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Young Impact Arts musicians stake claim to play Royal Wedding at Holyrood reception

The wedding band is an essential part of any ceremony – and a group of Impact Arts musicians made a late bid for a headline slot when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange vows this May.

Five young people between the ages of 15 and 18 treated the royal couple to a cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” on the couple’s first official joint visit to Scotland.

The group – who attend free music workshops run by charity Impact Arts at Edinburgh’s city youth café 6VT – were part of a reception at Holyrood Palace marking 2018 as Scotland’s Year of Young People.

And the group – including guitarists, ukuleles and singers – were kind enough to offer their services to Harry and Meghan in the event of another big name dropping out.

“A little bird told us that Ed Sheeran would be playing at an upcoming wedding - but if that falls through then our diary is free.” Sol Grieve Rae, 17, said to laughter from the couple.


The couple react to the Impact Arts performance (credit: Tony Marsh Photography)

The group are part of Impact Arts' Cashback to the Future programme, which is funded by the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities initiative which backs young people’s projects using the seized proceeds of crime.

As well as weekly music workshops in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Ayrshire, the programme has a four-week summer course giving disadvantaged young people between the ages of 12 and 19 the chance to work with professional artists.

“It was nerve-wracking,” said Darren Telford 16, “but we pushed through it and got there in the end! It feels amazing having done it – everyone there was so appreciative and that gives you so much confidence.

“It was an amazing experience just seeing Harry and Meghan there, never mind to meet and shake their hand. You could tell they had a lot of time for everyone there.”



Cashback workshops in Edinburgh have been hosted by Edinburgh City Youth Cafe - a charity which supports young people to lead healthier, active lives and offer opportunities to improve their mental health and resilience.

Three other young people from the Cafe had the opportunity to share the impact that the work the project is making on young people's lives.

Andrew Gillon, 17, said: “Prince Harry asked if more Youth Cafes like 6VT should be open across the country to support young people. Overall it was such a buzz, and great to see our friends performing with Impact Arts."

Rosanna Campbell, 17, said: "The whole experience has just been amazing - this has been a once in a lifetime day.”

Fiona Doring, Director of Impact Arts, said: “Everything about Cashback to the Future is geared towards building young people’s confidence in their creative abilities – and you don’t get a much more proof of that than performing at an occasion like this!



“The young people were incredible, and their talent and skill really shone through. The First Minister and the royal couple were very appreciative afterwards.

“We hope this encourages other young people to get involved in the Cashback programme as it moves into its second year, and helps more and more to reach their creative potential.”

  • Impact Arts free Cashback to the Future workshops for 12-19 year olds are running now in Glasgow, and will shortly come to Edinburgh and Renfrewshire. For more about the project, visit this section of the website.
  • For more information on Edinburgh City Youth Café check out their website.


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