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The main reason for sending you this short letter is to say a huge Thank You to you all for not just making me very proud to promote the music and musicians of Scotland, which I am privileged to do all around the world, but to make me equally proud to be part of such a vibrant music scene within Scotland within which organisations such as Fèis Rois play such an important role, especially for young people.
Ian Smith, Portfolio Manager for Music and IP at Creative Scotland referring to a group of Fèis Rois musicians who performed at Cambridge Folk Festival
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Adult Fèis Tutors for 2011


Val Bryan Val Bryan
Valerie Bryan has worked with Fèis Rois and Fèisean nan Gàidheal since 1987 in a variety of roles, including committee member and tutor, on various instruments, at all three annual Fèisean. She is a full-time Music Teacher at Ullapool High School.
Tony Byrne Tony Byrne
Tony Byrne, Dublin guitarist, has been involved in music from a young age. Starting out playing in rock bands as a drummer at age 11, Tony began performing around Dublin city centre venues at age 12. Past performances include concerts with acts such as Danu, Sharon Shannon, Michael mc Goldrick ,Gerry o Connor, David Munnelly Band, Matt Molloy, Paul Brady, Julie Fowlis and many more. Tony has also performed with artists of different genre such as legendary guitarist Tommy Emmanuel and banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck. Tony also works with the Galway Arts Festival and has been a cast member of award winning Irish play “Trad” which has toured extensively including Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Perth International Festival, Australia.
Mairi Campbell Mairi Campbell
Mairi Campbell trained as a viola player at the Guildhall in London, and worked in London until she withdrew to focus fully on traditional song and fiddle music, essentially finding her musical roots. Her musical interests are wide, and range from playing Scottish dance music to free improvisation (the former with Bella McNab’s Dance Band, the latter with the Working Party). She is in great demand as a fiddle teacher, and was one of the pioneers in the re-introduction of solo step-dancing to Scotland in the early nineties. Mairi is currently musical director of the Edinburgh based folk-choir Sangstream. She has also worked extensively as a session musician. Mairi performs regularly with Dave Francis as "The Cast" and their version of "Auld Lang Syne" was recently featured in the "Sex and the City" movie.
John Carmichael John Carmichael
John Carmichael is one of the great characters of the Scottish music scene and one of the music’s most dedicated advocates. Former Scottish accordion champion, he has been musical director for and toured with many of Scotland's top artists including Jimmy Shand, Andy Stewart, Kenneth MacKellar, Calum Kennedy and others. He has produced, presented and performed many times on STV, BBC Radio and Television, CBC Canada and many others (over 200 TV shows with his band and as a solo artist). John's long and illustrious career was marked in 2008 when he was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. This accolade is reserved for the small number of outstanding performers which have truly shaped the profile of Scottish music over the decades. John was recognised for his wide-ranging expertise as a musician, performer, bandleader, television producer, accordion teacher and competition adjudicator. John continues to be one of the busiest and most popular band leaders and entertainers in the country for all things Scottish. John's reputation for being able to 'call' dances is second to none.
Liz Carroll Liz Carroll
Liz Carroll was born in 1956 in Chicago of Irish parents. She's a junior and senior All-Ireland Fiddle Champion, and has toured as a solo artist and with the Greenfields of America, Trian, String Sisters, and as part of the duo Liz Carroll & John Doyle. She's featured on nine albums and has appeared on many more, and in 2009 she became the first Irish-American musician nominated for a Grammy. In addition, Liz is a recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship Award (1994).
Duncan Chisholm Duncan Chisholm
Taught by the great Donald Riddell, Duncan Chisholm has performed his music in the concert halls and arena's of Europe and America to critical raptures. Few can match Duncan's expressive feel for a Highland air. That he can put a match to the heather in Wolfstone does not deny the historic, traditional lineage of his playing. Duncan's third solo recording, Farrar, which was awarded the Scots Trad Music Awards - Album of the Year 2008, and his most recent album Canaich, comprise parts 1 and 2 of a trilogy of albums called The Strathglass Trilogy. This body of work is inspired by the Highland landscapes populated by his ancestors. Duncan is best known for the soft-spoken lyricism of his playing. However, he has also penned many songs and tunes; one of which appears on the soundtrack of the Oscar winning film; Good Will Hunting. In early 2007 Duncan was asked by the remarkable Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis to perform a few concerts with her and her band. He continues to work with Julie Fowlis and Wolfstone, while writing and performing his solo material.
