Cuirm nan Còisirean

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This year’s Cuirm nan Còisirean recently staged in Poolewe was once again well attended by Western Isles singers and enthusiasts of Gaelic Song.

The first event was the solo competition with singers from the Western Isles including Alison Macrae, Kirsty Watt, Margaret Mcleman, David Maclennan. Lynn Phipps, and Duncan Mackinnon (originally from Skye).

Members of the Lewis folk group Oiche Diciadain performed beautifuly on the Saturday morning with Saturday afternoon bringing the choir competition with Coisir Sgir’ a’ Bhac, Strath Gaelic Choir, Inverness Gaelic Choir, Glasgow Gaelic Music Association (the GG’s), Coisir Ghaidhlig an Iar Thuath, Aberdeen Gaelic Choir all competing for the accolade of best choir.

The whole weekend was well attended by locals and visitors with the evening ceilidh having standing room only.

Members of Lochs, Tong, and Laxdale Gaelic Choirs also attended and joined in the fantastic rousing massed choirs’ performance at the ceilidh on Saturday night.

The weather was beautiful and the local organising committee did their usual job of welcoming all participants and making everyone very welcome. During the ceilidh the results of the competitions were announced with Duncan Mackinnon winning the solo competition, Oiche Diciadain won their folk group category, and a shocked and delighted Coisir Sgir’ a’ Bhac were announced as the best choir of the day.

When Coisir Sgir’ a’ Bhac took the stage to perform their winning songs again Kenny Thomson introduced them as ‘the small but perfectly formed Coisir Sgir’ a’ Bhac’ due to only eleven of their members being available to make the trip to Poolewe.

Tribute was paid to Ishbel Macaskill at the evening ceilidh, with Marie Macneil saying “Lets think of Ishbel Macaskill who was a personal friend of mine and a great supporter of Cuirm nan Coisirean. We all miss her and wish she was here. She is indeed great loss to Gaeldom.”

Of the weekend, conductor of Back Choir, Avril Duncan said: “The whole weekend was fantastic. Even the weather was superb ! The local committee had everything perfectly organised as usual and we were made to feel very welcome with local volunteers helping to look after the visiting performers. It was great listening to all the soloists and other choirs, and they all sang well.

“It was just the icing on the cake when we were announced as winning choir and presented with the cheque and Caithness Glass Bowl.”

Next year’s event is expected to be just as popular due to the stunning location and great welcome received by all performers from the local committee and helpers.