Fèis Arainn: A celebration of Gaelic culture

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The 20th annual Fèis Arainn once again proved to be an incredibly popular celebration of Gaelic culture on Arran which attracted a total of 60 participants and 12 tutors.

Taking place over four days and culminating in a concert on the final day, the fèis encompasses traditional music, acting, art and a celebration of the spoken word.

Well known tutors, renowned in their own fields and returning year after year, taught the children how to play traditional musical instruments which they used to perform at the final concert.

Children also undertook art classes and produced a large banner which was used as the backdrop for the concert. With the theme of Highland Clearances the artwork featured images of rural life, eviction and a number of pastoral scenes.

In addition to all of the music, including the return of tin whistle class, there were also two extra drama and Gaelic tutors this year who delivered Sgioba G activities which helped the children learn Gaelic words and phrases through games.

The final concert, held at the Community Theatre in Lamlash on Friday, attracted a good audience with a number of representatives from North Ayrshire Council attending along with Kenneth Gibson MSP and Patricia Gibson MP.

Following a rousing concert, which ended with the culminated efforts of the participants and tutors, the fèis song was performed before organisers thanked all of the participants and tutors, and a large number of local organisations, for their continued support and help in making the event such a success.

Tutors Becky Hill and Stevie Fyvie perform with the clarsach group. 01_B31concert01

Tin Whistle tutor Angus Binnie joins tutor Stevie Fyvie to accompany the drum class performers. 01_B31concert02

Gillian Frame leads a large class of fiddlers who impressed the audience at the concert. 01_B31concert03

Mairi MacInnes leads the singing class on the stage. 01_B31concert04

Concentrating on getting the notes right, John Somerville helps the accordion class deliver a flawless performance. 01_B31concert05

This year’s fèis banner which was produced by the art class. 01_B31concert06

Well known Scottish Gaelic singer Mairi MacInnes introduces the drama class onto the stage. 01_B31concert07

Drama pupils put on an entertaining performance depicting scenes of the Highland Clearances. 01_B31concert08

Drama tutor Artair Donald delivers his verdict on the drama performance. 01_B31concert09

Tutors join a brave pupil for his tin whistle performance. 01_B31concert10

Young ukulele players react to the hearty applause from the audience. 01_B31concert11

A combined effort, musicians from all of the classes join together to form an instrumental ensemble. 01_B31concert12

A rousing finale, all of the participants perform the lively fèis song. 01_B31concert13

Meet the tutors and pupils of Fèis Arainn 2019

Helping to make the fèis a success were the 12 tutors and a number of people and organisations who all contributed in putting together four days of expert tutelage for the participants. In addition to this pupils were given the opportunity to show off their newly learned skills at a concert which also required a huge amount of logistical , organisational planning and volunteers.

Organiser Maggie Frame said: ‘ FèisArainn would like to thank all of the following people: Our sponsors Fèisean nan Gàidheal, Creative Scotland, North Ayrshire Council and the Coop. A very generous donation from Jessie Clarke and donations for raffle prizes from Isle of Arran Distillery, Isle of Arran Brewery, Brodick Castle, Kilpatrick Lamb, Mara Fish Bar & Deli. Thanks too, must go to James’s Chocolate for the big chocolate prize for the quiz, Tony Morrow and Jayson Ferguson of Arran Deliveries for the delivery and pick up of instruments. James O’Neil and Arran Music School for the use of instruments. Arran High School for the use of the classrooms, KA Campus, Maureen Smith and Arran High School janitors, Andy McCallum and Arran Events for the brilliant sound at the Ceilidh.

‘A very special thank you to all the volunteers who helped during the week and, of course, our fantastic participants and our amazing tutors.’

Mairi MacInnes teaches pupils Gaelic singing. No_B31feis01

Art teacher Cil Paul and pupils prepare to start the Fèis banner. No_B31feis02

Findlay Napier teaches pupils how to play the ukulele. No_B31feis03

Lorne McDougall teaches pupils the chanter and Pipes. No_B31feis04

Clarsach pupils practise their routine. No_B31feis05

Drama teacher Artair Donald speaks to the children about expressing themselves.  No_B31feis06

Stevie Fyvie teaches young drummers how to play their instruments. No_B31feis07

Pupils listen intently to accordion teacher John Somerville. No_B31feis08

Fèis Arainn tutors take a well deserved break. No_B31feis09

Gillian Frame shares a laugh with the pupils in her fiddle class. No_B31feis10

Angus Binnie provides a pupil with a personalised lesson on the tin whistle. No_B31feis11