Èamon Doorley Èamon Doorley
Èamon is a bouzouki and fiddle player from Glenageary, Co. Dublin and is lucky enough to play with Irish trad band Danú and the unique Scottish Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis. He spends most of his time touring with Julie Fowlis these days, but still enjoys going out on the road with the Danú lads (and lass). Eamon plays a Joe Foley Bouzouki (Dublin) and Guzouki or Guzar, or what ever you want to call it! Èamon likes lots of pints, followed by lots of whiskeys.
John Doyle John Doyle
An accomplished musician and producer, Doyle has worked with such artists as Liz Carroll and Heidi Talbot. John was playing professionally by the age of 16, and soon moved to New York City. He first rose to international prominence with Solas (Gaelic for "light"). While playing with Solas, the guitarist also shared stages and studios with Frank McCourt, Linda Thompson, Kate Rusby, Mick Moloney, Brian Conway, Joannie Madden, James Keane, Karan Casey, and Cathie Ryan.
Emily Edwards Emily Edwards
Emily, originally from Portmahomack in Easter Ross, has had a keen interest in Gaelic language and music since an early age when she attended Fèis Rois Òigridh and Fèis Rois nan Deugairean. Since graduating from the School of Scottish Studies in 2005, Emily has worked on the Seanchas Ìle project, collecting and recording Islay’s Gaelic heritage and on various oral history projects through her post as Archiving Officer at Fèisean nan Gàidheal. Emily is currently a Gaelic Officer at Scottish Natural Heritage and is undertaking a Master’s degree in Material Culture and the Environment through Scotland’s Gaelic college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. In addition to the day job, Emily also plays and teaches fiddle.
Julie Fowlis Julie Fowlis
Julie is no stranger to awards and distinctions, winning Gaelic Singer of the Year & Album of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2007 and nominated for the third year in a row as BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year (the first ever Scottish Gaelic singer to win this prestigious award when given the title in 2008). She was the first Scottish Gaelic artist to be playlisted on BBC Radio 2 and she was also the first Scottish Gaelic artist to appear on the legendary show 'Later…with Jools Holland”. She has appeared as part of the internationally acclaimed Transatlantic Sessions 4 series, presents 'Fowlis and Folk' on BBC Radio Scotland and also presents regularly for BBC ALBA. She is perhaps most proud of her award as Scotland's Gaelic Ambassador - "Tosgaire na Gàidhlig", bestowed by the Scottish Parliament in 2008, the first person to ever receive this honour.
Dave Francis Dave Francis
David Francis is active in dance music with Bella McNab's Ceilidh Band as a guitarist and dance caller, and teaches both guitar and Scottish dancing in Edinburgh. He has been performing with Mairi Campbell as "The Cast" for many years whose version of "Auld Lang Syne" was recently featured in the "Sex and the City" movie. He is currently director of Ceol Mor, Aberdeen International Youth Festival’s traditional music big band, and a co-founder of Distil, a creative development programme for traditional musicians interested in composition. He is active in traditional music education in Edinburgh, and is carrying out research into the role of the traditional artist in community development.
Iain Fraser Iain Fraser
Iain is in constant demand as a performer, teacher & workshop leader. Iain grew up surrounded by music and now tours regularly throughout Scotland and North America with a large repertoire that ranges from older 18th century tunes to new compositions inspired by his family and surroundings in his adopted home in the Scottish Borders. His particular interests include exploring the great rhythmic & emotional capabilities of the fiddle as well as the relationship of the fiddler with dance & older styles of fiddle music. He has earned a reputation as a soloist with a large repertoire of fine Scottish tunes & is actively involved in promoting the learning & preservation of traditional music. Formerly Principle fiddle tutor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama in Glasgow, Iain now is manager of musical programs in the schools in the Borders. He released his CD "Touchwood" with Christine Hanson in 2002 & has completed a tune book in 2006 entitled "Scottish Fiddle Tunes-60 Traditional Pieces for Violin".
