DESCRIBED as being ‘a good vibe for Tiree’, Fèis Tiree - the children’s traditional music programme has risen to new heights of success.
This remark, made by one of the tutors, summed up a special year for Fèis Thiriodh. With a 25th anniversary to celebrate, a surge in numbers, an epic ‘Muse Cruise’ to Barra and an exceptional group of young tutors, the island’s Gaelic music festival was pronounced the best yet by a delighted but exhausted committee after the final dance with Trail West reached its triumphant conclusion.
The week started with a concert that raided its back catalogue reaching back a quarter of a century and underlined Tiree’s position as Scotland’s number one ‘island of music’.
Top musicians Angus MacPhail from Skipinnish, Daniel and Martin Gillespie of Skerryvore, with Campbell Brown from Gunna Sound had come back to their roots to celebrate the work of the Fèis.
Joining this year’s tutors and past tutors including Do mouth organ and si Executive of Fèisea Arthur Cormack, o MacPhail told a cap success as a musicia down to getting the ties.
Fèis Thiriodh had key to his musical p winning combinatio summer festival and teaching.
Founder member, whose newly-written the Fèis became an particularly thanked MacInnes and John tireless work promo island.
On Thursday a pa a hundred, includin committee member to Barra in the now Cruise’, a six-hour m and sing-along.
At Castlebay pier
onald Black on the inger and Chief an nan Gàidheal, on stage, Angus pacity crowd that an was chiefly e right opportuni-
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arty of over ng tutors and rs, joined the ferry w-famous ‘Muse marathon session
they were met by the pipers and Highland dancers of Fèis Bharraigh followed by a group strip-the-willow that included several dancers who had just emerged dripping from the waters of Bàgh a’ Chaisteil still in their wetsuits and lifejackets.
Over the 25 years there have been low points for the Fèis as first the Tiree hall closed for re-building, and then the school was unavailable for a number of years due to repair work.
But, with Eilidh Campbell and Sheila MacKinnon at the helm, numbers at the Fèis classes this year were again up significantly to over 120, including 30 at the under-5s Fèis Bheag Bheag.
Long-serving Fèis Thiriodh committee member, Dr John Holliday, said: ‘It was a week that will live long in the memory, with outstanding numbers and a real buzz.
‘It was heart-warming to see how many young, talented tutors we had, most of them fluent Gaelic speakers and many of whom were islanders from the ranks of the Fèis itself.’