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Enthusiastic Fèis Rois participants
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 2015

Tutors

Barry Reid Barry Reid
A highly talented and experienced guitarist, both on electric and acoustic guitars, with years of gigging experience at festivals and venues all over the UK, Europe and the US. The list of bands include The ‘Treacherous Orchestra’, new electronic music band ‘Halcyon’, Lauren MacColl’s ‘The MacCollective’ and Scottish folk fusion group ‘Croft No. Five’. As well as his band performances, Barry works on his solo music career under the name of ‘Spad’ and mixes organic/electronic textures and beats with Scottish instruments and vocals, to create his own new musical style that is already becoming very popular. As well as being a performing musician, Barry also spends much of his time as a recording engineer and producer and has recorded many albums with the top musicians of the Scottish music scene.
 
Simon Bradley Simon Bradley
Simon was first inspired to play fiddle after hearing sessions in his father's native Buncrana and later in Manchester. He began playing in the O'Carolan's Ceili Band in Manchester along with Michael McGoldrick. Moving to Edinburgh to study, Simon joined the band Miro and represented Scotland at the Lorient Festival. In 1997 he joined Asturian group Llan de Cubel and has since toured the world headlining festivals in South America, the US and all over Europe. He was the first non-Spaniard to win the prestigious "Concurso de Parejas" competition in traditional Asturian music. In addition to his achievements as a musician, Simon Bradley has achieved widespread recognition for his ability as a composer.
 
Sandy Brechin Sandy Brechin
Already a weel-kent face at our Adult Fèisean, Sandy has an established reputation as a top class accordion tutor, having also taught at the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton, Celtic Connections and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to name but a few. Originally from Kirkliston in West Lothian, Sandy started learning accordion from the age of 8 and went on to join and found a number of ceilidh dance bands including Ceilidh Minogue, Bùrach, Seelyhoo and more recently, The Sensational Jimi Shandrix Experience. As a result he has become well known as one of Scotland’s leading ceilidh dance players. He now owns and manages his own record company, Brechin All Records, but still finds time for teaching and entertaining audiences with his excellent musicianship and hilarious on-stage antics.
 
Michelle Burke Michelle Burke
Michelle Burke is an acclaimed singer from rural East Cork, Ireland. She has spent the best part of a decade living in Edinburgh where she has collaborated with many of the top artists working in the vibrant Scottish folk scene. Having spent two years as the lead singer with Irish American super group, Cherish the Ladies, Michelle is fast gaining a reputation as a solo artist. She is an impressive interpreter of songs with a timelessly expressive, exquisitely nuanced voice.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Jack Evans Jack Evans
Guitar pioneer and multi-instrumentalist Jack Evans has been a founder member of three highly influential and innovative Scottish bands - Jock Tamson's Bairns, The Easy Club, and The Cauld Blast Orchestra. He was a groundbreaking Director of the Edinburgh Folk Festival, introducing new acts like Tony McManus, Shooglenifty, Deaf Shepherd, Salsa Celtica and Martyn Bennett to trad music audiences, and also a regular producer for Greentrax and other Scottish labels, producing albums for Emily Smith, Anna Massie, and Bodega, among many others. For the past ten years he's been the guitar tutor at Sgoil Chiùil na Gàidhealtachd (the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music), at Plockton. He also wrote the Traditional Guitar degree course for the RCS in Glasgow (having also taught there for a number of years). Jack has an impressive list of illustrious former students, including: Innes Watson (Treacherous Orchestra), Tia Files (Bodega), Paul McKenna and Sean Gray (Paul McKenna Band), Norrie MacIver (Mànran), Chris Waite (Rura), Ross Couper (Bodega, Peatbog Faeries), James Duncan Mackenzie (Breabach) and Innes White (Mischa MacPherson Trio - Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners 2014). Jack teaches everything from Peerie Willie style to Modal Funk - and all in glorious Standard Tuning! Why not come along and learn the guitar accompaniment secrets used by many of the finest young players on the scene today?
 
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".
 
Dagger Gordon Dagger Gordon
Dagger Gordon is primarily known as a mandolin player based in the Scottish Highlands. He has released 2 solo CDs featuring his mandolin playing- 'Highland Mandolin' and 'The Frozen River'. Has also recorded with Highland Connection and Black Donald, and was involved in 'The Complete Songs of Robert Burns. He currently mostly plays for dances and does concert performances either as a soloist or with a small band.
 
