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Song & Story of the Emigrant Gael

START: 03 August 2021
END: 05 August 2021
COST: £110

Song & Story of the Emigrant Gael – a three day, online course, contextualising the history and experiences of the emigrant Gael through their songs and poetry.

This course consists of nine lectures over three days (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) with three online sessions each day at 17:00 – 18:45, 19:00 – 20:30 and 21:30 – 23:00, all delivered via Zoom.  There will be an opportunity to learn some of the songs which Margaret will be highlighting in her presentations.

We are pleased to announce that renowned Gaelic singer and folklorist, Margaret Stewart, will be offering a new online course this year, examining, through their song and poetry, the history and experiences of the dispossesed and emigrant Gael.

The Gaels have been pushed and pulled towards emigration for hundreds of years and you will learn about the causes throughout the three day course.

The Gaelic bards expressed their feelings, at that time, in songs of fear, loss, love and nostalgia, while also giving satirical voice to their experiences at the hands of callous factors, avaricious landlords and dishonest emigration agents. There will be a wealth of material to learn and enjoy over the three day period.

Margaret will also highlight a few local bards and songmakers from her home island of Lewis, and take you on short video tours of the areas which they refer to in their songs.

The course is suitable for both native Gaelic speakers and learners and throughout the  program you will add to your vocabulary and grammar and gather terminology relevant to the subject. Although it would help to have some knowledge of Scottish Gaelic, it is not imperative as instruction will be given in English and Gaelic.

About Margaret

Margaret Stewart was born and brought up on a croft in the village of Upper Coll, on the Isle of Lewis, and raised in a Gaelic speaking family. Like many of her generation, she has had invaluable hands-on experience of a traditional island lifestyle which is now fast disappearing, and from an early age she was expected to help with all the crofting and fishing activities around the family home and within the wider community. In 2016 Margaret gained an MSc degree in Material Culture and Gàidhealach History from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig under the supervision of Prof Hugh Cheape.

Margaret is also an award winning Gaelic singer, having won the coveted National Mod Gold Medal in 1990, an voted Gaelic Singer of the Year in 2008. She is widely respected as a mentor and teacher, with many singers having benefitted from her knowledge of history and song, either as private students or at annual events such as Ceòlas in South Uist, the Willie Clancy Summer School in Ireland and at institutes of learning such as Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Margaret’s knowledge of music and song has been put to good use on the Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o’ Riches project where she was one of the core Gaelic Song specialists.  She was the Gaelic Musician in Residence at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and in 2021 was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2021.  Further information on Margaret can be found on the following links.

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