Staff

Iain MacDonald – Artistic Director

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Iain is from Glenuig in Moidart but now lives in Benbecula and has been working with Ceòlas since 2004. Iain has been involved in music and the arts all his life. He started out as co-founder of the first Gaelic Repertory Theatre Co ‘Fir Chlis’ based in Harris in the Western Isles. He then went on to act and play in different Theatre companies and bands including 7;84, Ossian, Battlefield Band, Wolfstone etc.. and has travelled all over the world with them until he came off the road in 1997 and spent 6 years as Musician-in-Residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic College on the Isle of Skye. As well as working with Ceòlas he also tutors at Lews Castle College UHI, in Benbecula.

Iain the Whaler
Peigi Ann Nic'IlleMhaoil
Peggy Ann MacMillan – Office Manager

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Peggy Ann MacMillan was brought up on the Island of Eriskay and lives in Frobost in South Uist with her husband and three children. She attended Cardonald College where she gained an NC in childcare and education. She also has a Certificate in Leadership at SCQF Level 9. Peggy Ann has been with Ceòlas for 15 years and works as Office Manager. She is also very involved in Gaelic language development projects as well as organising Buttons and Bows.

Frank McConnell – Integration Manager

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Frank McConnell was born and brought up in Glasgow of a family with strong Hebridean ties and little interest in the arts. After graduating from Jordanhill College, he trained with Royston Maldoom and the Arts in Fife, where he cultivated a deep interest in creativity, the Arts and education in its broadest sense.  He has performed and collaborated with many theatre companies, most notably Communicado and has been commissioned by several dance and opera companies.  In May 2000, he was one of the first people in Britain to be awarded a Fellowship from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.  He is the founder of three significant dance companies in Scotland:  Dundee Rep Dance Co (now Scottish Dance Theatre);  Dannsa (a traditional dance collective); and his own company – the highly acclaimed plan B, which he directed for almost thirty years before it closed in 2019.  

Frank on tour with Dannsa
Shona Masson with fiddle
Shona Masson – Gaelic Education Officer

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Shona is from Kingsburgh on the Isle of Skye and has been involved in traditional music from a young age, playing fiddle and piano. She attended the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton for her final school year, and after a year’s study at Sabhal Mòr she took out an MA in Gaelic at the University of Glasgow. She has worked in Gaelic in Glasgow at organisations such as the University of Glasgow’s Gaelic Initiative, DASG and An Lòchran, as well as teaching and playing for Fèisean and events across Scotland. Before moving to Uist she was Assistant Producer at Caledonia TV in Glasgow where she worked on Gaelic TV programmes such as Fuine, Sàr-Sgeòil, Dealbhan Fraoich and Mach À Seo. She has also presented an episode of Trusadh and the upcycling series ‘Dreach Ùr’. 

Paul Burgess – Digital Support Officer

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Paul Burgess was born and brought up in South Uist. He lives in Strome, Kilpheder. He studied at the University of the Highlands and Islands, Benbecula Campus, and graduated with a BA in Applied Music in 2018. Paul is a keen and talented guitarist and taught at the local Fèis Tìr a’ Mhurain for over 10 years. Through live streaming and music making, Paul has developed excellent skills in technology. He joined the staff team of Ceòlas in October 2021.

Paul Burgess Ceòlas

Andrew Muncaster – Gaelic Social Media Officer

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Andrew is from Muir of Aird, Benbecula and his mother comes from the Macintosh family of Creagorry. He learned Gaelic through Gaelic Medium Education in Bun Sgoil Bhaile a’ Mhanaich and through his mothers’ side of the family. He started working with Ceòlas as part of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Gaelic Student Place Scheme in 2021. He continued to work for Ceòlas remotely as Gaelic Social Media Officer alongside his studies at the University of St Andrews, studying for an MA(Hons) in Geography. He has a huge interest in Gaelic language and culture and particularly the intersection between Gaelic and the environment. Through working with Ceòlas he has had the opportunity to improve his Gaelic skills and learn more of the environment, history and culture in Uist and Benbecula.