Tag Archives: gaelic

Fèis Thiriodh 2015 – The 25th Anniversary Special

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The Fèis Thiriodh committee are pleased to report that dates have been set and preparations are going well for this year’s event. The weeklong event of workshops, ceilidhs, talks and much more will be taking place from Sunday 5th to Friday 10th of July and we are excited to welcome back Tiree favourites ‘Trail West’ as our main tutors for the special 25th Anniversary event. Joining Trail West regulars; Ian, Alain and Andrew will be a host of other talented tutors who are all well-known to Tiree, including; Jamie MacDonald, Artair Donald, Iona Brown, John Angus MacKinnon, Eilidh MacFadyen, Eleanor Sinclair, John Holliday, Tara Rankin, Scott Wood, Linda MacLeod.

The 5 day tutoring event offers children aged 8 and over and adults, the opportunity to try their hand at a variety of different workshops including; accordion, guitar, pipes, drums, fiddle, flute/whistle, highland dancing, Gaelic conversation and film making. For the under 8 year olds, Fèis Bheag will run throughout the week along with Fèis Bheag Bheag running on four days for the under 5s.

As well as the day time workshops and activities we will also be running various evening and fringe events, which have proven to be very popular over the years. To celebrate our 25th Anniversary we are organising a ‘Ceilidh Ceann-bliadhna’ – Anniversary Concert – for the Monday evening. This will showcase a host of extremely talented and now famous past tutors and students returning to Fèis Thiriodh to entertain us with music, singing and dancing, which we hope will put everyone in the mood for a weeklong celebration of events. Other events will include; the popular children’s dance, a talk by Ian Smith on the history of whisky on Tiree and of course, the closing dance on the Friday evening, which will be led by Trail West.

After taking a year off last year we have also decided to bring back the very popular ‘Muse Cruise’ on the Thursday afternoon. This will see Fèis Thiriodh being transported on a six hour floating session with the tutors on the MV Clansman for a round trip to Barra and back. Come along to sing, play or just listen.

We only have to look at the numerous successful bands and musicians that hail from Tiree to realise that Fèis Thiriodh has had a very influential and successful 25 years, providing music and culture workshops and events to locals and visitors alike. We hope that you are all looking forward to Fèis 2015 and will join us to celebrate and ensure the 25th Annual Fèis is as popular and successful as previous Fèisean. Booking forms are now available and can be found, along with more information at www.feis-thiriodh.com

A dinner, A dram, and a drama

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The Tiree Association’s 2nd Dinner, Dram and Drama evening at Ralston Halls, on Saturday 28th February, proved to be a highly entertaining evening!

Following an exquisite two course buffet prepared by Alasdair – how does he manage to maintain this standard of catering excellence? – with an accompanying dram, those attending – around 65 in number – were treated to some first class singing, musical entertainment and storytelling:

many thanks to the singers – Linda, Mairi, Donald Iain and Gordon and to Billy for playing the box. An extra special thanks to Shona for her beautifully delivered story which delighted the audience and brought back many happy childhood memories!

The West End Players then took to the stage and delighted the audience with their fantastic bilingual comedy: ‘An Coigreach / The Stranger‘.

Again this year both fluent Gaelic speakers and learners could follow the exploits of those colourful characters as the hilarious plot unfolded! Many thanks to Mabel for penning this gem and to Lachie, John, Billy, Jessie, Donald Archie, Murdina and Gordon for taking to the stage and entertaining us all!

After some further delightful musical items Jessie, very bravely, took on the task of tutoring eight eager volunteers to dance an Eightsome Reel (properly!) The fact that all eight managed to complete the dance was totally down to her teaching skills – even the judges were generous with their ‘strictly ceilidh dancing’ scores!

A rousing chorus of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ drew the evening to a close. The evening was held in memory of Joan MacKechnie who worked tirelessly for The Tiree Association and profits will go towards fundraising for A Bhuain in May 2016.

