Islanders will be singing at Eurovision

Joy Dunlop will lead the 35-strong choir, Alba, at the event.
Joy Dunlop will lead the 35-strong choir, Alba, at the event.

A contingent of islanders, and people with island connections, will be making up a large section of the Scottish choir taking part in the Eurovision Choir Contest in August.

Scotland is taking part in the event for the first time, and the choir, aptly named ‘Alba’, will be performing in Gothenburg, Sweden on August 3rd.

BBC weather presenter Joy Dunlop will lead the 35-strong group, who will be singing specially arranged Gaelic songs with both traditional and modern influences.

She will be joined by: Coinneach MacLeod - Lewis; Murdo MacLeod - Lewis; Jonathon Fairgrieve - Lewis; Angus Smith - Lewis; Ronnie Murray - Lewis; Nicola Pearson - Oban, but now lives in Lewis; Ruaraidh MacIntrye - South Uist; Emma Macleod - Scalpay, Harris; Catriona MacNeil - Glasgow, with Barra connections and Alasdair MacMillan - Glasgow, with Lewis connections .

The choir, which features singers from all over Scotland, will compete against Europe’s best choirs from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales and returning champions Slovenia.

Alba will be performing a medley, which includes the songs: An t-Iarla Diùrach; Innis dhomhsa cà il thu cadal and Siud a rud a thogadh fonn, but there may be an unexpected twist in the arrangements of the songs.

The Eurovision Choir Contest will be staged in front of a live stadium audience and will be broadcast to millions across the globe, taking viewers on a journey of musical traditional and cultures from across Europe.

Joy Dunlop said of Alba taking part: “I am so proud to conduct Scotland’s debut entry at Eurovision, and I’m so pleased that the language and music of Gaelic will be heard by millions across the world.”

In preparation for the event, Joy has been on a journey around Europe getting ready for the show, even going to the hugely popular Eurovision Song Contest in Israel in May.

She was followed by a camera crew, who captured her journey to the competition.

Eurovision Choir will be hosted by the BBC’s Petroc Trelawny and SVT’s Ella Petterson, and will be broadcast live on BBC ALBA at 7.30pm on August 3rd.

The documentary following Joy on her Eurovision journey will air on Thursday, 1 August at 8.30pm on BBC ALBA.