Feis Rois Announces 2011 Silver Jubilee Programme

Feis Rois is delighted to announce its Silver Jubilee programme for next year which includes a very special concert at Celtic Connections, a brand new Student Fèis, an expanded and international flavoured Fringe programme at the Adult Fèis and a concert at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness.

Former Fèis Rois Education Officer and award-winning Gaelic songstress, Julie Fowlis, will also take up her role as the first ever Fèis Rois Ambassador and will be involved in several events throughout the year.

Fèis Rois will open its Silver Jubilee year with a unique concert at Celtic Connections in the City Halls, Glasgow on Saturday 22nd January 2011.

[phpbay]Music Concert 1[/phpbay]

The first part of the performance will showcase a recent partnership project between Fèis Rois and Drake Music Scotland. Fèis Rois commissioned pianist and composer, James Ross to write new music for traditional instruments and music technology. The resulting work will be performed by the pupils of St Clements’ School in Dingwall alongside Fèis Rois participants and professional musicians Alpha Munro (fiddle), Mairearad Green (accordion), James Ross (piano), and Drake music technology specialist, Matilda Brown.

Donald Shaw, Celtic Connections Artistic Director, said:
“The Fèis is like an electricity supply to traditional music – it has been a huge influence and inspiration to so many musicians. At Celtic Connections we’re very proud to be paying tribute to Fèis Rois, and its enormous significance to the Scottish traditional music scene.”
Maureen Mackenzie, Head Teacher of St Clements’ School, said:

“For those pupils who took part it was an invaluable experience – raising self-esteem & confidence to high levels and being able to perform to a wider audience within the local community was excellent. To perform at a National Level would be fitting as the hard work & effort of all involved should be shared & celebrated.”

The second half of the concert will be a performance by twenty-five people who represent the twenty-five years of Fèis Rois. A wealth of talented musicians have come through the organisation and gone on to carve out successful careers in the Scottish music industry. This concert will feature fifteen professional musicians performing alongside ten Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail participants. The performers include Lauren MacColl, Ronan Martin, Matheu Watson, Mairearad Green, Olivia Ross, Rachel Newton, Rachel Walker, John Somerville, Barry Reid, Michael Bryan, Fraya Thomsen, Ruairaidh Campbell, Douglas Beck and Louise Mackenzie with Corrina Hewat as musical director. Fèis Rois Ambassador, Julie Fowlis, will make a guest appearance.

John Somerville said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to be asked to be involved in the Fèis Anniversary concert. There is a spirit and sense of excitement that I have always attached with being at Fèis, whether that be as a wee boy attending my first one, as a supervisor, as a tutor or being involved with performances. I’m sure this concert will be no exception, I look forward to playing with some great musicians that too share this sentiment, it should make for a great night”.

Lauren MacColl added:

“I am proud to be asked to be a part of this concert. Fèis Rois gave me a huge grounding in the culture, language and tradition of the Highlands, and this is an exciting platform to celebrate 25 years of the organisation, at the world’s biggest festival of Celtic Music”.
Tickets will be available from www.celticconnections.com or t. 0141 353 8000 from 19th October 2010.

Fèis Rois already has three highly acclaimed annual tuition festivals where young people and adults have the opportunity to participate in music making and learning the Gaelic language.

2011 sees Fèis Rois extend its annual calendar to include Fèis Rois nan Oileanach Gàidhlig – The Student Fèis. . Aimed at Gaelic-speaking students from across Scotland, this exciting new project has been developed in partnership with the University of Glasgow and with support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig. Participants will have the opportunity to work with Gaelic singers Mary Smith and Julie Fowlis, as well as step dancer, Sandra Robertson. This tuition weekend will take place in Ullapool from 18th – 20th February 2011.