Nigel Gatherer Nigel Gatherer
Nigel Gatherer is a professional musician: teacher, performer, composer, publisher and researcher. His classes, workshops and residential courses are popular throughout Scotland and the U.K. One of Nigel's missions in life is to get people playing music with one another, and this site provides resources to help, through education, tutorials, music and history.
Annie Grace Annie Grace
Annie Grace from Fort William, began her musical career on the Highland pipes at the tender age of 10. She also plays Scottish Border pipes and Small Pipes. She is highly regarded singer, whistle player, actor and teacher. Annie was a founder member of the band Iron Horse, and has toured and recorded extensively. She has been involved in various musical projects including The Unusual Suspects and Grace Hewat and Polwart. She has recorded two solo albums Take me out Drinking tonight, (2004) and her most recent, The Bell (2012) As an actor, she has performed in numerous theatre projects, and has recently returned from a year-long world tour with National Theatre Scotland, and the award-winning production “The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart”.
Kathleen Graham Kathleen Graham
Kathleen was brought up on the beautiful Isle Of Skye on the North West Coast of Scotland immersed in her native Gaelic culture. From gigging with her mother, playing at local Ceilidhs, the family band and the local Feis an Earraich, she went on to further her musical interests and gained a BA Hons in Scottish Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2003.
Aonghas Grant Aonghas Grant
Aonghas’s fiddle career spans more than six decades, and he is still very active as a soloist, teacher, workshop leader, and session participant. His family hails from the Highlands of Glen Moriston and Aonghas is a Gaelic speaker and a natural-born storyteller. He plays a wide range of fiddle tunes, from ancient Gaelic airs to classic Niel Gow sets, to Irish reels, to Highland pipe tunes. Aonghas plays this wide and deep repertoire of tunes in a "pipey" style with a "Gaelic" touch, known as the West Highland Style. He is also a composer of great note, and is honored to have had many tunes written for him too.
Corrina Hewat Corrina Hewat
In recent years, singer and harp player Corrina Hewat has emerged as one of the most distinctive, original and versatile artists on the contemporary Scottish scene. Synthesising the energies and idioms of traditional, jazz and classical music, in formats ranging from entirely solo to the 31-piece “folk orchestra” Unusual Suspects, Corrina's combined talents as a vocalist, instrumentalist, composer and arranger have won steadily increasing acclaim among critics, fellow musicians and audiences alike.
Jim Hunter Jim Hunter
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Jim Hunter is one of Scotland's leading singer/songwriters, crafting strong lyrics and playing a fine guitar. In the tradition of the best, his voice is instantly recognisable, his lyrics can silence the most crowded room and his songs range from forceful ballads to more rock-orientated numbers. If there is one word to describe Jim and his music it is passion. Jim learned the Highland pipes as a child and in his early teens picked up the guitar and taught himself to play. Influenced by delta blues players, he developed his own style of playing with emphasis on slide and bottle-neck.
Nuala Kennedy Nuala Kennedy
Nuala Kennedy is a singer and flautist playing traditional music from Scotland, Ireland and the fathomless realms of her own imagination. Her debut traditional album 'The New Shoes' received rave reviews from pundits around the globe, was voted album of the week in the Irish Times and was featured in Hotpress' Top Ten Folk Albums of last year.
Rona Lightfoot Rona Lightfoot
Rona Lightfoot from South Uist has been described as a ceilidh personified. She is a great piper, a hugely talented singer, and a veritable treasury of traditional Gaelic songs. What's more, Rona is a terrific raconteur with a great sense of humour and an infectious laugh. As you listen to Eadarainn you will also get a sense of what a great character she is. Rona ’s most immediate musical in influences were her mother Kate, who was one of the most remarkable singers and tradition bearers of her age and Eairdsidh Raghnaill, her father, a piper and seanachaidh of renown. Rona ’s family cherished and fostered Gaelic traditional arts and Eadarainn is a distillation of the cultural legacy which she inherited.
