Young musicians kick off summer of music across Argyll

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Young musicians from across Argyll are taking to the road next week as the Fèis Latharna Cèilidh Trail kicks off its annual summer tour.

A group of five talented young musicians and singers, including Campbeltown’s Darren Brown, will be entertaining audiences with traditional Gaelic music, song and dance over the next couple of weeks at venues across the Argyll, including Carradale, Isle of Jura, Dunoon, Tiree and Oban.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Cèilidh Trail programme, which was pioneered by Fèis Rois but has now been adopted by a number of other Fèisean.

It gives young musicians and singers, aged 16 to 25, the opportunity to take part in a professional summer tour through their local Fèis with support from a team of musicians and specialist tutors.

This unique opportunity offers participants training in the core skills required for a career in the creative industries, particularly music.

Participants have the opportunity to gain a PDA in Performance or Sound Production, through a collaboration with West Highland College.

With support from Creative Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Cèilidh Trails help young musicians develop their performance skills and provide a widespread traditional music entertainment programme in the Highlands and beyond.

This year there are also Cèilidh Trails in Ross-shire, Lochaber, Skye, Nairn, Paisley, and Stirling and the Trossachs.

Kirsty Campbell, Ceilidh Trail co-ordinator, said: ‘Our Fèis Latharna Cèilidh Trail is absolutely raring to go and entertain audiences this summer. They’ve recently gone through a week of intensive training and preparation at Fèis Alba in Plockton with musicians from Cèilidh Trails around Scotland.

‘The Cèilidh Trail is a phenomenal opportunity for these young musicians to get a taste of what life as a professional touring musician can be like.

‘Not only do they play the gigs but they are involved in the organisation, marketing and tech side of the tour. It is hard work but great fun at the same time and I’m sure people who come along to the gigs won’t be disappointed.

‘There is a mix of formal and informal concerts as well as family cèilidhs so there is something for everyone – you might even learn a song and dance or two!’

As well as drummer and guitarist Darren, this year’s Fèis Latharna Cèilidh Trail members are Emma Hill (whistles, smallpipes and bagpipes), Calum Garvin (accordion, bagpipes and vocals), Sheena Peteranna (whistles, smallpipes and bagpipes) and Donal Bremner (whistles, border pipes and bagpipes).

Dates and venues for Fèis Latharna Cèilidh Trail are: Tuesday July 16 – Inveraray Castle, Inveraray (Highland Games, 1pm); Tuesday July 16 – George Hotel, Inveraray (session, 9pm); Wednesday July 17 – Uig Hall, Dunoon (family cèilidh, 7.30pm); Thursday July 18 – Lochranza and Catacol Village Hall, Lochranza (family cèilidh, 7.30pm); Friday July 19 – Carradale Village Hall, Carradale (family cèilidh, 7.30pm); Saturday July 20 – Ardrishaig Public Hall, Ardrishaig (Mid Argyll Pipe Band Dance, 8pm); Tuesday July 23 – Craignish Village Hall, Ardfern (family cèilidh, 7.30pm); Wednesday July 24 – Port Charlotte Hotel, Port Charlotte (session, 8.30pm); Thursday July 25 – Craighouse Village Hall, Isle of Jura (family cèilidh, 7.30pm); Friday July 26 – Ben Cruachan Inn, Loch Awe (session, 8.30pm); Saturday July 27 – Tayvallich Village Hall, Tayvallich (family cèilidh, 7.30pm); Sunday July 28 – The Old Inn, Appin (session, 4pm); Tuesday July 30 – Victory Inn, Benderloch (family cèilidh, 7.30pm); Wednesday July 31 – Atlantic Islands Centre, Isle of Luing (family cèilidh, 7.30pm); Thursday August 1 – An Talla, Isle of Tiree (family cèilidh, 7.30pm); Friday August 2 – An Cridhe, Isle of Coll (Coll Show dance, 8pm); Saturday August 3 – The View, Oban (family cèilidh, 7.30pm).