Uist, Mallaig and London – a busy month for Ceòlas

May has been an extremely busy month for Ceòlas, running events all over the country in the past month. Our programme of events kicked off on Friday 5th May with the ‘Òran is Fonn’ song conference, during which we had the pleasure of giving local people another chance to see Rona MacDonald’s cèilidh play ‘Fuaigh’. Rona was joined by Gillebrìde MacMillan and local singing group ‘Guthan an Iar’, as well as around 80 people from the local community.

Students on the GIfT course (Gaelic Immersion for Teachers) at the University of Strathclyde got the chance to learn about the tradition of puirt-à-beul and dance with Naomi Harvey and Dr Will Lamb (University of Edinburgh) on Saturday. This was followed by a highly successful concert at Talla Chàirinis, featuring South Uist’s own Kathleen MacInnes. She was joined by two acclaimed musicians from Ireland, piper Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn and harpist Laoise Kelly. We closed the weekend’s events with a singing circle in the Lochboisdale Hotel on the Sunday evening.

A wealth of other Ceòlas events followed throughout the month. Singing group ‘Guthan an Iar’ performed at the annual Gaelic mass at St. Mary Moorefields in City of London. This was preceded by a cèilidh with the London Gaelic Society. Over the course of the weekend, more than 90 people attended these special events. On Friday 19th May, the ‘Buttons & Bows’ group held a concert to display the skills of young people who have benefitted from box and fiddle tuition throughout the life of the successful scheme. The project has been funded by the People’s Health Lottery for the past two years, but Ceòlas is now seeking other sponsors in order to keep the scheme going.

This past weekend (20th), 14 people from Uist travelled to Mallaig to perform music and song with friends from far and wide. The group were based between the West Highland Hotel and the Marine Bar for the day. Thank you to all who came and played/sang with us over the course of the day.

All of this has been happening while Ceòlas is working hard with our architects to bring the Cnoc Soilleir Project to fruition. We are currently seeking a Project Manager and a Technical Contracts Coordinator. Information is available at www.ceolas.co.uk/gd/2017/05/advertised-positions-cnoc-soilleir/.

Guthan an Iar ann an Lunnain

Ruairidh Gray

Chloe Steele, Aonghas Dòmhnallach, Aonghas MacIllEathain, Ruairidh Gray air LOTI