SOME of Scotland’s best-known traditional musicians, including members of Capercaillie, Elephant Sessions and Treacherous Orchestra, will gather for Nairn Fèis Day on Saturday February 20, to inspire musicians of all ages.
Fèis Day is run by Fèis Inbhir Narainn, now in its 12th year, and held at Nairn Community and Arts Centre.
Professional performers will work with children and adults who are at an intermediate or advanced level in full-day Groupwork sessions, while for beginner level children, there are beginner groupwork and Drumfun percussion sessions.
Former Scots Trad Awards winner Shona Donaldson will lead a session in Scots song and there will be afternoon mini workshops for all ages and mixed levels in mandolin, percussion, tune arrangement session, bothy ballads and Gaelic Song.
Musicians interested in writing their own music can join fiddler and composer Adam Sutherland in a tune composition class, and there will be a Gaelic session, Fèis Bheag, for younger children.
"We’re very lucky to have some of the best musicians in Scotland supporting us on Fèis Day," Rhona MacDonald of Fèis Inbhir Narainn commented.
"It’s a unique opportunity for musicians of all ages in the area to work with them. And this year, three of our well-known tutors will be playing in a special evening performance at the Little Theatre.
Fèis Day gives people a chance to engage with traditional music, and although we’re working with top performers, we aim for an informal atmosphere where people are comfortable trying something new.
"Some of the country’s best musicians started out through their local Fèis – who knows what future stars will be at this year’s Fèis Day?"
Tutors taking part include Charlie McKerron of Capercaillie and Session A9; acclaimed musician and singer Brian Ó hEadhra; Adam Sutherland of The Treacherous Orchestra and Peatbog Faeries; accordionist Sandy Brechin, a founder-member of several well known bands including Seelyhoo and The Jimi Shandrix Experience; The Elephant Sessions mandolin player Alasdair Taylor; traditional singer Shona Donaldson; freelance music teacher Alison MacKenzie: and local fiddler and tutor Rachel Campbell, who runs the Caledonian Ceilidh Trail for young musicians.
"I’m delighted to be coming back to Nairn, and looking forward to some tunes and craic with good folk," McKerron said,
•Fèis Day starts at 9.30am with registration is from 9am.
Full Fèis day tickets cost £35 for adults, £20 for schoolchildren (£15 siblings), and £75 for family of four, and include a mini Workshop and entry to the evening ceilidh.
Mini workshop tickets are £4 and Fèis Bheag £3.
The family ceilidh starts at 7pm. Tickets £5 for adults, £3 for school pupils, with under five year olds free and a £12 family ticket deal.
Charlie McKerron, Sandy Brechin and Brian Ó hEadhra will perform in an Evening of Traditional Music at Nairn’s Little Theatre on Friday 19th February. Tickets cost £12 (under-18s £6). To book, call 07825 415887.