Ceòlas summer school success

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Another successful week long summer school has been held for Ceòlas. More than 100 students - some local others from the mainland and abroad - attended the classes this year. Students came from as far afield as Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Canada.

Ceòlas has kept the Canadian connection going for the last 17 years and this year three of the tutors from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, Canada. Dwayne Côté and Howie MacDonald taught fiddle and Howie’s sister Cheryl MacQuarrie taught Step Dance.

The week coincided with the Commonwealth Baton’s tour of the Islands and in true Ceòlas style, the Baton was greeted at Daliburgh School by the Ceòlas Youth Pipe Band and a lively strip-the-willow.

The House Ceilidhs were a resounding success with many students calling them the highlight of the week. There were seven house Ceilidhs across South Uist and Eriskay.

The wide range of classes ensured that pupils had a large number of options to choose from and ‘Gaelic for all’ and crossover classes provided variety.

The crossover allowed musicians with different instruments to collaborate before performing at the Friday afternoon Crossover Concert.

The centenary walk through Frobost was well attended and tied in nicely with the exhibition that the township led by Norman Binnie, has recently put together in Kildonan Museum celebrating 100 years since the township was founded.

The talks by Dòmhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart on Margaret Fay Shaw in both Gaelic and English were held in high regard.

The Welcome Ceilidh was a full house with locals and visitors in attendance. And the piping at the Monday concert was to an excellent standard with pipers of all ages taking to the stage.

The Singing Concert was well attended in Southend Hall with many people continuing on to the Dance in Eriskay Hall.

The Cèilidh Mòr was an excellent night with all of the tutors performing. Cathy Bhàn MacDonald as MC brought the whole evening together.

Fiddler Dwayne Côté wowed the audience and was asked to do an encore. Ingrid Henderson had a busy night accompanying many of the artists on the Clàrsaich and keyboard as well as doing a well-received solo performance.

The evening had many well known Gaelic singers performing such as Paul McCallum, Mairead MacLellan, Gillebride MacMillan, Griogair Labhruidh, Mary MacMillan, Rona Lightfoot and a special appearance from Seòsaimhìn Ni Bheaglaoich, one of the famous Begley family from Kerry.

Howie MacDonald treated the audience to his unmistakable, entertaining Cape Breton style fiddling accompanied by his brother Michael.

The evening came to a rousing finale with all the musicians and singers taking to the stage to bid farewell to another exciting and successful Ceòlas!

Ceòlas would like to thank all the funders and also the local businesses for donating to the raffles, all of the people who helped behind the scenes and everyone who took part in the week.