Adult Fèis (May)

Huge thanks to everyone who joined us for our 2024 event. Pop the dates for 2025 in your diary! We will be in Ullapool from Friday 2nd to Monday 5th May 2025. 


Fèis Rois nan Inbheach caters for all abilities, and everyone from beginners right up to accomplished musicians will be welcomed.  You don’t need to be able to read music and you don’t need to have any previous knowledge of traditional music to enjoy our Adult Fèis. We can provide instruments for anyone signing up for beginner classes.

Our annual three-day festival is about more than just first-class tuition, we also have an exciting fringe programme including sessions, lunchtime recitals, evening gigs, and an informal Gaelic conversation circle.

Daily classes take place from 10am to 4pm on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday and are led by a team of internationally renowned musicians. Classes are grouped into ability levels and we offer a first choice class in the morning and a second choice class in the afternoon. Immerse yourself in traditional music, song, dance, Gaelic language and culture in the beautiful setting of Ullapool.


“I felt the teaching was very intuitive and geared for each person in the class.”

Adult Fèis participant

“All in all an excellent weekend, and a highly professional and successful learning opportunity.”

Adult Fèis participant

I enjoyed the Adult Fèis immensely, I always have done, for the past 10 years.

Adult Fèis participant

Tutors & Timetable

The music tuition is based in Ullapool High School and Ullapool Village Hall.

Download our list of tutors and classes for 2024 here:

We offer classes at the following levels:
CB = complete beginner – a chance to try something for the first time.
IB = improving beginner – you have been playing for less than 6 months / you already have some limited experience, for example some scales, a basic tune, a few chords
LI = lower intermediate – you have been playing for around 6-18 months / you have already learnt a few tunes/songs/chords and want to improve on your technique and repertoire
UI = upper Intermediate – you have been playing for longer than 18 months / you know common tunes/chords/songs and want to improve your playing
I = intermediate – any level of intermediate
A = advanced – you are fairly confident in your technique and repertoire and want to take your playing to the next level

WORKSHOP PROGRAMME

The timetable for the Fèis on Saturday, Sunday and Monday is as follows:

10.00am – 11.00am     Morning Workshop

11.00am – 11.30am     Coffee Break

11.30am – 12.30am     Morning Workshop continued

12.30pm – 2.00pm       Lunch (programme of talks and recitals)

2.00pm – 4.00pm         Afternoon Workshop

Saturday only: Sessions with tutors at various times and venues throughout the evening. You will sign up to these during the booking process.

Sunday only: Tutor concert in the Macphail Theatre at 7.30pm

On Monday, the afternoon class will finish at 3pm and we will come together in The Macphail Theatre for a Fèis Farewell from 3-4pm.

Tutors 2024

John Carmichael

Accordion

John is one of the great characters of the Scottish music scene and one of the music’s most dedicated advocates through his work as a musician, performer, bandleader, television producer, accordion teacher and competition adjudicator.

https://projects.handsupfortrad.scot/hall-of-fame/john-carmichael/

Gordon Gunn

Mandolin

Gordon Gunn has been described as “one of the most exciting and innovative fiddle players of the times. Born & brought up in Wick, Caithness, Gordon was taught by the highly respected violin teacher Margaret Henderson who taught many pupils in the north of Scotland. Gordon is also a founding member of Scottish group Session A9 who were voted best live act at the 2012 Trad Awards. Whilst working with Session A9, Gordon also tours with Session A9’s Brian McAlpine on keyboards and include a variety of musicians including Marc Clement and Phil Anderson on guitar and vocals.

http://www.gordongunn.co.uk

Lauren MacColl

Fiddle

Lauren is a member of the chamber-folk quartet RANT, plays on viola and fiddle with Salt House, is a member of the Rachel Newton Band and is in a duo with flautist Calum Stewart. She’s also considered one of Scotland’s most expressive fiddle players whose solo work is steeped in the rich culture of the Highlands. One of her most celebrated works was a new commission for Feis Rois in 2017 titled ‘The Seer’ which followed with an album in 2018 featuring 40 minutes of music based on the life and prophecies of the Brahan Seer.

