Our project, Musicians in Exile, has won the National Diversity Award as Community Organisation for Race, Religion & Faith and the Voluntary Arts EPIC Award for Scotland. We are also finalists in the Herald/Genanalytics Diversity Hero of the Year Award and the Creative Regeneration Award of the Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum.
We love celebrating Govan's rich heritage and folklore, but most of all, our local Govanites, whose warmth, diversity and resilience influence everything we do. We are a flexible, innovative 21st century orchestral ensemble adapting to the needs of local communities and spaces. We work alongside other agencies to celebrate Govan through music, together.
Paul MacAlindin has conducted orchestras and ensembles all over the world, from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the RSNO, the SCO, Oulu Sinfonia and Armenian Philharmonic to the ensembles of the Düsseldorf Symphoniker, Psappha and Cantiere Montepulciano. He has recorded for BBC Radio 3, WDR and Radio New Zealand. His most striking role to date has been as Music Director of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq, whose story he told in UPBEAT: the Story of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq. In December 2017, he received the first ever Global Blue Ocean Shift Award for innovative business strategy from the Prime Minister of Malaysia at the Global Entrepreneurship Community Summit in Kuala Lumpur. He now musically directs The Glasgow Barons.
Govan's ancient history goes back 6000 years. Situated on the south bank of the narrowest, shallowest part of the River Clyde, it became the main crossing point for Roman, Pictish and Viking soldiers, fishers or farmers taking their livestock from one side to the other. Govan Old Parish Church is on the site of Scotland's first mainland church, dating from the 6th Century AD, the base of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. It now displays the Govan Stones, with 10th century Celtic-Christian design innovation and distinctively "intestinal" knotwork exclusive to Govan.
Govan's shipyards became the largest in the world, due largely to John Elder's three innovations: the compound engine, the modern heavy engineering workshop and the integrated shipyard. Whilst Govan was the engineering hub of the British Empire, thousands of local workers were subjected to terrible conditions and exploitation. Local houswife, Mary Barbour led the famous rent strikes of 1915, successfully lobbied Parliament to control rent sharks, and went on to become the Provost of Govan.
Today, Govan is rejuvenating itself. The old buildings have been retasked for modern enterprises, the rich heritage is being honoured and many local organisations are helping people towards positive life destinations.