Fèis Rois

15.25-15.40, Club Tent • Saturday

Founded in 1986, Fèis Rois is one of Scotland’s leading traditional arts organisations. Last year, some 9,000+ people took part in traditional music workshops organised by Fèis Rois and more than 600 traditional musicians benefitted from paid work opportunities through this pioneering organisation. Fèis is the Scottish Gaelic word for festival, and Rois refers to Ross-Shire, the area of the Highlands where Fèis Rois is based.

The Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail provides young musicians aged 16 – 25 with the opportunity to learn about all aspects of the industry, whilst providing visitors to Scotland with the opportunity to hear high quality traditional music at top tourist destinations. Now in its 18th year, some of Scotland’s leading folk musicians have come through this initiative, including Mairearad Green, Rachel Newton, John Somerville, Fraya Thomsen and Mischa Macpherson, to name but a few.

This is the 9th year of Fèis Rois’s partnership with Cambridge Folk Festival. The five young musicians attending Cambridge with the Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail in 2017 have recently established their own bands. They are Hecla, a trio who are all currently studying BA Applied Music at the University of the Highlands and Islands. Featuring Ailis Sutherland (pipes/whistle), Ilona Kennedy (fiddle) and Kaitlin Ross (guitar/vocals), Hecla present beautiful, crisp and energetic arrangements of traditional Gaelic songs and instrumental tunes. The band takes its name from Hecla, a stunning hill in South Uist where the girls currently live. They will be joined by 2017 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award finalists, Charlie Grey and Joseph Peach. Their background lies at the heart of some of Scotland’s native musical traditions, but the music they play is as much based on self-penned material as it is informed by this rich musical heritage. 

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