https://www.laurenmaccoll.co.uk

Louise Mackenzie

Fiddle

Louise Mackenzie is from Nigg in Easter Ross and as a youngster, was taught by three of Scotland’s most respected and treasured Tradition bearers; Aonghas Grant, Alasdair Fraser and the late Dr Tom Anderson. She was greatly inspired and influenced by her mentors and inherited a love for both teaching and composing.  As well as tutoring for Fèis Rois she has been involved with various Fèisean for over 35 years.  She was also a full-time Strings Instructor in East Sutherland for 15 years.  In 2020, Louise was nominated as Tutor of the Year in the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards.

Corrina Hewat

Harmony Singing

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.

http://corrinahewat.com

Rona Lightfoot

Gaelic ceilidh songs

Singer, piper, storyteller, teacher and all-round tradition bearer, Rona Lightfoot is one of Gaeldom’s great characters, a one-woman ceilidh with a treasure trove of folklore and the spirit to take on authority and win.

https://projects.handsupfortrad.scot/hall-of-fame/rona-lightfoot

Kim Richards

Tn Whistle & Ukulele for singers

Kim is an artist, freelance designer/illustrator, musician and art teacher from Ullapool. She released her album, Leaves that Fly, in 2018. She runs weekly music sessions with Mairearad Green, and regularly plays gigs and Ceilidhs with a variety of other musicians, including The Highland Ceilidh Band. She is also a regular Fèis Rois YMI tutor.

https://www.kimrichards.co.uk/
davemilligan

Dave Milligan

Piano

Dave Milligan is a highly versatile musician and a leading figure in the diverse Scottish music scene. His musical imagination flows freely between multiple genres, and is in great demand all over the world as a performer, composer, arranger, musical director and educator.

Having established himself early in his career as one of the most sought-after jazz pianists in the country, Dave’s work with some of the folk and Celtic music scene’s brightest artists earned him a reputation as a hugely adaptable, genre-defying, creative force. As part of Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival in 2003, he co-founded and directed – along with harpist, vocalist and composer Corrina Hewat – The Unusual Suspects, a 22-piece big-band of leading folk and jazz musicians that set the bench-mark for the wave of large-scale ensembles that followed in the contemporary folk scene. The Scotsman would later count their debut performance in a list of the top 20 gigs of all time. 

https://www.davemilligan.co.uk
Duncan Chisholm

Duncan Chisholm

Fiddle

Duncan Chisholm is one of Scotland’s most recognised and accomplished fiddle players and composers; Duncan’s music contains the rarest of chemistries, a glorious combination of invention, tenderness and passion. Born and brought up near Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland, Duncan has spent most of his life developing his unique musical voice.  Fiddle playing at its best, Duncan’s feather-light handling of dynamics and ornamentation, allied with his pure-distilled tone, lend his characteristic spine-tingling magic to his music.

Duncan creates music which is sumptuously layered and awash with dazzling colours, textures and rhythms.  It is music that requires no introductions or programme notes to carry you on its journey.  The sound may be traditional but this is 21st Century traditional music which is sophisticated, exhilarating and meltingly beautiful. Duncan’s well-established musical career has taken him throughout the UK, Europe and the USA, both through his solo work and while playing with other musicians and bands.