Fèis Rois Manager, Fiona Dalgetty said:

“We are delighted to be working with Fiona Dunn, the Gaelic Language Officer at the University of Glasgow on this new Gaelic-medium project. Fèis Rois nan Oileanach Gàidhlig will give students from across Scotland the opportunity to use their Gaelic in an informal setting whilst learning new skills in traditional music, song and dance. We hope that this unique course will encourage young people to stay involved with Fèis Rois when they leave school and move onto further education.”

Fiona Dunn of the University of Glasgow added:

“This collaboration will allow Gaelic speaking students to come together on a national level, meet new people including highly skilled and knowledgeable tutors but above all, be completely immersed in both Gaelic language and culture. It is a really exciting project and we hope that Gaelic speaking students from higher and further educational institutions throughout Scotland, will take advantage of this opportunity. We are grateful to Fèis Rois for adding “Fèis Rois nan Oileanach Gàidhlig” to their busy annual calendar of events and look forward to working closely with them on this project.”

Booking for this course will open in November 2010. For further details, please contact Fèis Rois on 01349 86 2600 or e-mail fios@feisrois.org

With generous support from the Highland Culture Programme, Fèis Rois developed a very successful programme of Fringe events at the Adult Fèis in Ullapool in 2010. The village was buzzing with live music, and visitors and locals alike enjoyed the busy programme of concerts, talks, recitals, gigs, ceilidh dances and more. As part of their Silver Jubilee celebrations, Fèis Rois plans to build on the success of this initial pilot with an even bigger and more international flavour to the Adult Fèis – Fèis Rois Inbhich.

Renowned Irish-American Fiddler and composer, Liz Carroll will be both teaching and performing at the event alongside USA based Irish guitarist, John Doyle. Although they have performed at Celtic Connections in Glasgow in the past, this is the first time that Liz and John will have been to the Highlands. Julie Fowlis and her band – Duncan Chisholm, Martin O’ Neill, Eamon Doorley and Tony Byrne will also be teaching and performing at the Fèis Fringe. Martin O’Neill has just finished a European tour including Glastonbury with legendary singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder. Other tutors confirmed to date include flautist, Nuala Kennedy, The Cast (Dave Francis and Mairi Campbell), accordionist John Carmichael, pianist Dave Milligan and former Fèis Rois participant, Corrina Hewat.

John Doyle said:

“It’s a terrific thing Fèis Rois is doing with the festival and I am honored to be asked to be a part. I love coming to Scotland and am really looking forward to playing again with Liz (Carroll) there ….I’m certain it’s going to be a time to remember! Tunes, tunes, songs and more tunes to come!”

The Adult Fèis takes place in Ullapool from 29th April – 2nd May 2011. Booking for this course will open in January 2011. For further details, please contact Fèis Rois on 01349 86 2600 or e-mail fios@feisrois.org

Fèis Rois closes its Silver Jubilee Year with a concert in Eden Court Theatre in Inverness on Friday 11th November 2011. This will feature a whole host of Fèis Rois musicians, past and present. Young people will have the opportunity to work with tradition bearers in the lead up to this unique evening celebrating 25 years of Fèis Rois.

Already one of Scotland’s Gaelic Ambassadors, an honour bestowed to her by the Scottish Parliament in 2008, Scottish singer and multi-instrumentalist, Julie Fowlis is now taking up the role of Fèis Rois Ambassador for 2011and will be involved in a number of events throughout the year.

Julie Fowlis said:

“I am very much looking forward to taking on this role, especially given my previous links with Fèis Rois as Education Development Officer from 2001 to 2004. The work of the various Fèisean around Scotland has proved vital in growing an entire new generation of musicians and singers throughout Scotland. Fèis Rois in particular has always had a reputation for excellence, and I am happy to see that continuing through exciting new projects and initiatives, whilst all the time building on the tremendous work that has been carried out over the past 25 years”.

The Ambassador programme is a new initiative for Fèis Rois and it is hoped that each year, an inspirational figure like Julie, who is associated with the Gaelic tradition, the culture of music-making and with strong links to Fèis Rois, will take up the mantle.

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