Fèis Thiriodh, one of the first exciting events to appear on the Tiree summer calendar will be held from 3rd – 7th July. This year will be the 27th annual Fèis to be held on Tiree, having been introduced in 1990.
The week-long event celebrates Tiree’s culture and heritage, offering Gaelic conversation classes, a variety of musical instrument classes, dancing, singing and sports along with Fèis Bheag and Fèis Bheag, Bheag for the younger generations.
As like previous years, we have a host of very talented tutors and we are looking forward to welcoming back familiar faces to the island. Leading the ever-popular accordion is Tiree local Eilidh MacFadyen, who has been entertaining us on the box for several years, having gone through Fèis Thiriodh as a student herself. Joining Eilidh are her Dùn Mòr band mates, Mairi Innes who will be teaching guitar and Micheal Steele on whistle. Returning for the second year in a row we have Alastair Currie from Islay who will be conducting the singing classes, Iona Cairns will return to tutor highland dancing which has become very popular over the last few years and Craig Espie from Skerryvore will again be leading the fiddle group.
Tiree locals and Fèis stalwarts, Doctor John Holiday will be tutoring the flute and Iain MacKinnon will lead the Gaelic conversation class. We also have some new faces for Fèis Thiriodh 2017 (although they aren’t all unfamiliar with Tiree)! We are looking forward to welcoming back Seonaidh Charity who taught Gaelic in Tiree from 2011 to 2012, Seonaidh will be leading the newly introduced sports class. Joining Seonaidh for his first Fèis Thiriodh experience is this year’s keyboard tutor, Jonathan Gillespie who is a fine player and singer, playing in and supporting several bands including Crooked Reel, Skipinnish and Trail West. Duncan MacDonald will be taking part in Fèis Thiriodh for the first time, leading the drumming tuition. Duncan is from Benbecula and has played in several bands over the years including Dùn Mòr. The final main Fèis tutor to be introduced is Wee Ewen Henderson who has taught at previous Tiree Fèis’. Ewen is a multi-talented musician, playing pipes, accordion and fiddle, this year he will be leading the piping tuition.
The main Fèis workshops are open to all over 9 year olds, who will be required to pick three classes that they will rotate round throughout the week. Each pupil will also attend the ‘Fèis Song’ class, where we collectively learn a traditional song that will act as our ‘anthem’ for the week. In honour of the late Bernard Smith, we have chosen ‘Lag nan Cruachan’ and ‘Lassie’ as this year’s songs, which will be dedicated to him and his memory. Bernie was a Fèis committee member and avid supporter of the event, music, culture and heritage of Tiree. Both chosen songs were regular singing choices for him, and we’re sure that many of you will have treasured memories of him, while joining us to sing the songs throughout the week.
As per previous years we will also be offering opportunities for all under 9 year olds. Fèis Bheag is available for anyone 5 – 8 years old and will be a mixture of drama, crafts, sports and an introduction to musical instruments. This session runs alongside the main Fèis and will be led in Gaelic but open to all abilities. Not to leave anyone out, we also have Fèis Bheag Bheag which is open to 0 – 5 year olds and will run for 30 minutes each morning, offering a host of rhymes and songs, again taught through Gaelic. These classes will be led by Iona Brown, Mhairi MacKinnon, Linda MacLeod and Donna MacLean.
A host of evening events has also been organised with specific details coming soon. However, you can look forward to the star-studded Tutors Ceilidh, the ever-popular Muse Cruise to Barra, a children’s dance and the final Fèis Dance on the Friday evening.
We do hope that everyone is looking forward to Fèis Thiriodh 2017 and we look forward to welcoming you along to workshops and evening events. We are extremely grateful for the level support that the Fèis has received over the years, which adds to the success of the week. If you are interested in coming along then make sure you submit your booking form as soon as possible.