Fèis Thiriodh 2017 off to a Fantastic Start

The 27th annual Fèis Thiriodh kicked off at the beginning of this week and what a brilliant first couple of days they have been!

The star-studded line up of tutors have been busy tutoring over 100 students who are signed up to the main Fèis, Fèis Bheag and Fèis Bheag Bheag, making Fèis Thiriodh 2017 another fantastically supported event!

The start of the event also marked the start of the summer sun and we have been making the most of the lovely weather, with a variety of sports classes and the younger classes enjoying lessons outside. Fèis Bheag and Fèis Bheag Bheag has again proven very popular with the younger generation, which is very encouraging for the future of the event. Over half of the overall numbers are attending these classes where they have been receiving guest appearances from the music, dance and sport tutors to give them an insight of what is to come when they are age to attend the main workshops. The evening and fringe events have also been a huge hit.

On Monday evening, the first ‘Taste of Tiree – Blasad den Eilean againn’ welcome event was held. Tiree Trust will be running these events for the next 6 weeks, to welcome visitors to the island and the first one was billed as part of the Fèis and was a welcomed addition to the programme. The evening was excellently chaired by local Mabel Macarthur and enjoyed by many who were entertained by a selection of Fèis music tutors and a special highland dance performance from Iona Cairns. This was followed by interesting talks from Dr John Bowler and Dr John Holliday.

Tuesday was billed as the Tutors’ Ceilidh, which is always a fantastic evening of entertainment. Fèis Thiriodh have been very lucky over the years to attract and secure a huge amount of very talented musicians and individuals who work extremely hard over the week, tutoring and entertaining at various evening events. Tuesday’s ceilidh was well attended by the community, who were kept entertained and well informed by the ‘fear an taighe’ for the evening, Seonaidh Charity.

Seonaidh introduced all the acts throughout the evening which included a variety of ceilidh sets led by musical director for the evening, Eilidh MacFadyen on the box. Eilidh was joined by a host of others including, Mairi Innes on guitar, multi-talented musicians, Micheal Steele, Wee Ewan Henderson and Duncan MacDonald who entertained on the pipes, accordion, whistle, flute and drums. We had some wonderful solo singing performances from Alastair Currie, Iona Brown, Linda MacLeod and Johnathan Gillespie, along with a fantastic fiddle set performed by Craig Espie. The tutors were also joined by the tireless, hardworking Fèis committee who took to the stage to help sing this year’s Fèis song, Lag nan Cruachan, which was chosen and dedicated to the late Bernie Smith who was a very active committee member and supporter of Fèis Thiriodh.

As An Tirisdeach goes to print, we will only be half way through the Fèis week. Wednesday will see the event shifting location for a few hours, as they take to the seas and set off on the ‘Muse Cruise’ up to Barra. This is always a very popular event and the good weather looks to be continuing for it. On the return to Tiree, the tutors will be having a few tunes in the Lean To. A family dance will take place on Thursday, in An Talla, followed by the final dance on Friday night.

The band for the evening will include a variety of the tutors, who will be sure to keep you entertained and on your feet throughout the night.

For further information on all the remaining events make sure you check out the website www.feis-thiriodh.com or look out for the official programme which is on sale throughout the island.

Well done to all the committee, tutors and students who have worked to create another fantastic event!

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