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Updates from Fèisean nan Gàidheal

Fèisean nan Gàidheal has had a busy start to 2023 and is looking forward to a varied programme of work in the weeks ahead.

Tha a’ mhòr-chiud de na Fèisean ionadail air tilleadh gu suidheachadh àbhaisteach a-rithist. Eadar na tachartasan aca-san agus an obair a bhios an t-seirbheis foghlaim foirmeil aig Fèisean nan Gàidheal, Fèisgoil, a lìbhrigeadh tha pailteas de chothroman ciùil ri fhaotainn a rithist, freagarrach don òigridh gu h-àraidh le ùidh ann an ceòl traidiseanta.

Most local Fèisean are now back and between these activities and the work being carried out by Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s formal education service, Fèisgoil, there are once again plenty of Fèis-related opportunities, especially for young people interested in traditional music.

There are 47 Fèisean and here is a snapshot of what some of them have been up to recently or are about to deliver:

Fèis Dhùn Èideann (Edinburgh)

Fèis Dhùn Èideann is holding a Fèis on the 11th of February for teenagers and on the 13th and 14th of February for children in Primary School. If you would like more information or to reserve a space please email Gillian at

Fèis Farr 2023 (Farr, Inverness-shire)

Fèis Farr will be holding a Fèis in the local community hall on the 25th and 26th of February for primary-aged children and those in S1-2. The participants will have lessons on the accordion, groupwork, step dance, whistle, fiddle, guitar, mandolin and Gaelic song and there will be a Wee Fèis as well for younger children. You can find more information on the Fèis Farr Facebook page.

Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich (Isle of Lewis)

Fèis Eilean an Fhraoich has been leading development projects with Lewis teenagers to guide them in the skills necessary for working as live and as studio musicians.

Since early 2022, they’ve been working with local musicians to develop their skills in group work and performance. This continues with workshops in studio and live production along with TradAwards Studio Engineer of the year, Keith Morrison in Wee Studio and at an Lanntair. They also have some live opportunities coming up, as they continue to develop their musical skills.

Fèis Tìr an Eòrna (North Uist)

Fèis Tìr an Eòrna has been a prominent part of the Taigh Chearsabhaigh exhibition on the musical heritage of North Uist. Working with other island bodies such as the gallery itself, and the local history society, they’ve researched and performed Gaelic songs from the island at live and digital cèilidhs.

Fèis Tìr a’ Mhurain (South Uist)

South Uist has been described as the ‘Brazil of piping’ by no less than piping luminary Fred Morrison, and Fèis Tìr a’ Mhurain has been exploring this piping heritage. A group of local pipers and tradition bearers has been established to work with the Fèis on weekly classes, and it’s planned to explore this further.

Fèis Bharraigh (Barra)

Fèis Bharraigh was the first Fèis (1981), and as they prepare for their covid-delayed 40th anniversary it’s with a resurgence of interest among island youngsters. Classes in piping, accordion and fiddle have regularly been oversubscribed and additional classes started as a result. They too are researching the island piping heritage, and have tradition bearers involved in weekly classes.

Fuaran 2023 (Gaelic song – research and performance opportunity for young adults)

Applications are now closed for the 2023 series of the Fuaran project. Fuaran, meaning a spring or well, was established in order to encourage the next generation of Gaelic singers to research songs of their own communities or those from areas to which they had a connection. Participants are also encouraged to delve into the wonderful and varied archives available before being given the opportunity to record these songs themselves. For more information:

Fèisgoil (FnG’s formal education service)

YMI Highland

YMI sessions, in collaboration with Highlife Highland and local Fèisean, Fèis an Earraich, Fèis Chataibh, Fèis Inbhir Narainn, Fèis Lochabair, Fèis Rois and Fèis Spè are well underway with all areas due to complete delivery by the end of this school term. Most areas adopted the approach of an online cèilidh to introduce tutors and the project to the classes and followed this up with face-to-face sessions.


In collaboration with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, our Fèisgoil service delivers Gaelic singing sessions to all pupils in Uist and Barra. This term our tutors are concentrating on songs connected to the mass emigrations of islanders one hundred years ago.

Treòir Voar Virr Òrain air chall

Following on from the ambitious multi-arts inter-island project last year, a smaller scale Treòir Voar Virr project, this time with Òrain air Chall (Lost Songs) as its topic is underway in all six local authorities where island schools are situated.
Research carried out by local song specialists has resulted in a resource of over 50 songs deemed fragile within their own communities.

These songs are being reintroduced to schoolchildren through the project and links to lyrics, translations, archival recordings as well as some brand new recordings will be available through the Fèisean nan Gàidheal website once the project has completed.
Fèisean nan Gàidheal is very grateful to The Scottish Government for specific funding of the project as well as to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for collaboration through its Dìleab – Eilthireachd project marking 100 years since the sailing of the Marloch and the Metagama, and the devastating effect this had on the population of the islands, with over 300 Lewis folk – all except two – young men with an average age of 22 sailing for a new life in Canada.

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