Ian Lowthian Ian Lowthian
Ian, originally from Galashiels, studied for 6 years with Bill Sharp and went on to work with the legendary Chrissie Leatham and her famous son, Owen Murray, from the age of 15-22. He is one of the most progressive and innovative teachers and performers of the accordion in Britain - one could even say, in Europe and beyond. He is principal teacher of accordion at the Newcastle University.
Iain MacDonald Iain MacDonald
Iain was born and educated in Glenuig. He played and toured with Ossian for 9 years, was in the founding line-up of Wolfstone, and then joined the Battlefield Band until 1996. He has recorded with many of the well known traditional musicians working today and produced various albums of predominantly Gaelic traditional music. Iain’s teaching commitments include the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Limerick University and the RSAMD. He is currently Artistic director of Ceòlas, as well as keeping a busy performing schedule.
Louise MacKenzie Louise MacKenzie
Louise was brought up in Nigg, Easter Ross and started to play the violin at an early age. As a teenager, she developed a keen interest in traditional music and was fortunate to have tuition from the late Dr Tom Anderson of Shetland, Aonghas Grant and Alasdair Fraser. As well as being a fiddle tutor, Louise is also a composer with tunes such as 'Newly Weds Waltz' and 'Iain Sinclair of Skaldister' to her name. She was also involved in various bands until 2000 when she decided to make music her full time job and moved to Skye, taking up the post of Traditional Music Co-ordinator for An Drochaid, the Skye & Lochalsh Traditional Music Project. Her role there was to promote and encourage traditional music in the area. She is presently a Strings Instructor for Highland Council and regularly teaches at Fèisean and other music courses. Louise is a former Fèis Rois participant who now teaches for the organisation.
Frank McConnell Frank McConnell
Frank McConnell was born and brought up in Glasgow of a family with strong Hebridean ties and no interest in the arts. He trained as a PE teacher but found an escape route into dance from which he has never returned. After training with Royston Maldoom and the Arts in Fife, he cultivated at a deep interest in creativity and the Arts but has maintained and passion for education in its broadest sense. He moved to the Highlands in 1994 to work as dancer-in-residence for Ross and Cromarty District Council and to develop his growing love for Scottish step dancing and Scotland's earlier dance heritage. 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 and is using this time to explore his own creativity within a Highland landscape. A founder-member of step dance group Dannsa, he is now principally known as a choreographer and is artistic director of Plan B.
David Milligan David Milligan
David Milligan is one of the highest regarded pianists in Scotland and is heavily involved in a wide variety of projects within the UK music scene. His principle reputation lies in his work as a jazz pianist, but in recent years he has been exploring and developing a unique crossover style of piano playing, merging jazz and improvisation with the traditional folk music of his native Scotland. He is a founder member of band Bachué alongside Corinna Hewat and both are musical directors of Scottish big band phenomenon The Unusual Suspects.
Martin O'Neill Martin O'Neill
Probably best known as a Bodhràn player, Martin has won All-Scotland, All-Ireland and All-Britain titles on the Bodhràn and is widely recognised as one of todays leading exponents of the instrument. A few of the artists/groups that Martin has played with include The Michael McGoldrick Band, Flook, John Doyle, Neil Yates, Stevie Wonder, Julie Fowlis, Dòchas and Brolum.
Karine Polwart Karine Polwart
Scots songwriter Karine Polwart combines the economy and universality of the folk storytelling tradition with a probing intellect and compassionate lyricism. Twice winner of "Best Original Song" at the UK-wide BBC Folk Awards. Karine has release several albums, one of which won Best Album at the 2005 BBC Folk Awards. Meantime, the restlessly creative Polwart still finds time to collaborate with friends Annie Grace (vocals, whistle) and Corrina Hewat (vocals,harp) in an innovative and cheeky female vocal harmony project "Grace Hewat Polwart" combining traditional and original songs. She's also one eighth of new Scots-Canadian band collective "The Burns Unit"
Sandra Robertson Sandra Robertson
Sandra is originally from Barra and has danced since childhood. She trained in Highland Dancing for over 10 years but became interested in more traditional styles of dance on witnessing Fearchar MacNeil's revival of the Hebridean dances. She has also studied older folk dances and styles with James MacDonald Reid as a member of 'Drumalban'. Latterly she has been hugely attracted to step-dancing which she has studied both here in Scotland and Cape Breton. A founder-member of step dance group Dannsa, Sandra has performed throughout Scotland as well as Ireland, Wales, France and Barbados. She has also taught extensively throughout Scotland.
