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‘The Morning After’ – Songs and Traditions of Highland Hospitality and Conviviality

START: 11 August 2014
END: 15 August 2014
COST: £250

Last year, as part of the 2013 year of celebration at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, we offered an exciting new short course in our themed Gaelic song series, taught by renowned singer and folklorist, Margaret Stewart.  Following it’s success we will be offering the sequel The Morning After’ – The Songs and Traditions of Highland Hospitality and Conviviality, as part of our 2014 short courses programme.

This five day course will explore many of the Gaelic songs and traditions relating to Highland hospitality and conviviality, ranging from celebration of such drinks as whisky, wine, gin and brandy;  panegyric praise of hospitality, humorous songs on weddings, illicit stills, birthday parties, and even some songs of the temperance movement and regret at over-indulgence.  The course material will span the ages from the time of the famous MacMhuirich bards to those composed in more recent times.

This didactic and convivial course is suitable for most levels of Gaelic language skills, from native/fluent speakers to relative beginners.  Fluent speakers, particularly those who are actively performing Gaelic song, will benefit from advanced tuition in phrasing and stressing while greatly adding to their song repertoire, while learners will enjoy immersion in a living tradition, daily tuition from a recognised Gaelic Song Specialist, improved pronunciation and increased Gaelic vocabulary.

As part of the course you will have the opportunity to visit the distillery of Skye’s own whisky, Tallisker.  Here students will not only learn how the MacAskills established this distillery but also have the opportunity to sample some “Uisge Beatha”; purely in the pursuit of academic advancement you undertand!



Margaret Stewart was born and raised in the village of Upper Coll on the Isle of Lewis, where she was surrounded by Gaelic culture from childhood. Her love of music and song eventually earned her the coveted Gold Medal at the Royal National Mod in Airdrie in 1993, and since then, her reputation as a tradition bearer and singer has travelled far and wide. 

Margaret is also widely admired as a lecturer and teacher of Gaelic song, its related history and performance techniques. Singers, both young and old benefit from her expertise, either privately or at various events such as Ceòlas in South Uist, the Willie Clancy’s Summer School in Ireland, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and here at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.  Margaret recently put her knowledge of music and song to good use in the Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o’ Riches project, where she was amongst the core song specialists tasked with cataloguing and preparing material from the School of Scottish Studies sound archives, Canna Collection and BBC archives for the online resource.

She has undertaken much collaborative work with other performers such as Ingrid and Allan Henderson, Iain MacFarlane and Iain MacDonald.  The two albums she released on the Greentrax label (Fhuair mi Pòg and Colla Mo Rùn) with piper Allan Macdonald from Glenuig, are widely acclaimed as classics within the canon of British folk music, as is her own solo album, Togaidh mi mo Sheòlta.

As well as acquiring the title “Gaelic Singer of the Year” in 2008, Margaret was the Gaelic Musician in Residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in 2012, researching Gaelic songs connected with war and conflict, and in 2012 she was awarded the Blas Festival Commission.

For more information on Margaret Stewart and to hear a sample of her music, please her website on the following link

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