Fèis Rois
english Loidhne dhìreach gàidhlig
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Dealbh brataich – bogsaichean-ciùil
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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Luchd-teagaisg Fèis Rois Inbhich 2018


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.”
Jenn Butterworth Jenn Butterworth
Jenn Butterworth is one of the foremost folk guitarists in the UK acoustic music scene. She began her career performing worldwide with the award winning Anna Massie Band, visiting renowned festivals such as Shetland (SCO), Celtic Colours (CAN), Milwaukee Irish Fest (USA), Tonder Festival (DEN), Cambridge Folk Festival (ENG) and Celtic Connections (SCO). An excellent collaborator, she has been a key member of a range of high profile folk music projects. Jenn is also a highly recognised teacher with a wide range of teaching experience, and was awarded ‘Tutor of the Year’ at the 2015 MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. She is Lecturer in Practical Studies in the Traditional Music Department of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, is a regular member of the teaching staff for Glasgow Fiddle Workshop and has recently taught for Fèisean nan Gàidheal, the National Youth Folk Ensemble (EFDSS), Halsway Manor & Burg Fürsteneck (Germany).
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.
Marc Duff Marc Duff
Born in Ontario, Canada and raised in Argyll Marc Duff co-founded the Celtic band Capercaillie with whom he has toured extensively and made many successful recordings. His time spent at the Guildhall School of Music has given him an eclectic taste in music and a distinct style of playing which has kept him in demand as a session musician and a teacher. Since leaving Capercaillie in 1995 to pursue his own career, he has worked with many prominent artists, such as Def Shepherd, Fish, Iain Morrison, Dick Gaughan, Billy Bragg, Iain Thomson, and Wolfstone, playing low D whistle, bodhran, bouzouki and wind synthesizer. In addition to his work as a musician, Marc is also a researcher and teacher.
Marie Fielding Marie Fielding
Based in Falkirk, Marie Fielding is a freelance fiddler and composer as well as lecturer at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and teaches at The Tolbooth, Stirling. She has won several awards for her compositions as well as publishing two highly successful books of tunes. Marie is also an examiner for the Traditional Graded Music Exams and travels far and wide as an adjudicator. Strong influences in Marie's music come from Shetland, Tobermory, Dingle, Gaelic song, pipe music, art and her place of birth, Edinburgh.
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.
Gordon Gunn Gordon Gunn
Over the years, Gordon Gunn’s name has become synonymous with traditional music. Described as "one of the most exciting and innovative fiddle players of the times,” Gordon began playing aged only 6 years old under the tutelage of renowned violin teacher Miss Margaret Henderson of Wick. He is well known as founding member of the band Session A9 as well as his work with musicians such as Marc Clement, Brian McAlpine and Phil Anderson. Gordon has tutored at a huge number of workshops, courses and events in Scotland as well as many in the US and Canada. To date, he has appeared on a staggering 50 different albums, including those by Aidan O’ Rourke, Bruce MacGregor and Christine Hanson.
Rachel Hair Rachel Hair
Originally from Ullapool, Rachel has released four critically acclaimed albums and toured extensively throughout Europe, the USA and beyond, both as a soloist and with her trio. Rachel is a much sought after celtic harp teacher worldwide, and has taught Scottish harp at numerous celtic harp festivals throughout the world. She has published three books of harp arrangements and compositions, and her music has featured on the syllabuses of both the RCS Scottish Harp exams and national clarsach competitions.
Megan Henderson Megan Henderson
Megan Henderson hails from Fort William in Lochaber. Coming from a musical family, she first began playing violin at the age of four. As a multi-instrumentalist, she plays piano, accordion and is also a vocalist. From a young age, she has been involved with the Feisean movement, receiving invaluable experience playing with bands on a global scale at festivals including ‘Celtic Colours’, Canada, ‘Celtic Connections’, Scotland and ‘Blas’, Scotland. From this she also received tuition from some of the world’s most respected traditional musicians. Megan moved to Glasgow in 2007 to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama to undertake the strings Bmus Hons degree. She currently plays with “Salsa Celtica” and newly formed band “Kristan Harvey and the Sanna”. She is the most recent addition to Breabach bringing fiddle, vocals and step-dance.