https://www.duncanchisholm.com/
Hamish Napier

Hamish Napier

Flute

Hamish Napier is a Scottish folk multi-instrumentalist, educator and composer inspired by the heritage and nature of his native landscape. He was born and brought up in Strathspey. For 17 years he lived and worked in Glasgow and Boston’s vibrant, multi-genre music scenes. On returning home 4 years ago, he began his ‘Strathspey Pentalogy’, an ambitious 10-year project to produce 5 landscape inspired albums. The River (‘16) and The Railway (‘18) received 5-stars in national newspapers. The Woods (’20) was awarded ‘Album of the Year’ in the Scots Trad Music Awards – he has previous nominations for Community Composer, Live Act and Tutor of the Year. Hamish has collaborated with leading artists such as Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson (Capercaillie), Julie Fowlis (Brave), Duncan Chisholm (Wolfstone), Blue Rose Code and Martyn Bennett.

http://www.hamishnapier.com/
Hannah Rarity

Hannah Rarity

Scots Song

Renowned vocalist Hannah Rarity has left an indelible mark on the  Scottish folk scene, securing her place as a standout artist. The recipient of the prestigious BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year award in 2018, Hannah has since collaborated with esteemed folk acts such as Blazin’ Fiddles, Rura, Niteworks, and Cherish the Ladies. Her albums, ‘Neath the Gloaming Star’ (2018) and ‘To Have You Near’ (2022), both garnered critical acclaim, being shortlisted for Album of the Year at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards. In 2022, she was invited to work as co-musical director for the Opening Concert of Celtic Connections.

Performing a carefully chosen mix of traditional, contemporary and self-penned material, her ethereal voice is reminiscent of legends such as Eva Cassidy and Cara Dillon. Equally at home in a number of genres, she is a sought-after collaborator, session vocalist, MC and tutor.

https://www.hannahrarity.com/
Anna Massie

Anna Massie

Guitar

Equally at home as accompanist or melody player, Anna Massie is one of Scotland’s foremost guitarists. As well as being a skilled multi-instrumentalist renowned for her work with Blazin’ Fiddles and RANT, she also presents BBC Radio Scotland’s award-winning flagship trad music programme, Travelling Folk. Three-time nominee for Best Instrumentalist at the Scots Trad Music Awards, 2021 winner of the Trad Music in the Media award for her Black Isle Correspondent work and 2022 Producer of the Year award, Anna is a highly talented musician, presenter and producer.

https://www.annamassie.com

Ingrid Henderson

Clarsach

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.

https://www.iainmacfarlaneingridhenderson.com/
Margaret Stewart

Margaret Stewart

Gaelic Song

Margaret Stewart is an award winning Gaelic singer from the Isle of Lewis. She has three studio albums to her name and a number of collaborative recordings. A native Gael and Gaelic speaker, born and brought up in the Outer Hebrides, Margaret has a great passion for the songs and culture of her homeland. As well as her musical performances, in collaboration with the some of the cream of Highland and Irish musicians, she is also in demand as a mentor, teacher and lecturer on various themes of Gaelic song and related history.

Margaret has amassed an impressive repertoire of songs, over the years, and has recorded two seminal albums with pipers Allan and Iain MacDonald  (Fhuair mi Pog and Colla Mo Rùn) and a solo album (Togaidh mi mo Sheòlta), on the Greentrax label.  She continues to develop performances and recording collaborations with some of Gaeldom’s finest musicians and regularly performs with harp virtuoso Ingrid Henderson.

http://www.margaretstewart.com/
Su-a Lee

Su-a Lee

Cello & String Ensemble

Korean born cellist Su-a Lee is one of the highlights of the Scottish music scene. Celebrated
wherever she goes, she stands out for her versatility, popularity, and appetite for musical
adventure.Born in Seoul, Su-a trained at Chethams School of Music, completing her studies at the Juilliard School in New York. On graduating with her Bachelor’s degree, Su-a moved to Scotland, to join
the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, where she remains as Assistant Principal Cello.

