FÈIS THIRIODH 2013 IS HITTING TOWN
Bigger and better! These are the themes of Fèis Thiriodh 2013, which released its line up this week. In a new development, two bands – Trail West and The Scott Wood Trio – will share the teaching duties, leaving plenty of musicians to power the week’s dancing and music making. The Fèis is also developing its side for younger musicians and is working with TMF to start up a new Fèis for more advanced musicians.
The tutors confirmed are Ian Smith (accordion), Andrew Findlater (drums) and Ailean Campbell (guitar and pipes) from Trail West, with Scott Wood (pipes and whistle), Mhairi MacKinnon (fiddle) and Ron Jappy (guitar) from The Scott Wood Trio, who have just released their first CD (highly recommended). Linda Macleod is teaching singing, with Fèis chair John Holliday tutoring flute and whistle.
The festival, kicking off on Monday 8 July and ending late on the Friday night, will be back in Còrnaig School during the day because of the number of tutors. Thursday will see the whole cast list head off to Barra on the ‘Muse Cruise’, which was such a success last year. The evenings will be full of dancing, singing, playing and listening – with a film or two thrown in for good measure!
As well as boosting the tutor numbers, the committee has been working over the winter to develop the Fèis for younger and older customers. Fèis Bheag, which caters for 5 to 8 year olds, will get a boost this year by having the same hours (about 10.30 to 3) as the main Fèis and being open for the first time to English and Gaelic speaking children. A new festival for more advanced players, Fèis na Fèise, has been set up in the lead up to TMF. The Scott Wood Trio will be teaching again, only this time the emphasis will be on playing together in a group. Fèis na Fèise will run on Wednesday and Thursday 17-18 July.
This year the Fèis has been boosted by the appointment of Donna Maclean, the new Music Development Officer for the island. Dr John Holliday, chair of the Fèis, told An Tirisdeach, “We’re already seeing the benefits of having Donna as part of Team Tiree Music. TMF have been asking us for years to set up a second Fèis to boost the teaching side of Tiree Music Festival. Donna will be helping us run this at a time in the calendar when Fèis committee members want to do nothing but sleep for a year! This summer, too, we are delighted to be back at the school. Due to summer building work we have had to move down to An Talla for the last few years. We had a great welcome from the hall’s committee, who were very good to us. It was bright and cheerful and you could smell the music the moment you walked in. But with nine tutors and the expanded Fèis Bheag we simply need more rooms.” Bigger and better indeed! Tiree justifying its reputation as ‘the best wee music island in Scotland’.