Signy Jakobsdottir Signy Jakobsdottir
Scottish-Icelandic percussionist Signy Jakobsdottir is to be found regularly gigging, touring, recording and accompanying dance. She has been developing her unique style throughout her varied career, creating groove and using unusual percussion instruments for texture, atmosphere and melody. Recent performances include James Grant, Yola Carter and “Scotland Sings Canada” for Southern Fried Festival. Her recording credits are extensive and include Capercaillie, Sharleen Spiteri and Theatre Stratford East (“Room” soundtrack). She has experience working with gamelan orchestra, contemporary dance and traditional folk music and has recently been developing her own compositional style and performing as a solo artist using drums, kalimba and loop pedals. She has toured the globe from Venezuela to Indonesia, and loves being part of Glasgow’s vibrant music scene.
Aaron Jones Aaron Jones
Aaron currently performs with Old Blind Dogs, Kate Rusby and the European collaboration 'Litha'. He has been making traditional music for nearly twenty five years and has recorded on over seventy traditional CD's, continuing to tour extensively, record and teach throughout the year. As well as being an official accompanist for the BBC Young Traditional Scottish Musician of the Year Awards for several years, Aaron was voted 'Instrumentalist of the Year' at the 2005 Scots Trad Music Awards and is a Regional Committee Member with the Musicians Union for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Lilias Kinsman-Blake Lilias Kinsman-Blake
Lillias is a touring musician and workshop leader from the Scottish Borders. She is a founder member of The Shee and has gained a reputation as a versatile musician performing both within the traditional music scene and for theatre, storytelling and classically inspired projects including Blair Douglas’ Gaelic Mass: ‘An Aifreann Ghàidhlig le Blàr Dùghlas’ and Alistair Anderson’s ‘Steel Skies’. Lillias received a CATS award for ‘best use of music and sound in a Scottish theatre production’ and is an experienced tutor, lecturing regularly for the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Yet, her creative outlet does not lie solely in music, she is also an accomplished graphic designer and artist, creating designs for a range of social and arts organisations including National Museums Scotland.
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.
Lauren MacColl Lauren MacColl
Chaidh Lauren gu Fèis Rois mar chom-pàirtiche nuair a bha i òg. Tha i air iomadh duais a bhuannachadh, nam measg cluicheadair-ionnstramaid na bliadhna aig Duaisean Ciùil Thraidiseanta Radio 2 2009.
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.
Cathy Ann MacPhee Cathy Ann MacPhee
From singing by candlelight before electricity arrived on Barra to racking up nearly 80,000 views on YouTube for her singing of Gaelic anthem Cànan Nan Gàidheal, Catherine-Ann MacPhee has sung through a world of change in establishing herself as one of Gaelic music’s favourite voices. Catherine-Ann was born into the Gaelic speaking community on Barra in 1959 and grew up in Eoligarry, a village full of singers who entertained each other at ceilidhs and social gatherings. Electricity didn’t become an everyday amenity on the island until Catherine-Ann was six, by which time she was already singing in local village halls, in the light given off by tilly lamps where necessary.
Anna Massie Anna Massie
Bhuannaich Anna Duais Neach-ciùil Traidiseanta Òg BBC Alba ann an 2003. Tha i a’ cluich tòrr ionnstramaidean, an fhidheall, giotàr agus a’ bhaindseò nam measg.
Alistair McCulloch Alistair McCulloch
Alistair McCulloch hails from Ayr in Scotland and is one of the country's best known fiddle performers, teachers and composers with many appearances on radio and television. Past winner of many fiddle championships, Alistair is fiddle instructor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has tutored many of the new generation of rising stars. He has directed several fiddle groups and ensembles including the dynamic young group 'Innovation' and was formerly a soloist with the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra. His playing style is driving and precise, described by the Living Tradition as "fresh, fiery and full of fun".
Shona Mooney Shona Mooney
Fiddler Shona Mooney is a Scottish Borders lass brought up in Lauder which lies close to the Lammermuir Hills. She sources traditional tunes from the Border region while her own compositions derive inspiration from a winningly magpie-minded range of subjects, both human and pastoral. Shona was a recipient of the 2006 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, and more recently her beautifully haunting and evocative composition Tidal Island, supported by Creative Scotland, was recorded for BBC Radio Scotland’s Global Gathering.
Rachel Newton Rachel Newton
Singer and harpist Rachel Newton specialises in interpreting traditional folk songs in both English and Gaelic as well as writing and arranging her own music. Rachel plays fiddle and viola in addition to harp and works across a range of performance platforms including theatre and storytelling. She has won a host of awards over the years including Instrumentalist of the Year 2016 at the Scots Trad Music Awards and Musician of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017.
