More than 80 people from around the world attended the Gaelic college on Skye, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, last week to learn the fiddle from one of the world’s most acclaimed Scottish traditional musicians.

This year was Alasdair Fraser’s 20th year teaching the fiddle on the short courses at SMO and among those in his class were people from America, Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain and France, as well as from the UK itself.

Speaking of his time at Sabhal Mòr Alasdair said: “It’s been an incredible journey of creativity and discovery, and I’ve especially enjoyed trying to put the language back into the music and the dance. I find this both fulfilling and exciting.”

As well as Alasdair’s classes, Frank McConnell and Caroline Reagh from the dance group ‘Dannsa’ taught step dancing and Natalie Haas, a talented musician based in New York whose reputation continues grow across the globe, taught cello. Louise MacKenzie also joined Alasdair in teaching the fiddle. Altogether there were nearly 150 people taking classes at SMO last week.

At night, throughout the week, there were a series of special events for students such as workshops in Gaelic and on Gaelic song, and on Friday there was a ceilidh where tutors, students and other guest musicians played.

The Short Courses Development Officer at SMO David Byrne said: “I can’t believe how well the week went – it has been great to see the place full of talented people, and that includes the students as well as the tutors. It has been a very successful week for the college and I would like to give a very big thanks to Alasdair for the wonderful work he has done over the years. I congratulate him as he marks 20 years of teaching here on the short courses.”


David Byrne on 01471 888240 or Fiona Dunn (Marketing Officer for SMO) on 01471 888215.