Though Su-a spends most of her time playing classical music, she is also very much in demand
across a wide musical spectrum, working in all art forms. The range of her non classical work has encompassed recording Musical Saw for Eric Clapton, performing at Celtic Connections with Jack Bruce of Cream and the folk band Lau, to improvisatory work with the Belgian Theatre group Reckless Sleepers, regular appearances with fiddler Duncan Chisholm, and a tour of India with the Sarod maestro, Amjad Ali Khan.

https://www.sualee.com/
Mike Vass

Mike Vass

Guitar

Mike Vass is one of the most creative forces on the Scottish music scene. As a musician, composer, producer and arranger Vass has amassed a body of work that encompasses early appearances as a livewire young fiddler, collaborations with many of the leading voices among today’s Scots and Gaelic tradition bearers, delivering multi-media performances, overseeing critically acclaimed recordings, and scoring for prestigious ensembles.

https://www.mikevass.com/
Gillian Frame

Gillian Frame

Fiddle

Arran-born fiddler and singer Gillian Frame is a captivating performer whose richly diverse musical experience, since winning the inaugural Radio Scotland Young Musician of the Year contest in 2001, shines vibrantly through her mix of tunes and songs, old and new. Her album “Pendulum” received high praise from fans and critics alike and was described as ‘one of the best albums of recent times’. She is a member of RANT.

Gillian has worked with many acts and was a founding member of the band Back of the Moon with whom she toured for seven years, seeing them win various accolades including Best Up and Coming Act followed by Best Folk Band at the Scots Trad Music Awards. During this time she also graduated with a BA (Hons) in Scottish Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

https://www.gillianframe.com/
Mairearad

Mairearad Green

Bellows blown pipes

Renowned for her deft and lyrical accordion style, as well as her dextrous piping, Mairearad is in great demand not only as a performer, but also as a composer.
Often seen on stage alongside multi-instrumentalist Anna Massie, composer, Mike Vass, piping supergroup, Tryst and singer-songwriter, King Creosote. 

http://www.mairearadgreen.co.uk/

Ady Harper

Ady Harper

Accordion

Ady Harper is a multi-instrumentalist from Wick and has been teaching for over 40 years. Growing up listening to John Carmichael and Fergie MacDonald, Ady was surrounded by music from a young age, with his father leading The Wick Scottish Dance Band for many years,. Ady has had prolific career to date, as a performer, record producer and tutor, and was inducted in to the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame in 2020 for Services to Performance.

John Sikorski

John Sikorski

Step Dance

John is a percussive dancer, photographer and musician from Skye. He has performed and taught in the traditional dance and music scene for 30 years. His strongly improvised style was influenced through study with percussive dancers in various traditions including Canada, the Appalachians and Ireland. Early projects included cross cultural collaborations, touring his 7-strong Scottish Stepdance Company at festivals in the UK and Europe. More recently he has focused on the rhythm tap genre in jazz. His workshops explore musicality, feeling grooves and building rhythmic patterns.

Roo Geddes

Roo Geddes

Fiddle

Hailing from the west of Glasgow, Roo Geddes has bolstered his upbringing in traditional music with studies in Jazz and Classical music. Playing his great, great grandad’s fiddle, his music has taken him around the world and he loves sharing these perspectives through teaching.

https://www.roogeddes.com/
Jayne Macleod

Jayne MacLeod

Step Dance

Jayne MacLeod from Ness on the Isle of Lewis has been dancing from a young age, starting out as a Highland Dancer. She was introduced to step dance by Mats Melin and the group, Dannsa, when they visited Lewis, touring rural communities performing and promoting traditional dance. She was inspired to attend Ceòlas, learning from the best of traditional dancers, both Scottish and Canadian, such as Frank McConnell, Sandra Robertson, Mary Janet MacDonald and Harvey Beaton. She has taught and performed over the years across Scotland, Ireland, Canada and France.

Bethany reid

Bethany Reid

Fiddle

Bethany is a fiddler and pianist from Shetland where she grew up immersed in a vibrant traditional music scene. There she received tuition from notable Shetland fiddlers including Jenny Keldie, Willie Hunter and Margaret Robertson. She went on to study Music in Glasgow where she took lessons with Perthshire based fiddler Pete Clarke. Over the years Bethany has had the privilege to travel and play music at festivals, events and concerts worldwide as well as teaching, composing and recording music.

