Ceòlas Staff

picture of John Joe MacNeil, Ceannard at Ceòlas
John Joe MacNeil

John Joe comes from the island of Barra but now lives in Locheynort on South Uist.  John Joe joined Ceòlas in November 2022 as Ceannard of the organisation.  Prior to his role with Ceòlas, John Joe was a Lecturer in Gaelic Education at the University of Edinburgh.  He was also the first Head Teacher of Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar which opened in August 2015.  John Joe is a singer, choral arranger and director.  He won the Traditional Gold Medal at the Royal National Mòd in Lochaber in 2017 and went on to win the Gold Medal in Inverness in 2021.  He is the conductor of Barra Gaelic Choir, Oban Gaelic Choir Ladies and conducts the collective – Binneas.  He is a member of Oban Gaelic Choir.  

T: 01851 770701

Iain MacDonald
Artistic Director

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.

T: 01851770710

a picture of the artistic director, Iain the Whaler
picture of Peggy Ann MacMillan
Peggy Ann MacMillan
Office Manager

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.

T: 01851 770711

Shona Masson
Gaelic Education Officer

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’. 

T: 01851 770707

picture of Shona Masson, Gaelic Officer looking into the distance with fiddle
picture of Social Media Officer at Ceòlas, Andrew Muncaster
Andrew Muncaster
Gaelic Social Media Officer

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.