Glasgow’s Musicians in Exile Orchestra helps refugees rebuild their lives

Posted on: July 18, 2022

“When Angaddeep Singh Vig arrived in Glasgow from India as an 18-year-old asylum seeker in January 2020, without any of his beloved musical instruments, he remembers feeling like ‘a guy without a soul,’ ” writes Malcolm Jack in last Monday’s (7/11) Time Out Glasgow. “But thanks to Musicians in Exile—Glasgow’s asylum seeker and refugee orchestra—he has got his soul back, and then some. Started in 2019, the project is the brainchild of Paul MacAlindin, a freelance conductor who has worked with orchestras and ensembles all over the world … From 2009 to 2014, MacAlindin was music director of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq–a maverick mission to help young musicians in the country…. ‘It worked,’ he says, ‘until the invasion of Islamic State.’… He moved back to his native Scotland … [and] founded … an award-winning ‘regeneration orchestra’ set up to help revitalize [neighborhoods] through performances in local venues by musicians of all backgrounds. Musicians in Exile grew out of that, as a way of helping to give musician asylum seekers and refugees … to sing, play and share their talents.” Read about how American orchestras and the classical music community are helping refugee musicians in Symphony magazine.