GAELIC YOUNGSTERS TO BE CENTRE STAGE AT HEBCELT
12 Jun 2013
Gaelic music’s stars of the future are being given the chance to showcase their talents at one of Scotland’s biggest festivals this summer.
Faram, an 18–strong group of multi-talented traditional musicians and singers, will be part of the main arena line-up at the 18th Hebridean Celtic Festival.
The youngsters, aged between 12 and 18, meet through weekly classes at Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich in Stornoway when they are taught by local and visiting tutors. The fèis has worked for a number of years with the HebCelt organisers to promote Gaelic music through workshops and showcase spots at An Lanntair arts centre, one of the festival’s venues.
However, this is the first time HebCelt has extended the opportunity to have a prestigious slot in the main festival arena which will also host headliners Van Morrison, Capercaille, Dougie MacLean, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers and the Battlefield Band.
Festival director Caroline MacLennan said the main arena slot is an extension of HebCelt’s work with the feis movement to promote talented youngsters excelling in traditional music.
“We are very proud of our musical heritage and the fact that we have so many skilled singers and musicians maintaining the traditions. It is important that an event like HebCelt not only promotes the music and culture of the islands but also gives the new generation of performers an opportunity to exhibit their talents to a wider audience.”
Peigi Maclennan, Chair of Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich, said performing at the festival will be a major incentive for the youngsters who in March played for MSPs and Scottish Parliament officials during a Parliament Day in Stornoway.
“These young people have grown up with HebCelt and appreciate the impact it has on the islands and across the world.
“To play on one of the main stages, in front of so many people, will be a fantastic experience.”
The festival was first held in 1996 to raise awareness of Celtic music and to promote the Gaelic language to a wide audience.
During the four days of HebCelt a Gaelic Showcase will also be held in An Lanntair arts centre featuring some of the finest artists from Scotland and Ireland.
In addition, prior to headliner Van Morrison taking to the stage on Thursday, 18 July, the main arena will host BLASTa (tasty in Gaelic) a collaboration specially commissioned for this year’s festival.
Calum Alex Macmillan, development officer with Fèisean nan Gaidheal, the umbrella body for the fèis movement, said: “HebCelt has been a great supporter of Gaelic music and young local talent since its inception.
“This latest initiative gives youngsters a wonderful opportunity not just to take part in the festival but in the main arena. It’s a real achievement for them and will encourage this group of young people, and those coming after them, to continue playing and studying traditional music.”