A Gaelic musical feast comes to Wigtown

A DAY of Gaelic music is coming to Wigtown in the form of a Feis (festival) thanks to the region’s Gaelic promotion group, Gàidhlig Dumgal.

This community-based group was formed to promote awareness of, and interest and involvement in Gaelic language, literature, music and other aspects of Gaelic culture throughout Dumfries and Galloway and hope to offer something a bit special by bringing the first Feis south of Glasgow to the Machars.

The idea of a Feis (pronounced fay-sh, meaning feast, gathering or festival) happened on Barra in 1981 and since its inception, the idea has gone on to become a movement with 45 Feisean, each one community-led and tailored to local needs. They take place every year throughout Scotland.

The emphasis is on the younger generation and the atmosphere is non-competitive and holistic.

Tutors are either local tradition bearers, experts in their field or, increasingly professionals who have come through the Feis to pursue careers in the burgeoning traditional arts scene.

At a national level, the Feisean are seen by many as one of the most successful arts initiatives in Scotland. This is the first one in our area, and the workshops on offer on 20th October will be Gaelic drama, Gaelic song, step dance, all of which need no previuos experience; fiddle, clarsach, accordian and whistle, (which require at least some experience, as people need to bring their own instrument).

The workshops will be followed by a concert between 4pm and 5pm.

Gaelic Development Worker Andrew Wilson said: “I am hoping that local parents, children and traditional musicians will be keen on a Fèis in Dumfries and Galloway, where there is a growing interest in Gaelic language and culture.

“Though true native speakers no longer exist, Gaelic (Scots and Irish) language is still evident in our place names. Gaelic tunes are played by many local musicians and don`t forget, Robert Burns used Gaelic melodies for many of his best loved songs.”

All places must be booked and paid for in advance - £15 adults; £10 under 18s and concessions.

To register, please contact Andrew Wilson on 01988 500364 or 07921 038630. Or you can email Gaelic Development Worker Andrew at Andrew.Wilson3@dumgal.gov.uk.