Young Gaelic singers and researchers to showcase their work in Canada

Talented singers to participate in internationally renowned Celtic Colours Festival

Six young Gaelic singers from across Scotland have been invited to perform at the renowned Celtic music festival, Celtic Colours, in Canada next month, showcasing the second phase of the Fuaran project, which aims to inspire young Gaelic speakers to engage with the wealth of Gaelic culture in their local communities.

The singers and researchers are part of this year’s Fuaran group, a heritage initiative established by Fèisean nan Gàidheal to encourage a new generation of Gaelic speakers and singers to actively engage in the research and collection of Gaelic songs in their local area.

The singers in Fuaran 2019 include Anna MacDonald, 24, Tiree; Chloë Bryce, 22, Tain; Alix Aburn, 16, Inverness; Catriona Nicolson, 23, Inverness; Duncan MacLeod, 19, Bonar Bridge; Ruairidh Cormack, 24, Skye and Claire Frances MacNeill, 19, Barra. The group has been invited to perform at the prestigious Celtic festival, which will also see Scottish folk groups Breabach, Talisk, and SAY Award nominated Kinnaris Quintet perform, whilst also visiting local schools to do workshops and present their work.

Fuaran will join forces with similar Gaelic mentorship youth group from Cape Breton, Na Gaisgich Òga which means The Young Heroes, for two special collaborative concerts at the Gaelic College in St Ann’s, Cape Breton and Christmas Island.

Anna Macdonald, Fuaran participant from Tiree, commented: “I’m really excited to be involved in Fuaran as it is allowing me to bring together and develop my research skills from a musician’s perspective, as well as my insight into the Gaelic culture that forms part of my identity.

One stand-out message I took from this project is the importance of respect as a whole within the research process; respect for the contributors, the material they are providing and how they wish it to be used, and respect for the material itself as a piece of history and heritage. I’m really looking forward to sharing the songs and their stories with audiences in Canada”.

Earlier this year, Fuaran recorded some of the songs they collected from communities across Scotland. This recording, accompanied by translations, background information and videos of the recording process, will be available on the Fuaran website, bringing the total number of songs collected since the beginning of the Fuaran project to 32.

During the process, the researchers discovered many interesting stories and songs, some of which are relatively unknown. Claire Frances MacNeill researched and collected a song called “Coitearan Bhatarsaigh”,  a song in praise of the Raiders in their struggle to win over the land rights to Vatersay in 1908.  Claire Frances came across it in a collection of Dòmhnall Mac na Ceàrdaich songs, a relatively unknown Gaelic author who died aged 46.

Karen Oakley, Fèisean nan Gàidheal Development Officer, said: “We are delighted that our Fuaran participants have been invited to perform at the internationally renowned Celtic Colours festival. They are very excited to be showcasing the songs they have researched over the past several months, and especially as the shows they are involved in have already sold out. The trip is also a brilliant opportunity for our young people to meet like-minded Gaelic speakers from the other side of the Atlantic. Programmes like Na Gaisgich Òga are well-established and I’m sure both groups will gain a lot from this shared experience”.

Fuaran will be performing at “It’s Not Just a Fèis” on Saturday 12 October on Christmas Island and on Sunday 13 October at “The Young Heroes: Na Gaisgich Òga” at the Gaelic College, St Ann’s.

For more information about Fuaran, please visit www.feisean.org/fuaran

Creative Scotland The Scottish Government Highlands and Islands Enterprise Bòrd na Gaidhlig Highland Council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Argyll & Bute Council