Social Bite Village

Social Bite Village was one of the stops on our very first tour, and we have been back twice since then; squeezing the full orchestra into the village’s living room is always a highlight!

Starting in November 2019, one of our violinists, Georgina MacDonell Finlayson has been visiting Social Bite with Scottish traditional singer Claire Hastings to work with residents on writing new songs and improving their own singing and instrumental skills.

The project will culminate in 2020 when the full Nevis Ensemble will perform these new songs alongside the participants. We can’t wait to hear what they come up with.

This project has been made possible due to the kind support of The McGlashan Charitable Trust and The Souter Trust.

Social Bite Village

Social Bite and the Cyrenians have been working together to help those who have been experiencing homelessness in Edinburgh through this purpose-built ‘village’ opened in 2018. The village contains 10 houses, each shared by two people.  There is  a ‘Hub’ for our support team to work from as well as space for everyone to socialise, learn, train, eat and meet.

The aim of the village is to empower each individual with the skills required to maintain an independent and meaningful life away from homelessness and the issues which may have contributed to their homeless experience, e.g. unemployment, relationship breakdown, debt, addiction, mental health.

Claire Hastings

Claire Hastings is a Scottish folksinger, songwriter and ukulele player based in Glasgow. In 2015 she earned the prestigious title of BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year, and has since delighted audiences at home and abroad with her ‘natural, effortless Scots voice.’ (FRUK)

​A graduate of the Scottish Music degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Claire specialised in Scots Song with expert tuition from Gordeanna McCulloch (The Clutha) and Rod Paterson (Jock Tamson’s Bairns). Since graduating, Claire has toured successfully in the UK, Europe and New Zealand, and has performed at international festivals including Festival Interceltique de Lorient and Celtic Connections. 

As well as performing, Claire has also been involved with several teaching projects throughout Scotland including Feis Rois’ Youth Music Initiative, The Gaitherin (Aberdeenshire) and Feis an Iar Dheas (Dumfries). Claire is particularly passionate about her work with Live Music Now Scotland; a charity based organisation which brings live music to a range of audiences in community settings.

Georgina MacDonell Finlayson

Currently based in Edinburgh, Georgina MacDonell Finlayson is a musician, composer and community arts practitioner from the North East of Scotland. She enjoys a varied portfolio of performing, teaching and writing music in both classical and traditional styles, and has a particular interest in multi-disciplinary performance. Her experiences playing with orchestras across Scotland have included performances with NYOS at the BBC Proms and a tour to China. She has been a member of Nevis Ensemble since its inception in 2018, performing in some of the world’s most unlikely concert venues, and has also played with Scotland’s pre-professional Baroque ensemble Kellie Consort.

As a composer, she has had works premiered at Aberdeen’s Soundfestival and by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the ECA Degree Show. More recently, she has curated and performed the music for Miss Lindsay’s Secret, a theatre show premiered at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival. As well as a love for performing and creating music, Georgina finds great joy in teaching and community arts work. She currently works as an instrumental teacher at Portobello Music School and Stroller’s Music School, and also assists as a cover musician for Big Noise Scotland, working with young children using music as a means of social change in some of Scotland’s most deprived areas.

A recent graduate of music from The University of Edinburgh, Georgina plans to continue her studies with a masters in violin performance at the Royal Northern College of Music.