The Committee would like to thank BORD NA GAIDHLIG for their generous sponsorship as this allowed us to keep ticket prices down. Also, many thanks to all those who ventured out on a very wet and windy evening to enjoy the buffet and the entertainment………and remember, if you’re on Tiree at Easter time, our SULA, SOUP and SANDWICH evening is on at An Talla on Saturday 11th April – hope to see you there!

 

Anne Ronald

On Gaelic as (non)trivia

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Hello a chairdean,

I am sure it was not intended in this way but the signposting of Gaelic as ‘trivia’ in the Tirisdeach is sending out a very poor message indeed, especially on an island that essentially exists in a Gaelic isolation as the last cornerstone of the language in Argyll.

I would have thought a swift response in both languages would be appropriate.

Le meas MA

Mary Ann Kennedy

 

Dear Editor

I am very sorry that I should have to write to you in these terms. As a native of Tiree, and also a prime mover in the establishing of Bord na Gaidhlig and the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act of 2005, I feel particularly strongly about your unfortunate ‘error of judgement’. It reflects, potentially and by implication, on myself and others who have done our utmost to maintain the Gaelic language across the years and in very difficult circumstances.

May I suggest, please, that the Tiree Development Trust and ‘An Tirisdeach’ should consider the newsletter’s editorial policy on Gaelic as a matter of some urgency? Might you even think of providing a paragraph of Gaelic in every newsletter, for the benefit of those who are trying to learn the language, as well as for the benefit of the island’s Gaelic speakers?

I would suggest too that it is a little unwise to entitle a page of this newsletter ‘Tiree Trivia’, whatever the language. Sooner or later, the validity of the title, relative to a particular item, will be disputed by someone. What is ‘trivial’ to one person may not be ‘trivial’ to another!

On a happier note, may I say how much I appreciate the brighter and better format of ‘An Tirisdeach’? That aspect of the newsletter has improved immeasurably, compared with its drab format a year (or less) ago. Well done!

Professor Donald Meek

Dear Mary Ann & Professor Meek

When the Trust approached An Tirisdeach to have a regular Gaelic saying featured in An Tirisdeach, it was embraced wholeheartedly. The suggestion of placing the article on the Tiree Trivia Page was in no way intended to upset or demean the Gaelic Language and speakers.

The situation of the phrase was chosen as An Tirisdeach is aware that many readers enjoy this page and considered it somewhere to showcase the language so many are trying to preserve with the intention that it may encourage more readers to try learning something new in a fun way.

Two actions have been taken as a result of the above articles,

1. The Trivia Page has been re-named “Fun Puzzle Page”

2. The Gaelic Phrase will be situated somewhere else in An Tirisdeach

Please accept my sincere apologies for the obvious upset this has caused not only to you but many others in the Gaelic speaking community. Regretfully I cannot reply in Gaelic as although I would like to, I do not speak the language..

Lyn Bryce, Editor

SUNSHINE AND MUSIC FÈIS 2013

feis_dancingThe Tiree ‘season’ got off to a great start with a successful Fèis that continued the growth of the last few years.

Blessed (or possibly cursed) with terrific weather, attendances at the classes grew while audiences at some of the evening events were disappointingly down. 2013 marked the 23rd Fèis with a return to the school after a number of years based in An Talla. The extra tutors from the two bands – Trail West and The Scott Wood Trio – meant that the festival simply ran out of rooms at the community hall. Numbers in the classes rose for the third year running, although there were only two Wanting to study the fiddle.

A particular success was the new expanded Fèis Bheag which ran for the full day and included for the first time non-Gaelic speaking children. Another winner was the Gaelic conversation class which was large and enthusiastic. However, the lecture on the Middleton kelp factory and the tutors’ concert were only thinly attended, possibly partly due to the glorious sunshine.

