Registration for Sgoil Shamhraidh, the Ceolas summer school, is now open.
The school gets underway in Cnoc Soilleir on Sunday, July 2 and runs until Friday, July 7.
Among the stellar lineup of tutors is Catherine Ann MacPhee, a renowned Barra-born Gaelic singer now living in Nova Scotia.
Echoing the festival’s strong musical links between South Uist and Cape Breton, multi-instrumentalist Kyle MacDonald will return for his second year at the festival. Making his debut at the summer school is Kolten MacDonell, who hails from Glencoe, Cape Breton, plays fiddle and piano and is a prominent step dancer. The Cape Breton contingent is completed by Gerard Beaton, who returns to tutor advanced step dance.
Meanwhile, there is plenty of local Uist talent, including recording artist, poet, composer and Outlander star Gillebride MacMillan providing tuition in Gaelic language, conversation and grammar.
He is joined by several other regular faces, including award-winning South Uist Gaelic singer Màiri MacMillan, media professional and talented step-dancer Jayne MacLeod from Lewis, one of Lochaber’s finest multi-instrumentalists Ingrid Henderson will tutor harp. In addition, Moidart’s distinguished piper, singer, composer and folklorist, Allan MacDonald, will tutor Ceòl Mòr and Pìobaireachd Song.
Mòd Double Gold Medallist 2022 and winner of MG Alba Scots Trad Gaelic Singer of the Year 2022, Ruairidh Gray, will also lend a hand for the Reels and Quadrilles classes.
A range of daytime community events during the week will include a class on Seanchas (folklore), a class showcasing local dances and the famous walk with a dram with local historian and singer Donald Ruairidh Campbell. The evening events include the opening cèilidh, an evening of Gaelic song on Monday, July 3, a showcase of music from Cape Breton on Tuesday, July 4, a piping recital on Wednesday, July 5, and an evening of dancing and fiddle music on Thursday, July 6. The week will close with the eminent Cèilidh Mòr showcasing the range of talent over the week. Ceòlas will also stream some of the evening events to a global audience on social media platforms and YouTube.
Catherine Ann MacPhee said: “It is such a great honour to be asked back to Ceòlas’ annual Sgoil Shamhraidh. As always, it is a pleasure to share the stage with a diverse range of acclaimed musicians and tutors for a week-long festival of tuition and music-making showcasing our language and culture. This year brings our communities together as we reflect on the theme of homecoming and the 100th anniversary of the SS Marloch leaving our shores for Canada.”
Iain MacDonald, famed piper, multi-instrumentalist and Ceòlas’ Artistic Director, added: “Our yearly Sgoil Shamhraidh continues to grow from strength to strength. We are delighted to welcome such a talented group of tutors to the festival, which includes four artistes who are coming from Cape Breton. We very much look forward to welcoming participants to the Gaelic heartland of South Uist for a week of language learning and instrumental tuition with world-class artists and tutors.”
The summer school began in 1996 and attracts participants from across the globe for a week of tuition in Gaelic, song, music and dance, and an array of live music every evening.
Places can be booked via the Ceolas website.