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Subjects in Brief

Sounds good

Music

- The National Youth Orchestra of Iraq will perform in Glasgow and Edinburgh on August 25 and 26 in its first visit to the UK. The orchestra, whose members overcome geographical distances by rehearsing via Skype and YouTube, is headed by Scottish musical director Paul McAlinden. For more details, see www.nyoiraq.com

Them and US

History

- The National Library of Scotland is running a free guided tour of its "Dreaming and declaring American independence treasures" display this month and next. Iconic items include letters written by George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. Tours are free, but booking is essential. Book at www.nls.uk or call 0131 623 3734.

Valley victory

Engineering

- Forth Valley College has become the first learning institution in Scotland to achieve STEM Assured, the industry-led quality mark for STEM training awarded by the National Engineering Foundation. The standard recognises excellence in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) provision within the further education sector, with a particular focus on an interdisciplinary approach and meeting the needs of business and industry.

Praise be

Choral

- The BBC's Songs of Praise programme is looking for the best junior and senior school choirs in the land. Entrants should submit a CD of their choir singing one Christian hymn or worship song, from any published hymnbook, and one other choice that is inspired by or based upon the Christian faith. See www.bbc.co.uksongsofpraise

Create a legacy

Sport

- North Ayrshire's brightest young athletes are to be given council support to help them realise their sporting ambitions through its new Nurturing Excellence initiative. The pound;72,000 fund is part of North Ayrshire Council's commitment to creating a legacy of excellence in sport - inspired by the 2012 Olympics and the 2014 Glasgow Common- wealth Games.

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