76 people boarded the ferry to Barra for the ‘Muse Cruise’ and were rewarded with a really great day of music and happiness. At Castlebay dancers and musicians from Fèis Thiriodh went ashore and did an Orcadian Strip the Willow down the pier with children from Fèis Bharraigh. And as the boat left the quay, the Barra dancing class lined up and did a Highland dance to a Tiree piper playing from the departing boat. As the dancers made a deep final bow, the Vessel’s master – a Barra man – blew the ship’s horn in salute. There was hardly a dry eye on board!

The final dance, with the two bands Combining, was generally reckoned to have been the best on the island for years. The shape of the Tiree ‘season’ is changing, with the rise and rise of TMF. All the summer events are having to get used to the new world, and Fèis Thiriodh is no exception. But we are looking forward to 2014 with a few new plans up our sleeve!

Dr Iohn Holliday, Chair.

Congratulations to Eilidh Macfadyen

Mod Winner

Photo © Graham Hood http://grahamhoodphotography.com

At this year’s National Mòd in Dunoon, the U-19 Accordion Competition was won by Eilidh MacFadyen of Caolis, with Ruaridh Morrison, who has strong Tiree connections, a close second.

Eilidh was a student at Tiree High School and is presently in her second year of studying Music and Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye. She now has a Gold to add to the Silver she won in Stornoway last year. She has also shown her ability to teach accordion – at Feis Thiriodh 2011 and 2012.

She would like to return to her roots some time in the future and maybe replace the ‘old codger’ who teaches accordion here at present.

Ruaridh is in 6th year at Oban High School and a really promising player. Both Eilidh and Ruaridh were praised by adjudicator Ian Mair for their ‘pipey’ interpretation of their respective March, Strathspey and Reel sets. We wish them every success in their musical careers.

Gordon Connell

Tiree Fèis Back On

The Tiree Fèis is on again – thanks to a great response from the community.
Fèis chair, Dr John Holliday had warned that the summer festival of traditional music was in danger of disappearing after 22 years because of a low turnout at the recent AGM. However, a reconvened meeting the next week gave the committee a major boost with four new members and five other volunteers.

The full week of classes and evening events will now take place from July 9-13.

The school is not available again due to on-going maintenance, which means An Talla, a popular choice for many, will again be the all-day festival site. Evening highlights include a Gaelic/English play ‘Angus – Weaver of grass ’ by the Horse and Bamboo Theatre Company and a talk by Iona Brown from Crossapol on what makes Tiree Gaelic special. Another standout is the ‘Muse Cruise’ to Barra on the Thursday – the Minch’s first floating session!

“We were struggling, but the response was heart-warming,” Fèis chair Dr John Holiday told An Tirisdeach. “Now we’ve got some great tutors lined up, plenty of variety and real quality. I can feel a good Fèis coming on!

Fèis Thiriodh 2011

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Ar ceòl, ar cànan ’s ar dualchas – our music, our language and our culture. Pride in the rich traditions of Tiree is the theme of Fèis Thiriodh 2011 which starts this week.

Stand out evenings are the night of traditional baking on a busy Thursday, which also brings us a shinty game and a music session, and a talk on the amazing guga hunt in the stormy waters of the Atlantic off the north coast of Lewis. But during the day there are also great classes in singing, Gaelic, guitar, pipes, flute and whistle, accordion and fiddle for young and old – if you want to sign up ring Paper.works at 220055.

