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Ceilidh Trail

Apply on-line!

Fèis Rois is now accepting applications from outstanding young musicians aged 16 – 25 interested in participating in the 2017 Ceilidh Trail project. Fèis Rois will offer a maximum of 15 musicians a place on this paid summer job that also doubles up as an intensive training opportunity. If you are interested in applying, you must be available on all of the dates below:

  • Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th February: Residential audition weekend in Cromarty.
  • All applicants must be available from 10am on Saturday 25th February through to 3pm on Sunday 26th February.
  • Monday 10th – Friday 14th July: Training week in Cromarty
  • Saturday 15th July to Saturday 12th August: Ceilidh Trail Tour - with some down time / days off throughout!

The closing date for applications is Tuesday 31st January at 5pm. n apply online.

If you are a venue who would like to book a Ceilidh Trail performance, please email our Project Co-ordinator, Catriona Ramsay

Fèis Rois launched its acclaimed Ceilidh Trail project in 2000. The first Ceilidh Trail was coordinated by Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis who spent three years working at Fèis Rois as an Education Officer. This first Ceilidh Trail gave 10 young musicians a summer job performing across Ross & Cromarty.

The Ceilidh Trail is a paid summer job and a professional development opportunity for young people aged 16 – 25 who are considering a performance career in traditional Scottish music. It is also a cultural tourism project bringing high quality traditional music performances to communities across Scotland throughout the peak tourist period in July and August.

Since 2000, The Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail model has been adopted by a number of other communities across Scotland. In addition to the Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail which takes place across Ross & Cromarty, the organisation Fèisean nan Gàidheal now supports Ceilidh Trails in the following communities:

  • Argyll & Bute
  • Badenoch & Strathspey
  • Lochaber
  • Skye & Lochalsh
  • Stirling & The Trossachs
  • Sutherland

In 2012, Fèis Rois established an annual National Ceilidh Trail to provide opportunities for young musicians (and communities and visitors!) in other parts of Scotland. The National Ceilidh Trail has visited Orkney, Caithness, the Western Isles, Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, the Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Lanarkshire, and Perth-Shire.

The Ceilidh Trail is a fantastic summer job! You will have the opportunity to develop a range of skills that will stand you in good stead for your future career in the music industry. You will also have the opportunity to visit new places, make new friends and have a lot of fun!

Through its Ceilidh Trail programme, Fèis Rois offers summer employment to 15 young musicians each year. The successful applicants are divided into 3 bands with 5 musicians in each band. One band will tour Ross & Cromarty and the other 2 bands will tour nationally across Scotland with one group focussing on Gaelic repertoire and the other group focussing on Scots repertoire.

What will I gain from taking part in The Ceilidh Trail?

Successful applicants will take part in a training week led by some of Scotland’s leading traditional musicians before embarking on a four week performance tour.

By taking part in The Ceilidh Trail, you will:

  • Discover what it is like to be a touring artist – you will experience every kind of gig imaginable as you will play informal sessions, formal concerts, ceilidh dances, outdoor gigs, indoor gigs, background music, on big festival stages…!
  • Learn to use a PA system and do your own sound at gigs
  • Learn to play for ceilidh dancing and how to call the dances
  • Develop your stage presentation skills
  • Develop your Gaelic language skills and learn to introduce your sets bilingually
  • Learn about marketing your gigs and building an audience
  • Be paid a competitive weekly wage and have all reasonable expenses reimbursed.

We understand that some applicants will want to apply for multiple Ceilidh Trails, e.g. perhaps the Fèis Rois Trails and the Fèis Spè Ceilidh Trail. This is absolutely fine! The staff at Fèis Rois work closely with the staff at Fèisean nan Gàidheal and the other individual Fèisean, e.g. Fèis Spè, Fèis Fhoirt, etc to ensure that we allocate successful applicants to the appropriate Ceilidh Trails depending on their audition performance.

Previous Ceilidh Trails

Many previous participants of the Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail have gone onto carve out very successful careers in the Scottish music industry. These include Fraya Thomsen, Mairearad Green, Matheu Watson, Mischa MacPherson, and Rachel Newton to name but a few.

Find out where the Ceilidh Trail toured in Ross-Shire in 2013 and nationally across Scotland that year too.

You can listen to a radio interview of the 2009 Ceilidh Trail participants. You can also listen to some tracks recorded by the 2011 Ceilidh Trail...

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