Kintyre takes treasure home from music and dance festival

James McCorkindale with his prize-winning troupe of pirate dancers. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn.
James McCorkindale with his prize-winning troupe of pirate dancers. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn.

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Kintyre representatives, including a band of treasure-seeking pirates, returned from Oban’s Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival with silverware.

The usually annual three-day event made a welcome return last weekend after Covid put a stop to live competitions over the last two years.

Several youngsters from James McCorkindale School of Dancing competed across the festival’s competitions but it was a troupe of pirates who captured a trophy.

The youngsters, clad in swashbuckling attire, danced to success in the Highland dancing junior choreography section, held at the town’s Corran Halls on Friday evening, with their Pirates of the Clyde performance.

James McCorkindale School of Dancing's pirate troupe performing their prize-winning piece, Pirates of the Clyde. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn.
James McCorkindale School of Dancing’s pirate troupe performing their prize-winning piece, Pirates of the Clyde. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn.

Musicians made their mark too, with many members of Kintyre Schools Pipe Band aiming for success in the junior bagpipe competitions held at The Rockfield Centre on Sunday.

Up against several bandmates, Hannah Millar not only won the Oban Electrical Services Trophy for the Novice March (under 14 years) but she also picked up the Lodge Earraghaidheal Trophy for being the highest placed Argyll resident in her class.

Hannah Millar, winner of the Oban Electrical Services Trophy for the Novice March and The Lodge Earraghaidheal Trophy for the highest placed Argyll resident.
Hannah Millar, winner of the Oban Electrical Services Trophy for the Novice March and The Lodge Earraghaidheal Trophy for the highest placed Argyll resident.

The festival’s organisers congratulated everyone who took part in all the competitions held across Oban.

Thanks were made to all who gave support, including The British Association of Teachers of Dance (BATD) and Scottish Dance Teachers’ Alliance (SDTA) for their continued sponsorship for the Scottish National Challenge. Highland Hustle also sponsored this year’s event.

Festival chairperson Breege Smyth said: ‘It was a great success. We had a lot of participants who had not been to Oban before and attracted a lot of new competitors in the dancing classes.

‘It was special having live pipers accompany the dancers; this was the first time it’s been allowed since Covid.

‘There was definitely an appreciation of all the committee’s hard work to bring the festival back to the live stage; every year before it’s been taken for granted that the festival would just happen.

‘Parents were especially grateful we were back. It was a lovely atmosphere over the whole weekend. Businesses in the town were busy too.’