Ceòlas Uibhist has recorded the highest number ever of early-year bookings for the Uist-based summer school, taking place in the first week of July in Dalabrog.
Gaelic language continues to be the main draw at the school, which takes place in the strongest Gaelic-speaking community in the world. In addition to general Gaelic tuition taken by all students, about half of the students are signed up for a Gaelic option. This year also represents the first Gaelic-medium class on offer: Uist ‘seanchas’, or oral Gaelic lore, which will include substantial input from native-speakers from the community.
Piping and Gaelic song also possess a strong draw, especially among the international attendees from North America. Over a third of those already booked are from outwith the UK, evidencing Ceòlas’ continued global appeal. Young people are also well represented, with another third of bookings by people under the age of 25.
Organisers are delighted with the level of interest. Mary Schmöller, Officer and Development Manager commented: “It’s great to see so many new names, and it demonstrates the success of our diaspora events, of which Edinburgh in November brought in a quite a few. We’re in a real drive to expand current provision, so that when Cnoc Soilleir comes on stream, it will be busy and lively.”
2018’s tutors include Allan MacDonald (pìobaireachd); Kenneth MacKenzie & Sarah Hoy (playing for dance); Christine Primrose, Rachel Walker & Mary Jane Lamond (Gaelic song); Sophie Stephenson, Frank McConnell & Mats Melin (dance); Robbie Greig, Allan Henderson, Shelly Campbell & Eilidh Shaw (fiddle); Ashley MacDonald (youth piping), Ingrid Henderson (clàrsach); Ailig Bhaltos MacDonald, Catrìona MacIntyre, Catrìona Black & Angus John MacDonald (Gaelic language).