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Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail returns as two groups of musicians get tuned up for summer of dates across Scotland

By Margaret Chrystall

Two groups of talented young musicians will take to the road again this summer for three weeks of musical performances throughout Scotland.

Last live appearances from the Ceilidh Trail musicians were back in 2019.
Last live appearances from the Ceilidh Trail musicians were back in 2019.

For the first time since 2019, the Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail will see young musicians from all over Scotland come together to form two bands to perform at a variety of venues throughout the Highlands, Borders, Dundee, Dumfries & Galloway and Lanark.

The live dates go from family ceilidhs in village halls to concerts in the woods and informal sessions in national nature reserves to tunes in museums, cafes and garden centres.

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 take part 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, whilst also preparing for life on the road. Then they will spend the summer playing music at venues throughout Scotland.

This year the ceilidh trail will also perform at several well-known festivals including Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Under Canvas at Eden Court, as well as Cambridge Folk Festival and Sidmouth Folk Week in England.

Fèis Rois is also delighted to continue its partnership with NatureScot to feature 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.

The programme celebrated its 21st anniversary last year.

Unable to go on tour as planned due to the pandemic, the organisation released an album to mark the milestone.

Past ceilidh trail participants have included Rachel Newton, Brìghde Chaimbeul, Kim Carnie, Conal McDonagh, Mischa Macpherson, Ali Levack and Josie Duncan

The 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.

Charly will be joining the ceilidh trail thanks to Fèis Rois’ partnership with Cambridge Folk Festival and Cassie is an exchange musician from Welsh arts organisation, Trac Cymru.

The second group features Jamie Clarke, Matthias Hamilton, Calum Mackinnon, Kate Macleod, Elissa Hunter-Dorans, and Iain Hyslop.

Christian Gamauf.
Christian Gamauf.

Christian Gamauf, Fèis Rois creative producer, commented: “We are delighted to be able to run our ceilidh trail once again. The programme gives young musicians a taste of what being a professional musician is really like."

“The ceilidh trail, which is funded this year by Creative Scotland and NatureScot, is also 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 performances can be found on the Fèis Rois website, www.feisrois.org

Ceilidh Trail musicians in Perth before the pandemic
Ceilidh Trail musicians in Perth before the pandemic

Ceilidh Trail 2022 participants

Group One

Eoin Cumming, Gairloch

Sheena Peteranna, Uist

Cassie de St Croix, Wales

Anna Scott, Skye

Charly Curry-Brown, Newcastle

Freya Taylor, Black Isle

Group Two

Jamie Clarke, Invergordon

Matthias Hamilton, Inverness

Kate Macleod, Inverness

Calum Mackinnon, Skye

Elissa Hunter-Dorans, Inverness

Iain Hyslop, Avoch

Ceilidh Trail dates


Tuesday July, 19, 9pm, The Old Inn, Gairloch

Wednesday July 20, 12-2pm, Knockan Crag NNR, Ullapool

Wednesday July 20, 9pm, The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool

Thursday, July 21, 12-2pm, Loch Fleet NNR-

Thursday, July 21, 7:30pm, Invershin Hotel (Sutherland Sessions)

Friday, July 22, 12-2pm, Rosemarkie Beach Café

Friday, July 22, 7:30pm, Seaboard Centre, Balintore

Saturday, July 23, 3:30pm, Evanton Woods

Saturday, July 23, 7:30pm, Victoria Diamond Jubilee Hall, Evanton

Sunday, July 24, 12-2pm, Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre

Wednesday, July 27, 2-4pm, Highland Museum of Childhood, Strathpeffer

Wednesday, July 27, 9:30pm, Hootananny, Inverness

Thursday, July 28, 12-2pm, Simpsons Garden Centre, Inverness

Thursday, July 28, 4:30pm + 8pm, Under Canvas, Eden Court Theatre

Friday, July 29, 11am-1pm, Dalmore Farm Café, Alness

Friday, July 29, 4:30pm + 8pm, Under Canvas, Eden Court Theatre, Inverness

Saturday, July 30, Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival

Thursday, August 4, Black Isle Show, Muir of Ord

Thursday, August 4, 9:30pm, Hootananny, Inverness

Friday, August 5, 12-2pm, Forsinard Flows NNR

Friday, August 5, 7:30pm, Rosebank Playing Fields, Wick (Lyth Arts Centre)

Saturday, August 6, Unexpected Garden, Alness

Sunday, August 7, 12-2pm, Highland Farm Café, Dingwall

Wednesday, August 10, 12-2pm, Beinn Eighe NNR

Wednesday, August 10, 9pm, Bo & Muc @ The Torridon

Thursday, August 11, 8pm, Applecross Community Hall

Friday, August 12, 2-4pm, Gairloch Museum

Friday, August 12, 7:30pm, Gairloch Community Hall

Saturday, August 13, Unexpected Garden, Alness.

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