  • Monday 11th 7.30pm, Adults’ Ceilidh Dancing Class with Jessie Gray, An Talla
    Come and learn the steps to old favourites and less usual dances and share a glass of wine.
  • Tuesday 12th 7pm to register, Car Treasure Hunt, An Talla
    How many wind turbines are there on Tiree? What are otter droppings called? Follow the fiendish clues around the island in teams.
  • Wednesday 13th 7-9pm, Children’s Dance, An Talla
    Children of all ages welcome to the best knees-up of the week.
  • Thursday 14th 7.30pm, Traditional Baking Demonstration, An Talla, Large Hall
    Ever wondered how to make the perfect scone or prizewinning dumpling? This year we have the answers, with demonstrations of how to make scones, oatcakes, pancakes, shortbread and dumpling the traditional way.
  • Shinty game, Reef pitch 7.30pm
    14 years and over, men and women, boys and girls, all levels of experience welcome! Equipment provided. Or come and watch the action.
  • Session, An Talla, Small Hall, 9pm
    If you play, sing, dance, tell ghost stories or enjoy a good old-fashioned ceilidh where everyone does something, come along to this informal session. All levels welcome.
  • Friday 15th 7.30pm till late, Fèis Ceilidh Dance
    The evening includes another performance by the West End Players of the hilarious short play An Dileab in Gaelic and English written and directed by Mabel MacArthur. Visiting and local musicians and singers combine with the house dance band to provide an intoxicating blend of song, dance, music and stories. By popular request Donald Iain Brown will again be fear an taighe.
  • Saturday 17th 7.30pm, Feis Illustrated Talk: The Guga Hunters with Donald Murray, Ringside Theatre, Rural Centre, Crossapol
    Every year ten men from Ness in Lewis make the 40 mile trip north to the uninhabited rock Sula Sgeir. There they follow the steps of their ancestors over two weeks in killing and salting 2,000 young gannets, known to the Lewismen as guga. The dark, strong flesh of these birds is an acquired taste! Donald Murray is from Lewis but has strong Tiree connections. He currently teaches in Shetland. His 2008 book The Guga Hunters is required reading for anyone wanting to know about this amazing tradition. The same techniques may have been used on the cliffs of Kenavara in days gone by.

BBC’s L.A.B coming to Tiree

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Tirisdeachs will be given a unique chance to experiment with video technology during the Fèis Thiriodh, turning their creative ideas into reality thanks to BBC Scotland’s digital media workshop – the L.A.B (Learn at BBC Scotland).

As part of the Feis’ 20th anniversary celebrations, BBC Scotland’s L.A.B travels to Tiree from Monday 12th to Thursday 15th July, giving students of preschool to adult age the chance to develop their digital media skills. The inspiration behind BBC Scotland’s L.A.B visit is to highlight Tiree’s unique musical heritage on film.

The first workshop (Monday 12 & Tuesday 13 July) will focus on young people aged 10 and upwards whilst the second workshop (Wednesday 14 & Thursday 15 July) will offer intergenerational experience for a variety of ages.

Amongst the skills on offer, Tirisdeachs will be given an introduction into moving images and how they work, basic camera techniques and storyboarding. Participants will also be taught how to use a dv (digital video) camera, given an introduction to editing skills and shown how to add music and sound effects to their movie.

The forthcoming Tiree visit is part of BBC Scotland’s Seaside Stories project run by the L.A.B (Learn at BBC Scotland) which will see the digital media workshop make movies with groups in Tiree, Dunoon and Millport. Johanna Hall, Project Leader at the L.A.B, BBC Scotland, whose family originally hail from the east end of Tiree, says:
“The L.A.B is delighted to be doing two workshops in Tiree. The whole idea behind the L.A.B is helping people improve or learn new skills working with digital media. In Tiree we will be encouraging people to develop interviewing skills, get behind the camera and, of course, have fun. We look forward to all the stories that the two groups will have to share. Having been to the island many times before in my youth I will be advising our team to pack both wellies and factor 50 sunscreen for the Tiree summer weather! “

Dr John Holliday, the island’s GP and chair of Fèis Thiriodh, adds:
“The BBC Scotland L.A.B workshops at this summer’s Tiree Fèis are an exciting development for young and old on the island. For several years our video classes in Gaelic and English have been some of the most popular at the Fèis and having this professional equipment and training will give our young people a real insight into the world of broadcasting. The wider island community will also get their chance to tell the story of life on the island – their story. It promises to be quite a week!”

