Two groups of talented young musicians will take to the road once again this summer for three weeks of musical performances the length and breadth of Scotland as part of a pioneering traditional music programme established by a Ross-shire based arts organisation.
For the first time since 2019, the Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail will see young musicians from all over Scotland come together to form two outstanding bands to perform at a variety of venues throughout the Highlands, Borders, Dundee, Dumfries & Galloway and Lanark. Performances this year take the form of everything from family ceilidhs in village halls to concerts in the woods and informal sessions in National Nature Reserves to tunes in museums, cafes and garden centres.
The Ceilidh Trail, which was established by Dingwall-based Fèis Rois, is a professional development opportunity for outstanding young traditional musicians, providing them with the chance to participate in a summer tour, with support from a team of professional musicians and specialist tutors. The musicians spend a week rehearsing and participating in workshops, including performance skills, sound engineering and dance calling, whilst also preparing for life on the road, before spending the summer playing music at venues throughout Scotland. This year the Ceilidh Trail will also perform at several well-known festivals including Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Under Canvas at Eden Court, as well as Cambridge Folk Festival and Sidmouth Folk Week in England. Fèis Rois is also delighted to continue its partnership with NatureScot to feature performances at six of Scotland’s National Nature Reserves: Knockan Crag, Loch Fleet, Forsinard Flows, Beinn Eighe and Falls of Clyde, and Cairnsmore of Fleet.
The programme, which was started by Fèis Rois in 2000 and has now been adopted by a number of Fèisean across Scotland, celebrated its 21st anniversary last year and unable to go on tour as planned due to the pandemic, the organisation released an album to mark the milestone, featuring a number of past participants. Many past Ceilidh Trail participants have gone on to carve out incredibly successful music careers including Rachel Newton, Brìghde Chaimbeul, Kim Carnie, Conal McDonagh, Mischa Macpherson, Ali Levack and Josie Duncan. The very first Ceilidh Trail was coordinated by multi award-winning Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, who provided the theme song for Disney Pixar’s Brave.
Participants this year include Eoin Cumming, Sheena Peteranna, Anna Scott, Freya Taylor, Charly Curry-Brown and Cassie de St Croix. Charly will be joining the Ceilidh Trail thanks to Fèis Rois’ partnership with Cambridge Folk Festival and Cassie is an exchange musician from Welsh arts organisation, Trac Cymru. The second group features Jamie Clarke, Matthias Hamilton, Calum Mackinnon, Kate Macleod, Elissa Hunter-Dorans, and Iain Hyslop.
Christian Gamauf, Fèis Rois Creative Producer, commented: “We are delighted to be able to run our Ceilidh Trail once again this summer. The programme supports young musicians to develop their performance and musical skills, whilst giving them a taste of what being a professional musician is really like. The Ceilidh Trail, which is funded this year by Creative Scotland and NatureScot, is also a hugely important cultural initiative, delivering a high standard of traditional music in places where you might not usually hear it and introducing tourists to our musical culture and traditions.”
A full programme of this year’s Ceilidh Trail performances can be found on the Fèis Rois website, www.feisrois.org. If you have any questions about the Ceilidh Trail or want to ask about any accessibility requirements, please get in touch with Christian Gamauf, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ceilidh Trail dates
- Wednesday 27th July, 2-4pm, Highland Museum of Childhood, Strathpeffer
- Wednesday 27th July, 9:30pm, Hootananny, Inverness
- Thursday 28th July, 12-2pm, Simpsons Garden Centre, Inverness
- Thursday 28th July, 4:30pm + 8pm, Under Canvas, Eden Court Theatre
- Friday 29th July, 11am-1pm, Dalmore Farm Café, Alness
- Friday 29th July, 4:30pm + 8pm, Under Canvas, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness
- Saturday 30th July, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival
- Thursday 4th August, Black Isle Show, Muir of Ord
- Thursday 4th August, 9:30pm, Hootananny, Inverness
- Friday 5th August, 12-2pm, Forsinard Flows NNR
- Friday 5th August, 7:30pm, Rosebank Playing Fields, Wick (Lyth Arts Centre)
- Saturday 6th August, Unexpected Garden, Alness
- Sunday 7th August, 12-2pm, Highland Farm Café, Dingwall
- Wednesday 10th August, 12-2pm, Beinn Eighe NNR
- Wednesday 10th August, 9pm, Bo & Muc @ The Torridon
- Thursday 11th August, 8pm, Applecross Community Hall
- Friday 12th August, 2-4pm, Gairloch Museum
- Friday 12th August, 7:30pm, Gairloch Community Hall
- Saturday 13th August, Unexpected Garden, Alness
Dumfries & Galloway
- Thursday 4th August, 7pm, Kirkcudbrught Scottish Nights
- Friday 5th August, 12-2pm, Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse of Fleet
- Friday 5th August, 7:30pm-10pm, Craigdarroch Arms Hotel, Moniaive
- Saturday 6th August, 2-3pm, Wighton Heritage Centre (Friends of Wighton), Dundee
- Saturday 6th August, 7:30pm, HMS Unicorn, Dundee
- Friday 12th August, Falls of Clyde NNR