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.
 
Mairearad Green Mairearad Green
We are delighted that long-time Fèis Rois participant and supporter Mairead Green is returning to teach at this year’s Senior Fèis. Originally from the Wester Ross village of Achiltibuie, Mairearad was introduced to folk music at an early age and has become well known within the scene, especially for her popular duo with multi-instrumentalist Anna Massie. She’s also well respected as a composer, with her tunes Maggie West’s and Dram Behind the Curtain being session regulars. Earlier this year, Mairearad released a new album, ‘Summer Isles’, which also featured Fife musician King Creosote (Kenny Anderson), to rave reviews.
 
Mhairi Hall Mhairi Hall
Pianist and composer Mhairi Hall was born and brought up in Aviemore. She began taking classical piano lessons but became interested in Scotland's music and history, and started developing her own style of playing, using the piano as a lead instrument. Mhairi went on to study Scottish Gaelic at college and university, and then went to the University of Limerick where she received guidance from many great musicians including pianist Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin. Mhairi worked as a lecturer in traditional music for Lews Castle College Benbecula for several years, before becoming a full time musician. She has performed and recorded with many leading musicians, bands and singers and is regarded as one of the finest and most creative pianists from Scotland.
 
Christine Hanson Christine Hanson
Music has taken Christine from touring Canada's High Arctic with a tango trio, to playing traditional music in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. While classically trained, Christine in her many roles – cellist, composer and sound designer – is eclectic in her musical explorations. Her experiences include compositional commissions, arranging, studio work, theatre work, and performing as an ensemble musician with a variety of groups that play, Scottish Traditional, Classical, pop-jazz, and experimental music. She is also a very experienced instructor, teaching professional master classes in workshop settings on both sides of the Atlantic.
 
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.
 
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.
 
Bob Massie Bob Massie
One of the best-kent faces on the traditional music scene in the Highlands, Fortrose-based Bob Massie has been playing and teaching banjo, guitar and mandolin for more years than he cares to admit. He has played in various popular cèilidh bands in the north, such as the Lochinver Cèilidh Band, the Kerry Blues and Oldshoremore, alongside daughter Anna. For the past ten years he has played with the Scone Fairies. He also hosts a regular weekly session in Hootananny’s, and is a keen composer.
 
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.
 
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.
 
John Somerville John Somerville
Originally from the Highlands of Scotland, John is one of a new breed of exciting and dynamic accordion players to recently emerge from the vibrant Scottish music scene. He has constantly been refining his unique style of accordion playing, performing and writing for a whole host of bands and artists.He started off as a founding member of electro-folk pioneering group Croft No. Five, with whom he toured extensively throughout the UK and Europe. He can be heard with Treacherous Orchestra, Halcyon, Cask Strength Ceilidh Band, and Feis Rois (Voyage of the Hector).
 
Anna-Wendy Stevenson Anna-Wendy Stevenson
Anna-Wendy's distinctive sound is a product of classical expertise and traditional passion. Her early family surroundings were exceptionally musical, embuing Anna-Wendy with a broad perspective and love of the arts. She is the third generation in a line of composer/performer, from her grandfather Ronald Stevenson through Savourna Stevenson to Anna-Wendy herself. After winning a scholarship to lead an orchestra in Texas, Anna-Wendy returned to her native Edinburgh to pursue her love for Scottish fiddling and has since travelled internationally with Anam, Calluna and Fine Friday. She has also played with the Bella McNab Ceilidh band and has appeared in Balamory! Anna-Wendy is currently lecturer in traditional music at Lews Castle College on Benbecula, and plays with the legendary Jock Tamson's Bairns.
 
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.
 
Innes Watson Innes Watson
Brought up in the Borders with an upbringing steeped in music, Innes Watson has become a well-established figure in the traditional music world. A graduate of the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, he has since gone on to become a leading tutor at the RCS. His teaching CV also includes The Glasgow Fiddle Workshop as well as numerous Fèisean. Innes plays with a number of groups and musicians including Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson, the Fiona Hunter Band, Mike Vass and Man’s Ruin. Recently, his innovative style and creativity on the fiddle have been showcased as part of genre-breaking group Treacherous Orchestra, whose latest album Grind picked up ‘Album of the Year’ award at the 2015 Scots Trad Music Awards.
 
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