Next week would usually see arts organisation Fèisean nan Gàidheal host two of its popular week-long summer events, Sgoil-shamraidh Dràma (Gaelic Drama Summer School) and Fèis Alba, however not deterred by the pandemic, these events will be hosted online for the first time to ensure that youngsters across Scotland don’t miss out on the top class tuition.
Sgoil-shamraidh Dràma Air Loidhne (Gaelic Drama summer school online) will be led by actor, Lana Pheutan, who regularly appears on BBC Alba’s Bannan and FUNC. The event will offer young Gaelic speakers the opportunity to develop their acting skills and collaborate creatively while at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Applications from Gaelic speaking teenagers interested in drama, aged between 13 and 17 at the time of the School, are welcome.
Fèis Alba offers Cèilidh Trail participants and advanced musicians, aged 14-20, the chance to learn new music from some of the country’s top musicians whilst also learning invaluable skills and knowledge from industry professionals through a variety of masterclasses, workshops and Gaelic lessons.
This year participants will have the chance to learn new tunes and songs with Oban musician and choir conductor, Sileas Sinclair, Breabach’s Calum MacCrimmon and Glenfinnan harpist Ingrid Henderson. They will also learn Gaelic with Shannon Cowie and Iain-Murdo MacMillan, pick up playing for dancing tips from dancer Frank MacConnell, get crucial advice about being a self-employed musician from Firefly Productions founder and Dogstar Theatre producer, Donna MacRae, as well as gaining PR and social media skills from former Cèilidh Trail participant, Katie Mackenzie.
Arthur Cormack, Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Chief Executive said: “Since lockdown, with support from Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and HIE, we have supported local Fèisean in organising music classes online and we are continuing, as best we can, to offer our usual varied summer programme, albeit in a different format. While the online events will have some limitations, for example there will not be the normal level of peer-to-peer interaction, we are confident participants will gain skills from the sessions on offer. We have been encouraged by the response with some young people we might not normally reach able to take part this year.”