Following the L.A.B visit, the Tirisdeachs video creations can be sampled at bbc.co.uk/thelab.

For further information on the L.A.B contact labscotland@bbc.co.uk or write to:
The L.A.B, BBC Scotland, 40 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1DA, Tel: 0141 422 7896.

Tiree attends Oban mod

Tiree pupils attend the 2009 Mòd in Oban

Tiree pupils attend the 2009 Mòd in Oban

21 pupils and 5 members of staff from Tiree High School attended the Royal National Mòd in Oban last week.

Ian Smith and Eilidh MacFadyen started the ball rolling when they competed in the Accordion competition on Saturday. This was a popular spectator event and the venue proved to be too small for all those wanting to get in to hear the competitors. Gordon Connell, the pupils’ tutor said the standard of playing was very high but he was very pleased with Eilidh & Ian’s performances.
Ian came away with a silver medal and although not in the top three, Eilidh gave a very creditable performance. This was her first experience of competing at the Mòd and will be better armed to compete next year.

The rest of the group competed over Monday & Tuesday in Solo singing, Conversation, Poetry recitation, Choral, Action Song and Folk group competition and although none were placed in the top three, the youngsters performed extremely well and did themselves proud.
It was a great experience for them and interesting for them to see how other competitors interpreted the pieces.

Some parents and friends came to Oban to support and this was much appreciated by the young people and the staff. Siusaidh NicNeill, who had been the driving force behind fundraising for the trip, said she was pleased and delighted with the performances and as she leaves Tiree to take up a new teaching post in Plockton she goes with very happy memories of the Oban Mòd.

Tiree adult choir – Oban Mod 199?

Are you in this photo?

Are you in this photo?

Are you in this photograph? Do you recognise someone in the photo?

If you can supply any information about who, where and when, please contact An Tirisdeach and we will be happy to print the relevant details in a future issue.

Fèis thiriodh

Next week sees the start of Fèis Thiriodh, Tiree’s festival of traditional music, dance and culture, and 2009 looks to be building on the success of last year’s record-breaking Fèis.
The week starts on Sunday afternoon with a walk round Hynish looking at the township’s fascinating history and looking behind the buildings to look at the human stories. Vikings, Iron Age forts and of course the incomparable Alan Stevenson. A bonus this year will be Hynish teas halfway through – a must for hungry historians!
Monday night sees a Homecoming Supper and Cèilidh in An Talla to celebrate Scotland’s Year of the Homecoming. A dram, a traditional Burns meal and an old fashioned cèilidh with some top singers and a great chance to meet the week’s tutors. Tickets are in the shops and at the office of Paper.works at the Rural Centre (220055). There are only 80 tickets, so don’t delay!
On Tuesday there is an evening of film from An Iodhlann, Tiree’s historical centre. There’s a short clip from the 1930s, some from the 1950s, and more recent material. This is in the Rural Centre and there will be a chance to sample teas at the Cobbled Cow in the interval (more hungry historians!)
Wednesday night sees the ever popular (for young and old!) children’s dance, Dannsa na Chloinne, Thursday the Tutors’ Cèilidh and Friday night the Final Dance, this year with band of the moment Trail West.
During the day the school will be thronging with musicians, shinty players and film makers. The tutors this year are Sileas Sinclair, accordion; John MacLeod, pipes; Melissa Deans, drama; Iain Sandilands, djembe (something new this year-an African drum); Brian Graham, pipe band drumming; Jenna Reid, fiddle; Calum MacCrimmon, whistle; Christine MacIntyre, film making (this was so popular last year that we have made this into a regular class); our own Ishbel Campbell, singing; Catriona MacGregor, our Gaelic teacher, and Darren Reid, shinty; and Iona Brown, Gaelic. A week to be proud of Tiree’s rich culture. See you there!
Ar cànan, ar cultur ‘s ar ceòl.
Dr John Holliday, chair.

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