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Fèis Rois fiddle players
This challenging musical explosion has resulted in creative and resilient responses. The sheer number of young people coming through the Fèis throughout the Highlands has resulted in entire communities holding workshops and ceilidhs. It is a very exciting time for traditional music.
Tom Bryan, The Living Tradition
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Adult Fèis Tutors for 2016


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.
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.
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.
Gillian Frame Gillian Frame
Gillian Frame is a fiddle player and singer from the Isle of Arran with a passion for performing and teaching. She was the inaugural winner of the Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year Award and a founding member of the band Back of the Moon. She graduated in 2002 from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with BA (Hons) Scottish Music. As a performer Gillian has worked with acts such as The Unusual Suspects, Deaf Shepherd, Breabach and is currently a member of Findlay Napier and the Barroom Mountaineers. Gillian is skilled and experienced teacher. She is currently a peripatetic teacher for North Ayrshire Council and, previously, she taught weekly lessons in Lomond School, Helensburgh for 10+ years. The list of other freelance work is extensive including working for the RCS, Celtic Connections, most traditional music organisations in Scotland and numerous festivals and music camps in North America and Europe.
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.
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.
Ingrid Henderson Ingrid Henderson
Ingrid started learning clarsach at the age of 7, and during her early teenage years won the highly prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Traditional award. As well as being a member of Cliar, Ingrid performs in a duo with singer Anne Martin, and released a solo CD “The Little Beauty” in 2005. Her musical sensibility means she is much in demand as a session musician and her name appears on many traditional recordings as a result. She has also worked as a musical director and composter, and has taught at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music and the Irish World Music Centre.
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.
Maggie MacDonald Maggie MacDonald
Maggie belongs to the Campbells of Greepe in the Isle of Skye, one of the foremost families of traditional Gaelic singers in Scotland. She has learned many of her songs from the family, especially the puirt-a-beul or mouth music for which they are renowned. She won her Mod Gold Medal in 1994 and is a member of the “Gaelic supergroup” Cliar, as well as being a highly experienced tutor.
Iain MacFarlane Iain MacFarlane
Iain MacFarlane is an internationally acclaimed player and teacher in the traditional music world. He was born and brought up in Glenfinnan and was taught by his father, Charlie, and also the late Donald Riddell. He has a BA in Traditional Music from the RSAMD, currently plays with Blazin' Fiddles and teaches regularly at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music.
Angus MacKenzie Angus MacKenzie
Angus Mackenzie was born in Mabou, Cape Breton, an area steeped in Gaelic language and culture. His mother was a descendent of settlers from Lochaber and his father had emigrated to Canada from South Uist. With this strong Celtic upbringing as a backdrop, Angus began learning pipes at 8 years old and as a teenager played competitively with the Gaelic College Pipe Band. He moved to Skye, planning spend a year at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig before going to university, but has been based there ever since, where he has become very involved in the traditional music scene of the West Highlands. Angus is a founding member of the band Dàimh with whom he has toured extensively and released four critically acclaimed albums, and is also a much sought-after music tutor and session musician.
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.
Mary MacMaster Mary MacMaster
Best known for her pioneering work with the metal-strung clarsach and the fantastic Camac electro-harp, Mary Macmaster is also a fine singer of Gaelic and English language songs.During the last twenty years she has been at the forefront of the revival of the Scottish harp and has been an ambassador for Scottish music, touring throughout the world with Sileas, The Poozies and Donald Hay, a brilliant percussionist.
Ruairidh (Rua) MacMillan Ruairidh (Rua) MacMillan
Originally from Nairn, fiddler Rua Macmillan is quickly making a name for himself in the world of Scottish traditional music. Having graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2008, he has already toured extensively throughout Europe and the U.S. In February 2009, Rua was awarded the prestigious title of BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year. His debut album ‘Tyro’ was released in May 2010 to great critical acclaim, being voted ‘Instrumental Album of the Year’ in the Fatea Awards, and picked as a ‘Top of The World’ album by Songlines Magazine.
