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Clava and Càirdean traditional young bands will play on a bill with ladies choir Ardersier Forté, Gaelic men’s choir Trosg, fiddler Robbie Mackenzie, Highland dancing and social dancing

By Margaret Chrystall

THE latest event for the Croy Live series will see a special fundraising ceilidh on Friday at the village hall.

The primary and secondary age young traditional musicians in the two bands Clava and Càirdean will be playing on a bill with ladies choir Ardersier Forté, Gaelic men’s choir Trosg, fiddler Robbie Mackenzie, Highland dancing and social dancing the audience can join in with.

It’s all to raise money for the young bands’ annual trip to Donegal this summer.

Alison Mackenzie, who runs the bands and organises the Croy Live music events, said: “Friday is the main fundraiser and we are looking to raise a lot of money at the silent auction and raffle.

“We have got a substantial grant from the Friends of Highland Music and we have also had support from Highland Music Trust.”

When Alison left her job as head of music at Culloden Academy, she continued her interest in running bands, setting up Clava and Càirdean.

“I have always had an interest in traditional music and it was something I wanted to continue.

“I got a Churchill Fellowship when I left work to go to Cape Breton and Newfoundland to see how they sustained traditional music in these areas and it is something I am keen to see passed on to the next generations.

“There were enough young folk who wanted to continue with me, so the bands have really gone on from there.

“I have a longstanding connection with Donegal and one fiddler in particular, Theresa Kavanagh, who runs an Irish ‘comhaltas’ which is similar to the féis movement. Its aim is to pass on the Irish tradition of song, language and dance. We have met up with Theresa’s group and she put me in touch with Bartley Brennan who runs venue Leo’s Tavern, the home of the musicians who were in Clannad. Bartley is keen to support young musicians, so he invites us to play there and it is a real honour.”

The group will also play at an Irish session, join young Irish musicians for a workshop and concert and will perform in the Glencolmcille Folk Village in south-west Donegal.

“Friday’s event is to support the bands going because it is expensive taking them over and we are a small group,” Alison said.

“But we have had fantastic support from local businesses with well over 80 items for the silent auction and raffle.”

The ceilidh is held on Friday, June 21 at 7.30pm as part of the Croy Live series of music events at Croy Village Hall. The event is a fundraiser with a silent auction and raffle for the upcoming trip to Donegal over the summer so the two bands can play and learn. For tickets: 01463 794823 and 07751 588395.

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