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Virtual Fèis Weekend

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our second Virtual Fèis Rois Weekend from 30th April to 3rd May 2021. We were delighted to see old faces and new ones too. It was wonderful to see people from 50+ countries engaging with our event! 

We left the content of the workshops online for two weeks after the event to allow for some follow up learning. We have now removed this content, but we have left these pages so you can see what our programme looked like and who was involved. 

During what is still a difficult time for musicians and those working in the performing arts, we were delighted to be able to paid just over £24,000 to 47 musicians and creative practitioners who contributed to the Virtual Fèis Rois Weekend 2021. We are grateful to Creative Scotland for support of £13,500. We are fundraising the balance and, if you would like to make a donation, you can do so here.

Laura Wilkie

Fiddle Workshop: Saturday, 10am

Laura Wilkie is a Fiddle player from Tain in the Highlands of Scotland. She has a unique style which has roots in the Highland fiddle traditions but is influenced by an eclectic range of music from all genres.

Laura has toured across the world in various different groups of the Contemporary Folk Music Scenes, including Kinnaris Quintet, guitar-virtuoso Ian Carr, Ross Ainslie, Salsa Celtica, NITEWORKS and with Scots Singers Claire Hastings and Siobhan Miller. As a founding member of Glasgow-based Jazz/Funk/R&B/Synth/Folk Juggernaut, Fat-Suit, Laura has been able to play with elements of improvisation in different styles and tour many jazz festivals and venues in the UK, Europe and as far afield as Ukraine.

Gary West

Small Pipes Workshop: Saturday, 12pm

Gary West is a musician, broadcaster and academic who has been highly active in the study and performance of Scottish culture for over three decades. He is the host of Pipeline, on BBC Radio Scotland, and was delighted to be inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame last year. 

Conal McDonagh

Whistle Workshop: Saturday, 2pm

Conal McDonagh is a piper from Poolewe in Wester Ross. Influenced by both his Scottish upbringing and Irish heritage, Conal plays the Irish Uilleann pipes as well as the Scottish Highland and Border pipes, whistles and flute.

Conal developed his music through Fèis Rois tuition weeks, studied at the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton and graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

A winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award as part of the Mischa MacPherson Trio, Conal continues to work with both new and established artists, including Breabach, Duncan Chisholm, Cara Dillon and The Paul McKenna Band and also writes and performs with innovative folk/electronica band Inyal.

Rachel Walker

Gaelic Song Workshop: Saturday, 4pm

Rachel Walker is a singer, songwriter, arranger and educator based in the heart of Lochaber in Scotland’s beautiful West Highlands. At home with both Gaelic and English, she encountered the Gaelic tradition at a young age, after her family moved from Lincolnshire in England to the small village of Kinlochewe in Wester Ross. It was her school-teacher there, Meg MacLean, who encouraged Rachel to take her first steps on stage, engaging in Gaeldom’s unique system of artist development – competing at local Mòds and performing at at local cèilidhs. A regular participant at Fèis Rois, she soon fell in love with the songs, language and culture of the Gael.

Iain Macfarlane

Fiddle Workshop: Sunday, 10am

Iain MacFarlane is one of the finest exponents of West Highland fiddling. Iain’s long career has seen him front fiddle-band, Blazin Fiddles for 15 years, guest tours with Boys of the Lough and duo with Iain MacDonald. He currently plays with the Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band and teach at the National Centre of Traditional Music.

Ian Lowthian

Accordion Workshop: Sunday, 12pm

Ian hails from the Scottish Borders where he works as a musician, composer and teacher. He did a brief stint in London at the Royal Academy of Music many years ago where he graduated in Accordion. Since then, he has worked mainly in the traditional music scene but also in the schools teaching accordion, keyboard and working with children with additional learning needs.

