VISITORS to Scotland will have the opportunity to hear high quality traditional music at hundreds of venues across the country this summer thanks to the Trad Trails project.
Combining a Ceilidh Trail organised by Feis Rois, and a Scotland-wide session programme organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA), many Trad Trails events are free of charge and there is definitely something for everyone.
Coming to the Western Isles this week, The Ceilidh Trail provides young musicians aged 16-25 with the opportunity to develop skills in traditional music performance whilst also providing a high quality cultural tourism experience for visitors to Scotland.
Before embarking on their five-week performance tour, the young musicians spent several days working with some of Scotland’s most celebrated professional musicians, including Duncan Chisholm, Gary Innes and Ingrid Henderson.
Taking part in the National Ceilidh Trail are students including Mischa MacPherson from Sandwick, Lewis.
She said: “It’s great to play with other young musicians from all over the country. I can’t wait to hit the road! We have amazing opportunities to play everywhere from the Borders to the Highlands and at festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.”
In addition to seeing 10 of Scotland’s most outstanding young traditional musicians giving performances everywhere from Kirkwall to Kircudbright, the Trad Trails programme also includes a number of music sessions across the country, led by some of Scotland’s finest professional musicians.
A session is not a performance; it’s a social event with music and song in which everyone can participate. Visitors are welcome to come along and enjoy listening to the music or bring an instrument (including voice!) and join in.
“We hope that by working together on Trad Trails, the TMSA and Feis Rois will be able to showcase the diverse regional styles of music and song in Scotland, in both the Scots and Gaelic language,” said Fiona Campbell of the TMSA.
“As well as contributing to the cultural economy, Trad Trails will bring traditional music into venues and raise awareness of the very rich culture we have in Scotland.
Trad Trail events in the Western Isles run this week: today (Monday, July 16th) a concert at Taigh Sgire Sholais, North Uist; Tuesday, July 17th at Taigh Chearsabhagh, North Uist; Wednesday, July 18th Claddach Killibost Centre and Solas Machair, Uist; Thursday, July 19th at the Tarbert Fiddle Festival, Harris; Friday, July 20th at Callanish Stones Visitors Centre, and Barvas Hall, Lewis.
Further events will take place in the islands in September and full listings of all Trad Trail events can be found at www.tradtrails.org.uk.