Bethany is a member of the award winning fiddle quartet RANT, who have just released their fourth album Spin and plays regularly with her sister Jenna Reid.

Bethany currently teaches Music at St Ninians High School, Giffnock.

Dougie Pincock

Whistle

Dougie Pincock started his musical career as a Highland piper at primary school in Barrhead, near Glasgow, in 1970. He played Highland and small pipes, whistle, flute, saxophone and percussion in Battlefield Band during the 1980s, appearing on three studio albums and one live one, and touring throughout Europe, North America and Australasia. He left in 1990, and spent the 1990s teaching in various settings including many Fèisean, the Easterhouse Arts Project, the newly opened Piping Centre, and the first degree course in Scottish music at the (then) R.S.A.M.D.  

In 2000, he was appointed as the first Director of the National Centre. He retired from that post in July 2023 and is now combining freelance performing, teaching and recording with being a Papa.

Over the past few years we have developed a programme of Fringe events around the Adult Fèis, which includes recitals, concerts, ceilidhs and sessions.  

Included in your booking fee are the tutor concert (which is open to participants only), as well as lunchtime recitals, the cearcall còmhraidh, and the late-night sessions. We have additional concerts that you can book and pay for separately to enrolling as a workshop participant at the Fèis, and you can read more about these below.

If you have a partner, family member or friend who would like to join you in Ullapool, they are very welcome to take part in the Fringe activities even if they are not participating in the Fèis workshops. They can make a donation of £10 when they get to Ullapool for a wristband that gets them into The Ceilidh Place all weekend, which has a late license and is effectively closed as a private function to the Fèis, and also allows them to lunchtime recitals, etc.

Fèis Rois nan Inbheach 2024 FRINGE PROGRAMME

EventTime Venue
Friday 3rd May
FRIDAY NIGHT CONCERT
Hannah Rarity & Anna Massie
9.30pm – 11pmThe Ceilidh Place Venue   Tickets £12
Saturday 4th May
LUNCHTIME RECITAL Mairearad Green and Mike Vass1pm – 1.45pmAn Talla Solais, Free
Cearcall Còmhraidh4.30 – 5.30pmThe Ceilidh Place Parlour Bar, Free
SATURDAY NIGHT GRAND CONCERT – Double Bill  

RANT
Corrina Hewat & Dave Milligan
7.30pm – 9.30pmThe Macphail Theatre
£15
Saturday Night Sessions  9.30pm – 11.30pmVarious Venues
Sunday 5th May
LUNCHTIME RECITAL
Margaret Stewart and Ingrid Henderson
1pm – 1.45pmAn Talla Solais, Free
Cearcall Còmhraidh4.30 – 5.30pmThe Ceilidh Place Parlour Bar, Free
Tutor Concert  7.30pm – 9.30pmThe Macphail Theatre
(Participants only)
SUNDAY NIGHT CONCERT
Duncan Chisholm & Hamish Napier

*This concert is only open to Adult Fèis participants and friends and family.
Everyone who is signed up to the Adult Fèis by Apr 15th will be sent a private booking link to this concert.
9.30pm – 11pmThe Ceilidh Place Venue   Tickets £12

Concerts

FRIDAY – We are delighted to have Scots singer, Hannah Rarity, and multi-instrumentalist, Anna Massie, perform in The Ceilidh Place Venue. This is the room in the Ceilidh Place Bunkhouse opposite the main building.

SATURDAY – We will have a fabulous double bill in The Macphail Theatre. RANT, four of the country’s finest players, use just their fiddles to weave a tapestry of melodies, textures, layers and sounds. They will be performing music from their new album, Spin; RANT’s take on influential tracks from their formative years. After a decade performing both traditional and self-penned music with just their four fiddles, they now tackle some classic tracks from Capercaillie, Solas, JPP, Vasen and Liz Carroll. It’s an album full of joy and fun, and an insight into what was on their walkmans in the late 90s!