Conal McDonagh Conal McDonagh
Conal McDonagh from Poolewe also played at our very first cèilidh, and indeed continued to perform on bagpipes and whistles at other cèilidhs while attending Gairloch High School and when he moved to Plockton Music School. Winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2014 as part of the Mischa MacPherson Trio, this summer he graduated in Scottish Music and Piping from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Findlay Napier Findlay Napier
Findlay Napier is one of the most highly-regarded performers and creative forces on the Scottish music scene – thoroughly active and truly energised with a heart-warming zing. He made his name touring and recording with multi-award winning traditional Scottish folk band Back of the Moon. In his more recent projects “Queen Anne’s Revenge” and “The Bar Room Mountaineers” his song-writing took centre stage and was described by The Sunday Herald as “Genuine songcraft and wit following in the Difford & Tilbrook tradition”. Findlay is also well-known as the host of Celtic Connections’ Late Night Sessions and for his Hazy Recollections concert series which showcases the very best in new roots music.His new album, VIP: Very Interesting Persons, contains ten songs about real life characters that have led very interesting lives. The album was co-written and produced by Boo Hewerdine and features performances from Admiral Fallow’s Louis Abbott, Gillian Frame, Roy Dodds, Hamish Napier and incredible Danish multi-instrumentalist Gustaf Ljunggren.
Tom Oakes Tom Oakes
His flute playing has led to him being principle traditional flute tutor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and for final year students at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne (Where he graduated in 2005). He is co-director of the Great Scottish Flute Night and director of 'Winter Trad’. The latter a weekend of music and teaching based around his duo with Shetland fiddle star Ross Couper. Other teaching accolades have included senior flute and guitar teaching positions at Feis Rois, Paris Irish Association, Comhaltas (also as adjudicator), Tinto Summer School, Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, Sibelius Academy (Helsinki), Cambridge Folk Festival and many more. Tom’s diverse musical journeys feed directly into his work. As a flautist he stays true to his Irish routes but has studied intensely the styles, technique and culture of all the other traditions he has been immersed in. This manifests itself in his performance, composition and teaching. Tom’s students at degree level are exposed to everything from contemporary classical music and free improvisation to the regional styles of Scottish and Irish traditional music.
John Sikorski John Sikorski
John is a percussive dancer & musician specializing in Scottish/Cape Breton stepdance and Appalachian flatfooting styles. He has broad teaching experience, more recently teaching in the USA at the Swannanoa Gathering and in Colorado. John has attracted professional development funding from the Scottish Arts Council and Lisa Ullman trust for dance research trips to North Carolina, Ireland, Quebec, Cape Breton and Transylvania. As well as stepdance, he performs around the streets of Britain as a stiltwalking accordionist, and currently plays piano in a ceilidh band.
Fraya Thomsen Fraya Thomsen
Fraya is recognized as one of Scotland’s most promising young clarsach players. Introduced to Scottish Gaelic music through Fèis Rois, Fraya went on to learn clarsach with Corrina Hewat at Balnain House. Fraya later gained an honours degree in Scottish Music at the RSAMD, where she formed a duo with Scots singer/cellist Fiona Hunter, performing at Celtic Connections, and performing/teaching at the Celtic Colours festival. She is now one half of The Duplets, with harpist/singer Gillian Fleetwood. Fraya also gains much enjoyment from the teaching element of her career, as she is passionate about encouraging people and sharing music. She teaches clarsach at Gordonstoun, and has taught in schools as part of the government's Youth Music Initiative. She is also gaining recognition as a composer.
Finlay Wells Finlay Wells
Finlay Wells has been a professional guitarist, composer, producer and tutor of guitar, bass and sound engineering for nearly 20 years. he owns and runs the Nutshell Music Recording Studio and Production Company based in Oban, Argyll. Finlay is currently touring and recording with The Ivan Drever Band as well as with numerous other acts including The Shoes, Rachel Walker and Sorren MacLean.
Laura Wilkie Laura Wilkie
Laura is a fiddle player, writer and tutor from Easter Ross-shire. She has an individual sound and style of playing, drawing influence from her roots in Highland Scottish music as well as her love of other music traditions and styles from across the world. Laura graduated with BA (Hons) degree in Applied Music from Strathclyde University in Glasgow and since then has worked with, written and toured with many acts, such as; Fat-suit, Salsa Celtica, Siobhan Miller, Claire Hastings, Rachel Sermanni, Ian Carr, Ross Ainslie, Mikey Owers - "Questioio" Alana Henderson. Based in Glasgow, Laura plays with many other Glasgow-based musicians, function bands and ceilidh bands. Her love of teaching is exemplified in the work she does with "The Gordon Duncan Experience"; at many Feisean across Scotland, Workshops and string tuition in schools and one-to-one private teaching.
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