Hugh Smith’s let­ter from Is­lay

The Oban Times - - News -

Fes­tive Fin­lag­gan

FOR THE first time in its long his­tory, Fin­lag­gan, the an­cient seat of the Lords of the Isles, be­came the venue for an event mounted as part of the Fèis Ìle 2016 pro­gramme.

Glo­ri­ous weather at­tracted a large num­ber of sup­port­ers to the his­toric site’s open day at which the Vin­tage Malt Whisky Com­pany pro­vided the spir­ited hospi­tal­ity and com­mit­tee mem­bers en­ticed with their home bak­ing.

Fin­lag­gan is no stranger to the skirl of the bag­pipes, and the rip­pling sound of the clarsach was on hand. Pro­vid­ing a se­lec­tion of tunes on both were pipers Fiona Anne Fletcher and Rachel MacKin­non, and harpist He­len McSkim­ming.

Guided tours on past his­tory were led by Fin­lag­gan Trust mem­bers David Cald­well, Rona MacKen­zie and chair­man Don­ald Bell, and the mer­ci­fully less in­va­sive Vik­ing pres­ence pro­vided the star­ring role for Adrian Fal­lows.

The Vin­tage Malt Whisky Com­pany’s do­na­tion of a bot­tle of the Fèis Ìle Fin­lag­gan Sin­gle Malt along with bot­tles of Lord of the Isles and Dark Cove, cour­tesy of Ard­beg Dis­tillery, en­sured ea­ger par­tic­i­pa­tion in the fundrais­ing raf­fle.

Both lo­cals and vis­i­tors gave their full-hearted sup­port to the Fin­lag­gan fes­tiv­i­ties, much to the de­light of the grate­ful or­gan­is­ers.

Can­tilena fes­ti­val

THIS year’s Can­tilena fes­ti­val of cham­ber mu­sic runs from Sun­day to Fri­day July 3 to 8, and will see the vis­it­ing mu­si­cians per­form­ing in a va­ri­ety of venues through­out the is­land.

It all be­gins on July 3 at the St Columba Gaelic Cen­tre on the out­skirts of Bow­more, where the ac­cent will be on works by Haydn, Mozart and Schu­mann.

Young mu­si­cians will be show­cased at Laphroaig Dis­tillery on Mon­day July 4 and among those ap­pear­ing will be vi­o­lin­ist Colin McKee, Ben Burn­ley on dou­ble bass and pi­anist Scott Mitchell. Scott will join his fel­low pi­anist Havil- land Will­shire and oboe player Siob­han Parker at the Gaelic Cen­tre on Tues­day where their se­lec­tions will in­clude com­po­si­tions by Ravel, Scar­latti and Grieg.

La­gavulin Dis­tillery will be the Wed­nes­day set­ting for an evening of mu­sic fea­tur­ing the dou­ble bass, and among those pulling the strings will be Paul Mar­rion, a de­cided fes­ti­val vet­eran, and Ben Burn­ley, whose per­for­mance de­lighted the is­land au­di­ences last year.

Thurs­day evening’s event in Ard­beg Dis­tillery will be de­voted to the magic of Mozart and among the de­lights on of­fer will be the Salzburg Sym­phony in D and Eine Kleine Nacht­musik.

The fes­ti­val closes on the Fri­day evening with a clas­si­cal ceilidh in the Bruich­lad­dich vil­lage hall where the pro­gramme will in­clude Tchaikovsky’s Ser­e­nade for String.

By pop­u­lar de­mand, the Can­tilena mu­si­cians are re­turn­ing this year to the Rhinns Hall at Port­na­haven on Thurs­day June 30 where they will present a pro­gramme of light clas­sics. This, and all the other Can­tilena con­certs, will be­gin at 7.30pm.

Amer­i­can min­is­ter

A PRES­BY­TE­RIAN pas­tor from the US will be the locum min­is­ter for the va­cant charges of Ki­lar­row, Kil­dal­ton and Oa, and Jura for the next four weeks.

The Rev Dr David Davis, min­is­ter of the Nas­sau Pres­by­te­rian Church in Prince­ton, New Jer­sey, will be oc­cu­py­ing the pul­pits at the Round Church at Bow­more, St John’s Church at Port Ellen and Jura Par­ish Church on the out­skirts of Craig­house.

Dr Davis, a na­tive of Pitts­burgh, has been in his present charge for the past 16 years and is a Har­vard Univer­sity grad­u­ate and vis­it­ing lec­turer at the Prince­ton The­o­log­i­cal Sem­i­nary.

He and his wife Cathy, also a min­is­ter, are look­ing for­ward to their is­land visit and are as­sured of a warm wel­come from both the Ìlich and the Diùraich. Hugh Smith, 4 Flora Street, Bow­more, Is­lay PA43 7JX. Tel: 01496 810 658.

Can­tilena Cham­ber Or­ches­tra will en­ter­tain.

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