Corrina Hewat and Dave Milligan are no strangers to Fèis Rois and we are delighted that they will be performing on the Saturday night. Corrina Hewat is a Scottish singer and harper, composer, educator and director. 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. Dave Milligan is a highly versatile musician and a leading figure in the Scottish music scene. As part of Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival in 2003, he co-founded and directed, along with Corrina, The Unusual Suspects, a 22-piece big-band of leading folk and jazz musicians that set the bench-mark for the wave of large-scale ensembles that followed in the contemporary folk scene.

SUNDAY – We are excited to present Duncan Chisholm and Hamish Napier in The Ceilidh Place Venue. This is the room in the Ceilidh Place Bunkhouse opposite the main building. This concert is only open to Adult Fèis participants and friends and family.
Everyone who is signed up to the Adult Fèis by Apr 15th will be sent a private booking link to this concert. You might want to mark this date in your diary as we know this will be a hot ticket.

Saturday Sessions

On Saturday, we welcome you to the following tutor-led sessions in various locations around Ullapool. You will be asked to register for one of these sessions during the booking process.

Raise the Roof – a fast instrumental session!

Slow Instrumental Session

Intermediate Instrumental Session

Pipe Tunes Session – all instruments welcome!

Gaelic Music & Songs

The Wee Sing

The Big Sing

Please note that this is not set in stone and we would encourage you to dip in and out of a few different things on Saturday night if you would like to. We only ask people to sign up for something initially to ensure that we don’t have 250+ people all trying to go to the same session!

Although we say the sessions finish at 11.30pm, many will continue on beyond this. 11.30pm is the time that the tutors have been asked to stay until, but you might find that you go on sessioning into the wee small hours as some pubs in the village have late licenses for Saturday evening.

If you have any queries or issues during the weekend, please find a member of the Fèis Rois team (identifiable by their white and red Fèis Rois badges) who will be happy to help.

Tickets to the Adult Fèis are priced as:

£200 Full Price
£165 Concession (Over 65 or Unwaged)
£140 Saturday and Sunday only

If you encounter any problems during the booking process, please email fios@feisrois.org and we will be happy to assist you.

Please note that this is a 3-day course with progression over the three days. However, we appreciate that not everyone will have the Monday off work, or may need to travel home on the Monday, so we offer a 2-day option as well as the full 3 days.

Instruments

We are able to offer free instrument hire for some beginner classes. This includes clarsach, fiddle, and flutes. Please make sure to add these to your booking. We may be able to help source other instruments if required, please email fios@feisrois.org to enquire.

For piano/keyboard: please note that you need to bring your own keyboard.

Tin whistles are available to buy at registration or during the weekend in our merchandise shop.

Registration will take place at Ullapool High School, Mill Street, Ullapool, IV26 2UN either on Friday 3rd May between 6-7pm or Saturday 4th May from 9.15-10am.

At registration you will be given a wristband to be worn all weekend. This allows you entry to everything (classes, sessions, recitals, tutor concert, etc) with the exception the Friday night concert and Saturday night concert. Tickets for these are available to be purchased during the booking process or during registration.

Classes take place in Ullapool High School and the Village Hall. There will be maps available at registration showing where all classes are held. 

We are very fortunate to have the use of many great venues in Ullapool. Our host venues request that we look after all the buildings very carefully, by not bringing any food and drink into classrooms or corridors, and by not touching any school items or equipment. All teaching rooms are to be vacated during lunch time. All of the teaching venues we are using this year are owned by the Highland Council, which has a strict non-smoking policy. This includes the school grounds.

For further details on the event, e-mail fios@feisrois.org.

We are looking forward to seeing you for a weekend of great music, song, dance and craic! 

Leis gach deagh dhùrachd

The Fèis Rois Team

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