It was another successful Fèis an Rubha this year, with 56 children from near and far attending the event on Point held last week in the local school from Monday to Friday (July 30 to August 3).
Community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust donated £500 to the Gaelic youth arts event, to cover the costs of taking part for children from low-income families.
As the pictures above by Sandie Maciver of SandiePhotos show, the youngsters enjoyed learning a range of instruments – from guitar and fiddle to clarsach, melodeon and drums – as well as singing and drama workshops, all led by experienced and talented tutors.
Anne Macaulay, chair of the Fèis an Rubha committee, said: “We had 56 at the Fèis. They enjoyed it and there was a concert on Friday night that went well.
“The numbers were slightly down but the croileagan artificially inflated it last year. The numbers attending the main event is going up.
“Most of them were from the Point area but there were others from outside Point. There were three this year who were home from the Glasgow Gaelic School.”
The main Fèis is for children aged eight to 18, while there is also a class for those aged five to seven and a cròileagan for children aged three to five.
Attendance normally costs £35 for the first child and £30 for siblings. The organising committee had recognised that this cost was a barrier to some taking part, and had wanted to find a way to make it more inclusive.
They sought funding from Point and Sandwick Trust to provide free places to families in receipt of the school clothing grant.
Donald John MacSween, Point and Sandwick Trust General Manager, said: “This was a great way to make a difference to young people and families in the Point and Sandwick area.
“I was involved in establishing Feis an Rubha as an annual summer activity about 15 years ago in the now demolished Aird school, and I am so pleased that the Feis has grown and gone from strength to strength every year since.
“It is fantastic to see it now firmly established as a regular and popular event with participants eager to learn new musical skills from dedicated tutors.
“The experience of taking part in the arts is of great value to young people.
"We were very pleased indeed to have been able to sponsor the Fèis, because of our community ownership of Beinn Ghrideag, given the swingeing cuts to the education budget – £400million since 2010 – which resulted in music provision being cut to the bone by the council.
“Access to music tuition and instruments for all children – regardless of whether their families can afford to pay for them to have private lessons – is of immense value and we were delighted to help level that playing field and open up the Fèis experience to all.”
Calum Alex Macmillan, Fèisean nan Gàidheal Development Manager, said the funding of free places by PST would have allowed Fèis an Rubha “to reach more young people than ever before”.
Such financial support would “make a real difference for families within the local community”.
He added: “Fèisean nan Gàidheal and our member Fèisean endeavour to provide opportunities for all young people to access traditional music tuition and experiences in the Gaelic arts.”