney Accordion and Fiddle Club, Orkney Recorder Group, Saturday night Traditional Music Sessions, Antony Hodgson Singer Songwriter nights, Tony Leigh Jazz Nights, Orkney Mandolin Group, The Reel Fiddlers and Guitarists, Karen Tweed’s Handwriting Class, Karen and Heather’s Mixed Instrument Class, Klezmer Group, Young
adults with learning difficulties Music Group, Reel Life Foundation Slow Sessions, Step Dancing Class, Ukulele Class and Orkney Traditional Music Project.
It is hoped that the hugely successful, annual “Orcadian Summer Concert Series”, held at The Reel for the past 9 years, which has raised nearly £30k for small local charities and has featured over 72 performances by hundreds of local artists, will continue, along with the work of The Reel Life Foundation which includes free OIC funded “Slow Sessions” and a free musical instrument bank service, both of which are extremely popular.
Hazel said “The Reel has been fortunate to be part of a wonderful musical era when Orkney has really taken centre stage across the world and it has been amazing to have played a small part in that. It is with deep sadness that we have taken this decision, but we will look back with immense pride at everything we and our loyal supporters have achieved – we do hope a new owner can be found so that The Reel can continue for many more years to come.”
For further details please get in touch with Jennifer and Hazel on firstname.lastname@example.org