Patsy Seddon Patsy Seddon
Patsy Seddon has been involved with the Scottish Harp for over forty years. She is one of Scotland’s most innovative harp players and is known for her work with the duo Sileas, the group The Poozies and other ensembles including Clan Alba. She was the first principal tutor of Scottish Harp at the RSAMD, helping to set up the Scottish music degree which began in 1986. She has also taught at numerous short courses including most years at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival and many Feisean including the very first one in Barra in 1981. She has an honours degree in Celtic Studies and was one of the first musicians in residence at the School of Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University. She has been training and working in Kodaly methods through The British Kodaly Academy and NYCoS, completing the course Sound Progressions. This popular method which respects folk music informs her harp teaching. Through all of this Patsy has inspired a generation of harp players.
Andy Thorburn Andy Thorburn
Andy has for some years now been one of Scotland's busiest musicians, covering just about every musical genre imaginable (and a few that weren’t, until he got his hands on them). Having worked the circuit from classical to country, jazz to folk, easy listening to rock’n’roll, on both sides of the Atlantic, he has latterly carved out a niche as one of the most skilful, versatile and sought-after pianists on the contemporary Celtic scene. In addition to playing with bands such as Babelfish, Blazin’ Fiddles (Best Live Act, 2004 Scots Trad Music Award), The Loveboat Big Band, and The Ghillies, Andy has emerged in recent years as a composer of increasing note, whether writing traditional-style tunes, extended ensemble works, or music for theatre and dance productions. He has served as musical director on a string of high-profile projects; juggles numerous teaching commitments in schools, colleges and youth music festivals; is increasingly in demand as a creative manuscript typesetter, and advises the government on music curriculum development in schools.
Mike Vass Mike Vass
Mike hails from Nairn and is widely regarded as one of Scotland's finest young fiddlers. He won two gold medals at the Royal National Mod as well as playing with HRYO and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. He and his sister Ali were nominated as 'Best Up and Coming Act' in the 2007 Scots Trad Music Awards, and they both feature in the international ensemble Fiddle Rendezvous. Mike was a runner-up in the 2007 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition, and in 2008 he won the International Neil Gow Fiddle Composition competition. He has led numerous workshops for the Fèis movement, and teaches at the Scots Music Group and Pilrig Fiddlers in Edinburgh, as well as the Get Reel traditional music project in Stirlingshire. He now leads the Midlothian Ceilidh Trail project.
Wendy Weatherby Wendy Weatherby
Since graduating from the RSAMD in 1983, Wendy’s interest in jazz and folk music has led her to play and sing at festivals throughout the UK, Europe, the USA and the former Soviet Union. She has worked and recorded with many top Scottish musicians including Hamish Moore, Billy Jackson, The Pearlfishers, Michael Marra and Phil Cunningham and has two solo albums to her credit. Wendy has hosted many workshops in both cello and singing. She is regularly featured in Dr Fred Freeman’s illustrated lectures on Robert Burns, performing alongside Marc Duff (ex-Capercaillie) and John Morran (Deaf Shepherd) and is in demand as singer and cellist at events worldwide
Alasdair White Alasdair White
Alasdair comes from the Island of Lewis, one of the Gaelic speaking Outer Hebrides where music and culture remain strong daily forces. Alasdair has been an award-winning fiddler since he emerged at age thirteen. Still only in his early twenties he is already well known as Battlefield Band's virtuoso fiddle player where his musicianship and tune making have had a great influence on the bands repertoire and continuing success. He plays in what might be called a "North-west" Scottish style, heavily derived from the piping tradition. For those that love just good music, then Alasdair's playing and tune making offer a privileged panorama of the exciting traditional music of Scotland today. As well as fiddle, Alasdair also plays Whistle,Banjo, Bazouki, Highland and Small Pipes, Bodhran.
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