Caroline Reagh Caroline Reagh
Caroline Reagh lives in Newtonmore and Edinburgh. She began dancing at the age of 6 and is delighted to be still dancing now! Beginning with ballet, highland and modern dance as a child she went on to study contemporary dance professionally. She has a B.Ed in Physical Education from Dunfermline College of Physical Education, Edinburgh and a Dance Teacher Training Diploma from Grant MacEwan College, Edmonton, Canada. Caroline has performed and taught throughout Scotland and in Ireland, France, Canada, Sweden and Ukraine. A week long summer school in 1999 taught by Cape Breton step-dancer Harvey Beaton resulted in 12 years of great fun exploring the culture of step-dance and she is currently co-director of Dannsa. Caroline taught the step-dance summer school at Sabhal Mhor Ostaig from 1999 - 2013. She has a Diploma in Nutritional Healing from the Nutritional Healing Foundation in Surrey and has worked in primary schools throughout the Highlands teaching Nutrition through dance.
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.
Ewan Robertson Ewan Robertson
Ewan Robertson hails from Carrbridge in Strathspey. He was introduced to traditional music at an early age and began learning fiddle and chanter at the age of seven, studying both at school and privately, and through the local Fèis movement which provided him with the opportunity to perform with other young musicians and learn from those who inspired him. Ewan was accepted into the National Centre of Excellence for Traditional Music in Scotland in 2000 where he studied fiddle and pipes. A shortage of accompanists at the school, however, led Ewan to experimenting with the guitar. He then used the vibrant Glasgow session scene to develop a very driving style of guitar accompaniment. Ewan helped to form the band Breabach, who won a Danny Award at Celtic Connections in 2005, and were nominated for Scottish Folk Band of the Year at the 2007 Scots Trad Music Awards. More recently Ewan became the first singer / guitarist to win the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award.
Margaret Robertson Margaret Robertson
Shetlander Margaret Robertson is an instructor of traditional fiddle and piano at the Hjaltibonhoga School of Fiddles and Feet. Has taught fiddle in Schools for over 30 years and is a composer and arranger and also an experienced tutor of traditional piano accompaniment. Margaret was involved with creating the Scottish traditional fiddle grades with Trinity College London. She has recorded several albums, appeared on television and radio and performed on varied stages both nationally and internationally.
Laura-Beth Salter Laura-Beth Salter
Laura-Beth is a singer, mandolin player and composer from Lincolnshire who is now based in Glasgow. Her background is in the Blues, Oldtime and Bluegrass music that her parents play, but after studying the Traditional Music Degree in Newcastle she became heavily involved in the folk scene, beginning her performing career as a founder member of The Shee. In recent years Laura-Beth has also guest performed with renowned folk bands such as Shooglenifty, Frigg and Dougie Maclean’s big band ‘The MacLean Project,’ as well as touring in a new duo with acclaimed guitarist and singer Jenn Butterworth.
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.
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.
Amy Thatcher Amy Thatcher
Amy Thatcher is one of the UK's leading professional accordionists. She is based in the North East of England but her work has taken her across the world from the Royal Albert Hall to the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia. Amy’s compositions have been played and recorded by various artists including Scottish supergroup The Shee, electronic folk quintet Monster Ceilidh Sound System and Kathryn Tickell & The Side.
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
Gary West Gary West
From Pitlochry, in Perthshire, Gary West learned his piping with the much acclaimed Vale of Atholl Pipe Band with whom he played for 18 years winning both the Scottish and European Championships. In the late 1980s, he began to play a prominent role in the folk music scene, joining Ceolbeg in 1988, and becoming a founder member of the Scottish ‘supergroup’ Clan Alba in 1991, playing alongside such luminaries as Dick Gaughan and Brian McNeil. His first solo album, The Islay Ball, was released in 2001 on the Greentrax label. Gary is a full time lecturer in the Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
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'S e companaidh earranta a tha ann am Fèis Rois, clàraichte ann an Alba SC123137,. Tha e aithnichte le Oifis nan Cìsean mar Bhuidhinn Charthannais Albannaich, àireamh SC017647. Leasachadh eadar-lìn - Paul Murray | Dealbhachadh - Lucy Kendra | Photographs - Derek Prescott | Fiolmaichean – Chris Smith
© Fèis Rois 2010
Creative Scotland Highlands and Islands Enterprise Highland Council Fisean nan Gidheal
Scots Trad Music Awards Winner Highland Youth Music Forum Traditional Music Forum
Time to Shine Highland Youth Arts Hub Creative Ullapool