Island performers will be heading across the Minch in force as this month’s Celtic Connections celebrates everything that’s best about Celtic music.
 
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar today (Monday January 6th) announced that pupils from the Dìleab: Air a' Chuan project will be performing at the festival in Glasgow at one of the opening events, on Friday January 17th.
 
Performances will include 70 island pupils, Willie Campbell and band, Ceitlin Lilidh and Pàdruig Morrison with the Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band, the Sir E Scott Choir from Harris, singers and musicians from Castlebay Community School in Barra and The
Nicolson Institute in Lewis, as well as other island musicians including Iain 'Costello' MacIver and Neil Johnstone.  Linda Macleod from North Uist will be hosting the evening.
 
The concert follows on from the success of the previous Dìleab events of 2018, the recording and subsequent launch of the Dileab EP and the hugely successful concert in November 2019 in Ionad Spòrs Leòdhais, where 60 young musicians from Lewis and Harris performed alongside Face the West, the Tumbling Souls and Skipinnish.
 
Rhona Johnstone, musical director and project co-ordinator, said: “This promises to be an absolutely fantastic evening. Our concert programme has been designed to fit in with Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 and will include two new commissions from Willie Campbell as well as other arrangements of songs to fit with this theme.
 
“The pupils, music staff and the whole Dìleab team have been working very hard in the lead up to the event and we are all very much looking forward to being part of this amazing festival.”
 
The concert will take place in the new auditorium of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall at 7:30pm on Friday 17th January 2020.  Tickets come from the Royal Concert Hall on 0141 353 8000.
 
Also featuring during Celtic Connections are island performers including Peat & Diesel, who have sold out Glasgow’s Barrowlands on January 26th. They’ll be supported by Astrid, another island legend, featuring Willie Campbell and Charlie Clark.
 
Josie Duncan of Back is one of the finalists in BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year on February 2nd and Lewis singer Catriona Watt will be among those taking part in a 20th anniversary celebration of the event.
 
The full programme of the festival and online booking for all events is available here.