Scotland’s young musicians are back with a bang this year as the long awaited Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail returns to entertain audiences around the country.
The pioneering traditional music programme, which has seen the involvement of the likes of Julie Fowlis, Rachel Newton, Kim Carnie and Brìghde Chaimbeul over the years, will see a series of performances from the Highlands to the Borders this summer
This year there will be two groups of young musicians taking to the road for a three week tour throughout the Highlands, Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Central Belt and Dundee as well as performances at Cambridge and Sidmouth Folk Festivals.
And, in partnership with NatureScot, there will also be performances at six of Scotland’s National Nature Reserves: Knockan Crag, Loch Fleet, Forsinard Flows, Beinn Eighe and Falls of Clyde, and Cairnsmore of Fleet.
For the first time since 2019, the Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail will see young musicians from all over Scotland come together to perform at a variety of venues, including family ceilidhs in village halls to concerts in the woods.
The Ceilidh Trail, which was established by Dingwall-based Fèis Rois, is a professional development opportunity for outstanding young traditional musicians, providing them with the chance to participate in a summer tour, with support from a team of professional musicians and specialist tutors.
The musicians spend a week rehearsing and participating in workshops, including performance skills, sound engineering and dance calling, while also preparing for life on the road, before spending the summer playing music at various venues.
Many past Ceilidh Trail participants have gone on to carve out incredibly successful music careers including Rachel Newton, Brìghde Chaimbeul, Kim Carnie, Conal McDonagh, Mischa Macpherson, Ali Levack and Josie Duncan. The very first Ceilidh Trail was coordinated by multi award-winning Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis, who provided the theme song for Disney Pixar’s Brave.
Participants this year include Eoin Cumming, Sheena Peteranna, Anna Scott, Freya Taylor, Charly Curry-Brown and Cassie de St Croix.
The second group features Jamie Clarke, Matthias Hamilton, Calum Mackinnon, Kate Macleod, Elissa Hunter-Dorans, and Iain Hyslop.
Christian Gamauf, Fèis Rois Creative Producer, said: “We are delighted to be able to run our Ceilidh Trail once again this summer. The programme supports young musicians to develop their performance and musical skills, while giving them a taste of what being a professional musician is really like.
“The Ceilidh Trail is a hugely important cultural initiative, delivering a high standard of traditional music in places where you might not usually hear it and introducing tourists to our musical culture and traditions.”
A full programme of this year’s Ceilidh Trail performances can be found on the Fèis Rois website, www.feisrois.org.