Ingrid Henderson

Piano Workshop: Sunday, 2pm

Harper/ pianist Ingrid Henderson is a ”musician of outstanding calibre, a virtuoso in terms of sensibility.” With over 25 years experience in traditional music, her teaching credentials include lecturing on UHI’s BA Gaelic & Music & tutor at the National Centre of Excellence in Trad Music. She performs as a duo with ex Blazin’ Fiddler, Iain Macfarlane & with the Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band.

Corrina Hewat

Harmony Singing Workshop: Sunday, 4pm

Corrina Hewat is a Scottish singer and harper, composer, educator, director, big thinker. Widely regarded as one of Scotland’s most original musicians, she has been involved with a huge variety of bands and projects over the last 25 years.

Liz Carroll

Fiddle Workshop: Monday, 10am

Liz Carroll is an Irish fiddler, composer, and recording artist. She is the first Irish-American musician to be nominated for a Grammy, and the first American-born composer honored with the Cumadóir TG4, Ireland’s most significant traditional music prize. She has toured as a solo artist and with The Green Fields of America, the group Trian, as the duo Liz Carroll & John Doyle, String Sisters, and now as a duo with guitarist and pianist Jake Charron. Featured on fourteen albums and appearing on many more, her duet album with Jake Charron, Half Day Road, was released in February of 2019. Liz’s newest book of tunes, Collected II, launched in 2020.

Jenn Butterworth

Guitar Workshop: Monday, 12pm

Jenn Butterworth is one of the most notable folk guitarists in the UK acoustic music scene. In 2019, she was awarded the title ‘Musician of the Year’ from the Scots Trad Music Awards, and was nominated for the same title in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Based in Glasgow, Scotland, she is a lynchpin of the vibrant and thriving Scottish folk scene, performing regularly with a wide range of artists including her own projects ‘Jenn Butterworth & Laura-Beth Salter’, ‘Kinnaris Quintet’ and experimental folk-jam group ‘The Blas Collective’.

Rachel Hair

Clarsach Workshop: Monday, 2pm

Rachel Hair has released 5 critically acclaimed albums, and currently performs in a duo with guitarist Ron Jappy. A world-renowned teacher, Rachel has performed and taught throughout the USA, New Zealand, Japan, Russia, and Europe and her lockdown HARP at HOME online workshops have been viewed by thousands of harpists throughout the world.

Emily Smith

Scots Song Workshop: Monday, 4pm

Dumfriesshire born multi award winning singer and musician Emily Smith has toured worldwide performing her blend of traditional and original songs. As ‘Smith & McClennan’ she mainly works as a duo with her husband Jamie McClennan. Emily has enjoyed a shift of focus from touring to teaching recently and has worked for several years as a tutor for Fèis Rois across Dumfries & Galloway.

In 2021, we offered a new series of live lectures at lunchtime and sessions at 6pm. 

Friday, 30 April

Session at Six with Iain MacFarlane & Ingrid Henderson, 6pm

Saturday, 1 May

Live Lunchtime Lecture: Songs & Tunes of Highland Hospitality with Ewen Henderson, 1pm

Session at Six: Gary Innes with John Carmichael, 6pm

Sunday, 2 May

Live Lunchtime Lecture: European Folk Network with Dave Francis, 1pm

Session at Six: Anna & Bob Massie, 6pm

Monday, 3 May

Live Lunchtime Lecture Cèilidh Culture & The Commons: Mairi Mcfadyen, 1pm

Session at Six: Aonghas Grant & Louise Mackenzie, 6pm

We created two concerts for BBC Alba in partnership with Beezr Studios. You can view these on the BBC iPlayer here until the end of May 2021. For viewers outside the UK, we have negotiated with the BBC that we can stream the concert after the 30 day period on iPlayer expires, so please look out for our June newsletter where we will share with you how to access the content. 

In the meantime, you can continue to enjoy our 2021 Tutor concert here:

© Fèis Rois 2021. Fèis Rois Ltd is a charity registered in Scotland SC017647. Company limited by guarantee SC123137.