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YOUNG TRADITIONAL MUSICIANS SET TO RE-LAUNCH CEILIDH TRAIL AT HEBCELT

02 Jul 2015

This year’s 20th anniversary Hebridean Celtic Festival is providing a stage to re-launch a Ceilidh Trail in the islands.
 
Seven of the finest local young traditional musicians will be performing on the festival’s Islands Stage in front of thousands of fans in the main arena on Saturday, 18 July. A series of smaller gigs are also lined up during festival week, which runs from 15-18 July in Stornoway.
 
The HebCelt concerts will kick-off a programme of appearances from Lewis to Barra during the Western Isles Ceilidh Trail which has been re-established this year after a period in abeyance.
       
In all, eight Cèilidh Trails featuring youngsters aged between 16 and 22 from across the Fèis (Gaelic arts festival) movement will tour a vibrant series of concerts across the country this summer, giving an opportunity to the next generation of traditional musicians and Gaelic singers to develop their performance skills.
 
Calum Alex MacMillan, development manager for Fèisean nan Gàidheal, the umbrella association of the Fèis movement, said: “We are delighted to see the Ceilidh Trail re-started in the Western Isles this year.
 
“There are a lot of very skillful young musicians coming through the Fèisean and playing at the anniversary HebCelt provides an ideal opportunity for them and a perfect platform to showcase their talents.
 
“Playing alongside the cream of traditional musicians, and in front of a large audience, will inspire our youngsters and help enormously in their development.”
 
“We are extremely grateful to Creative Scotland and HIE who provide funding for the Ceilidh Trail groups and also to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for their support towards the Western Isles Ceilidh Trail.”
 
The seven musicians in the Western Isles Ceilidh Trail are – Louisa MacLean Barron (fiddle), Amy Hutchison (fiddle) and Stephen Drummond (accordion), who all attended Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich (Lewis Fèis held in Stornoway); Alex John Morrison (Gaelic song, guitar), from Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich and Fèis Taigh Dhonnchaidh (Ness); Aidan Whittle (fiddle, pipes, bass and step dance) and Angharad Whittle (fiddle, whistle, flute and step dance), from Fèis Tìr a’ Mhurain (South Uist); and Fergus MacVicar (pipes, keyboard), from Fèis Tìr an Eòrna (North Uist).
The HebCelt Islands Stage concert will precede acts including Findlay Napier, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, Chastity Brown and Shooglenifty.
 
The youngsters will also appear at the Caladh Inn in Stornoway on Saturday night. In addition, during the festival they will play at the Café Roo food show in Point, the Solas Day Centre in Stornoway and The Decca in Ness on Wednesday 15 July.
 
The following day they will be at the Shawbost Polycrubs, the Callanish Visitor Centre and Doune Braes Hotel in Carloway, and on Friday they will visit the Martin’s Memorial building and Perceval Square and the Woodlands Centre in Stornoway.
 
From Monday 20 July to Saturday 1 August the trail takes the youngsters to concerts in Point, Ullapool, Harris, North and South Uist, Benbecula, Eriskay and Barra.
 
HebCelt festival director Caroline Maclennan said: “One of the festival’s aims is to promote and encourage young local musicians and provide opportunities for them to gain experience playing in front of an audience.
 
“They represent the future of traditional music in the islands and are a welcome addition to our events, both in the main arena and other locations in the community during festival week.”
 
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