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I would like to say a huge thanks to everyone involved in the Junior Feis last week. My daughters enjoyed the whole week, learnt a lot, and made some great new friends. Thanks to all who helped look after and teach them. It's a fantastic opportunity for children!
Junior Fèis parent
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Adult Fèis Tutors for 2017


Steven Blake Steven Blake
Steven is considered to be one of the most talented young pipers in Scotland. He is equally at home with traditional piping, contemporary folk music and composition and possesses a unique style of playing which sets him apart from his peers. He is currently finishing his degree in Scottish Music at Glasgow’s Royal Conservitoire of Scotland Perhaps best known for his work on pipes and whistle with RURA , over the last few years Steven has taken to the stage across the globe from Japan, Italy ,Spain and the Ukraine to extensively touring the UK.
Ali Burns Ali Burns
Ali is a songwriter and workshop leader based in S.W. Scotland. I write songs then I teach them at harmony singing workshops and performs them with choirs. She also publishes the songs and arrangements she writes. Many of the workshops she does are open to the public but she also gets invited by existing choirs to work with them – either to teach new material or to work on vocal quality and technique. She also run workshops on writing work for community choirs. She has always been fascinated by the sound of voices singing: “it doesn’t have to be a great voice – in fact quite the opposite – I think I’m inspired just by the fact that people’s voices are so closely connected to themselves and that they are prepared to stand up and sing – this is me – this is what I sound like! And when you put many voices together, the strong support the weak and the whole is such a magnificent thing – so much larger than the sum of the parts.”
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.
Steve Fivey Steve Fivey
Steve is originally from Denny near Falkirk and started playing snare drum in The Denny & Dunipace Pipe Band aged 12. He went on to start playing drum kit at 16 and studied percussion at the esteemed Jewel & Esk Valley College in Edinburgh. Since then he has played throughout Scotland with various bands and for a number of famous folk – including Prince Charles and at Billy Connolly’s birthday party! He has developed a reputation as an excellent tutor and as well as teaching at previous Fèisean he has also taught at the Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin and at the Merlin Academy of Traditional Music.
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.
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.
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.
Ali Levack Ali Levack
Ali specialises in piping and whistles and has been immersed in Scottish traditional music since the age of nine when a family friend started teaching him the pipes. At the age of 14 Ali moved to the Plockton National Centre of Excellence for Traditional Music where he spent the next four years under the guidance of the country's best tutors, developing his skills on the Highland bagpipes, various types of small pipes and also gained incredible proficiency on whistles. He then attended the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and gained from the extraordinary tutelage there while maintaining close links with the best of the country's young musicians including through the Feis movement. Ali has used his skills recently accompanying a wide range of singers and musicians including Mischa MacPherson, Dougie Maclean and - he likes to drop this one in - Kylie Minogue! (He accompanied the final ensemble at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.)
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.
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.
Anna Massie Anna Massie
Anna Massie was the winner of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2003 Award. A talented multi-instrumentalist, she excels in playing the fiddle, mandolin and tenor banjo. As well as solo performances, Anna played in a trio featuring Jenn Butterworth and Mairearad Green, which earned nominations as Best Up and Coming Band at the 2004 Scots Trad Music Awards and the Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. In 2005 Anna was nominated as Best Instrumentalist at the Trad Music Awards. As well as live performances Anna is a busy recording artist with, most notably, an appearance on Michael McGoldrick’s "Wired," and Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain's "Roads Not Travelled."
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.
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.
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.
Siobhan Miller Siobhan Miller
Siobhan Miller is one of the foremost singers in Scotland. Her range includes Scottish traditional, contemporary and self-penned material. In December 2011 she was voted ‘Scots Singer of the Year’ in the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, and again in 2013. She is also an experienced singing tutor and works for Live Music Now. Most recently she has formed Salt House with Lauren MacColl, Ewan MacPherson and Euan Burton, and released their debut album, ‘Lay your Dark Low’. Her hotly anticipated solo album is due for release in 2014.
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.
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.
Sally Simpson Sally Simpson
Sally Simpson, a fiddle player from Edinburgh, graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, a past student of the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music and Sweden’s Royal Music College, Stockholm. She is passionate about playing and teaching Scottish folk music traditions, as well as developing her knowledge of Swedish folk music and has a number of interesting collaborative projects with various musicians and other art forms.
Adam Sutherland Adam Sutherland
Adam is one of Scotland's top fiddler composers. His tunes are played all over the world and his playing career has seen him touring with some of the most popular trad music acts of the last 15 years; Treacherous Orchestra, Session A9, The Peatbog Faeries just to name a few. Adam is also equally in demand for his finely honed teaching skills and is regularly described as being a great source of inspiration for students young and old.
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.
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