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Sabhal Mòr music students reach out to the community

As part of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI’s 40th anniversary celebrations, students from the BA (Hons) Gaelic and Traditional Music degree programme will perform a series of concerts across the Highlands and Islands in March, and where they will be joined by guest musicians who have links with the college.

The tour begins on Friday 8 March when the students will travel to Uist to perform to staff and students at Sgoil Lìonacleit in Benbecula before heading to Barra for a concert and dance with Dàimh, a band which was formed at the college over ten years ago. The students will then travel to South Uist on Saturday 9 March where they will perform a lunchtime concert followed by workshops with local children at the newly refurbished Stoneybridge Hall. The Uist leg of the tour then concludes that evening with a concert and dance in Talla an Ìochdair with Dàimh.  The following Friday, 15 March, will see the students performing at the Ceilidh Place in Ullapool with famed Gaelic singer and longest-serving member of the college staff, Christine Primrose. The students will then perform with Allan MacDonald at the college on Thursday 21 March before heading for Tiree on Friday 29 March for a performance with the college’s current Musician in Residence, Mary Ann Kennedy.

Programme Leader, and well-known piper, Dr Decker Forrest said: “After the hugely successful Celtic Connections performances in Glasgow in January, we were keen to continue to highlight the fantastic tradition of musical excellence at the college and to raise further awareness of the music happening every day at the college.”

Dr Forrest also stressed that it was an opportunity for the students to take control of the organisation and promotion of the concerts.

Eilidh MacFadyen, a second-year student on the Programme said: “ We all have connections with one or more of the places we’re touring, including three students from South Uist and myself from Tiree.  We wanted to make our communities more aware of the music programme but to also help raise funds for local charities through donations and raffles held at the concerts.”

The charities the students have chosen to support are: Cobhair Bharraigh; Father Colin in Ecuador; Young Carers Skye and Lochalsh; and Cùram Thìoradh.

The BA (Hons) Gaelic and Traditional Music Programme began in 2007 and boasts the very best instruction from Gaelic-speaking musicians and scholars such as  Christine Primrose, Ingrid and Allan Henderson, Fergie MacDonald, Margaret Stewart, Dr John Purser and Dr Hugh Cheape.

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