Tag Archives: traditional

Fèis Thiriodh 2015 – The 25th Anniversary Special

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

TMSA Young Trad Tour visits Tiree

On Wednesday 8th October some of brightest stars of Scotland’s young folk talent travelled to Tiree for a night of musical entertainment in An Talla.

Featuring the finalists of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2014, as well as the winner of the 2013 competition, the Young Trad Tour 2014 consisted of six dates at each of the finalists’ hometowns as well as a performance at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival, scheduled to take place on the 17th January 2015.

This year’s band – made up of Paddy Callaghan, Alistair Iain Paterson, Mhairi Marwick, Neil Ewart, Jack Badcock and Ian Smith – brought a cross-section of the country’s regional folk scenes to the table. Whilst most of the musicians are now based in Glasgow and Edinburgh’s thriving folk scenes, they were all brought up surrounded by diverse traditions- from Irish, West coast and East coast styles.

As well as the Tour, the group also recorded an album at one of Scotland’s most prestigious recording studios, Castlesound Studio in Pencaitland.

The Young Trad Tour – including both the CD and tour itself – was organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) and was made possible through funding support from The Robertson Trust, the National Lottery through Creative Scotland, as well as assistance with the Tiree leg from Loganair and other private sources. The concert in Tiree was well-attended and the audience, of around seventy, were treated to a fantastic mix of traditional songs, reels, slow airs and more. As well as the concert, the musicians also visited Tiree High School, where they carried out short workshops with the pupils.

For more info on the tour visit http://www.tmsa.org.uk or if you’d like to purchase the album contact Ian Smith (by email: ian.tiree{@}hotmail.co.uk or by phone: 07591 005871).

Local Tutors Power Fèis Thiriodh 2011

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An Talla proved a spectacular venue for Fèis Thiriodh 2011 which came to a triumphant conclusion last weekend. 200 people packed in to the hall for the final ceilidh and dance to the largest and best dressed ceilidh band in Scotland, including Shona and Susan MacFadyen from Caolas.

The seven classes for the 21st Fèis were again held in the hall as the school was unavailable due to maintenance, and every nook and cranny was filled with music. Iain and Anne MacKinnon, along with Ewan and Fiona Malcolm, had lent caravans which made first rate classrooms for piping and whistle.

Numbers were double those of last year as the sun beat down – an unusual experience for the Fèis! The demonstration of traditional baking, organised by Jessie Gray, will be talked about for years. (if you attended the Baking evening and didn’t get a Recipe Booklet, these can be collected from the Business Centre) The shinty match had 30 players, young and not so young, battling furiously for the ball. “There’s no fool like an old fool,” said Niall Oliver, the fiddle tutor as he ruefully took off his helmet after the game.

That evening a music session took over the corner of An Talla, as twenty musicians played furiously into the night listened to by an audience of over 50 people.

“A really great week,” said Dr John Holliday, chair of the Fèis, as the accordions and fiddles were being packed away. “The committee of An Talla went out of their way to make us welcome. Although it is hard to pack in the number of classes we had, the hall is so light and the sound quality so good, we really enjoyed it. It is also wonderful to have so many young and talented Tiree tutors. All in all, a fantastic advertisement for the island and its rich culture.”

The date of the Fèis next year is July 9-13.

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.

Triumph For Na Tirisdich At The Trads

Gordon Connell

Despite the appalling wintry conditions on the mainland, a number of Tiree residents made the journey to Perth Concert Hall to be at the 2010 MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards on Saturday 4th December.

This was the eighth annual award which was set up to celebrate all forms of traditional music in Scotland.

Gordon Connell was winner of the Music Tutor of the year Award sponsored by Creative Scotland’s Youth Music initiative. Skipinnish Ceilidh House in Oban, which is run by Angus MacPhail and Andrew Stevenson, won venue of the Year Award sponsored by Coda Music.

Congratulations to Gordon, Angus and Andrew on their success.

Your Vote Counts!

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There are many different Tiree connected musicians / bands up for various awards at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards 2010 which is a phenomenal achievement for the island!

Skerryvore, Trail West, The Skipinnish Ceilidh House and Gordon Connel have all been nominated.
Also Rachel Walker of Skipinnish Records has been nominated as have the Oban Youth Pipe Band, who have a had a tremendous year!

All the nominees would certainly appreciate a vote, so please head over to:
www.handsupfortrad.co.uk/tradmusicawards/voting2010.html and vote!

The Various Nominations are:

  • Skerryvore – Live Act of the Year
  • Trail West – Scottish Dance Band of the Year
  • The Skipinnish Ceilidh House – Venue of the Year
  • Gordon Connel – Tutor of the Year
  • Rachel Walker – Gaelic Singer of the Year
  • Oban Youth Pipe Band – Pipe Band of the Year

More info about all the nominees can also be found on the handsupfortrad website

Boatbuilding Success

Moragann and Daisy Heading For 2010 Regatta

The first boat-builder course organised by the Tiree Maritime Trust has been successfully completed and the second is due to start on Friday 4th December with a third planned for January.

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A fabulous work-shop has been set up in the auction ring at the Rural Centre and Adam Way and his assistant Mike Dryer of A R Way Boatbuilding, Lochgilphead, worked incredibly hard for a fortnight in November leading 23 members of the community from age 14 upwards, for day-time and evening sessions teaching boatbuilding and boat renovation skills.

The course started with scraping, dismantling, assessing condition, measuring, pattern making and selecting suitable timber, going on to machining, hand planning, marking out, shaping and fitting a transom, stern post and keel, repairing plank ends and making oars.
Tiree boats Moraganne and Daisy are being worked on; (sadly Ros has had to be abandoned as she is beyond repair) both boats have a new transom and stern post. Moraganne has a new keel and stem, and Daisy’s stem head has been repaired.

We will look forward to seeing both these boats sailing at the Regatta next summer. If you are passing and would like to come and see how the things are progressing you are very welcome. Work continues on the Boat Shed project with planning consent due any day and a funding application to SRDP being prepared for early January.