Taransay Fiddle School 2003.
Taransay 2003 finished Friday 25th July with a concert and ceilidh in Tarbert village hall.Both events were sold out with the quality performances by all artists being of the highest quality yet acheived.
Artists included Alan Henderson from Blazin` Fiddles,Pete Cooper ,London,Alistair White ,Battlefeild Band,Patsy Reid,Lochaber,Alsion Macleod,Inverness and all participating students,
Thirty three students from as far afeild as Pittsburg,USA and Melbourne Australia attended the fiddle course which this year had additional lessons in keyboard accompaniment,piping masterclass,stepdancing.
The weather was overall not too bad with rain for two days only.Bill Lawson from Norhton gave us a historic walk and talk on Thursday with many students taking the oppurtunity to take the four hour walk.
Highlight of the week was the thursday night traditional candlelight ceildh in the steading when we had fourteen Heareach visitors sail over from Harris.They were entertained by the students and also the beautifull Gaelic singing of Catriona Watt from Stornoway who was in Taransay for the first time..Unsurprisingly Catriona won the talent competition that evening against stern competition..Catriona is also a wonderful fiddler as are the youger members of the group including Donna,Lindsy and William.
The commitee of the Fidhlearein Eilean an Fhreaoich would like to thank the following,Brownie,Tarbert,Mackays of Horgabost,Melinda,Gus,Tammy,Catherine and Isobel,Willie Macrae,Fish farm boys,Ardhasaig,,Scone,Angus John,Robert and the Tarbert hall commitee,Macleods Motel ,Alex Murray Diving Co,Rod Huckbody,Lewis and Harris Pipe Band,Woodys` Express Parcels,Carpet World,CNES,WIE,and all others who gave us their assistance.
The fiddle school is gaining in popularity and is definatly now one of the annual fiddle schools that fiddlers wish to attend nationally.Whilst trying to maintain quality, numbers have to be minimised.Hopefully this can be addressed in the future to allow even more musicians to visit Harris .Daily visits to and from mainland Harris are envisaged in the future.
Also it is envisaged that the yougsters in Harris can get tuition from these excellent world class fiddle tutors in the future.Fidhleirean Eilean an Fhraoich are in discussion with Harris Arts and Leisure regarding this proposal.
Pete Cooper from London was very popular with his selection of material including American ragtime,Bulgarian and Bosnian music.This was a welcome break from continuous scottish music .All
the students appreciated the three Kopanistas from Bulgaria,and the Bessarabian (Moldovian)wedding dance.The american Pikes` Peak and East Tennesse Blues and also the ragtime tunes were especially popular.
Alistair White taught one of his own compositions “Amys` Extreme Snooker”,Seanamac Tube Station,some strathpeys and a scottische.He also demonstrated taught a Norwegian tune.We are quite proud of Alistair as he is home grown and has a future as a fiddle tutor.Also thanks to Alistair for his help on the boat on the wettest of days.
Patsy Reid was her wonderfull self teaching Cape Breton tunes Sandy Macyntyres trip to Boston and Stelles` trip to Kamloops.Patsy is a wonderfull teacher when it comes to ornamentation and has proved to be one of our favourites.Her percussion class”on the fiddle” proved very popular again this year.Patsys` new CD was sold out at the camp.
Alsion Macleod taught stepdancing all week and had a large class to contend with.As demonstrated at the concert they all perfomed very well with their new steps.
Mr Andy Thorburn was a busy man teaching keyboard and thanks also to Keith Morrison for helping Andy.Many students took an alternative subject on the fourth period of the day so Andy was kept busy teaching keyboards.
Finally the man himself Mr Alan Henderson.Not only did he give a piping masterclass but he stepped into the breach Wednesday morning to help Willie with the boat to take all the visitors across on the open day.In Alans` fiddle class he taught his own tune Kyle to Strathcarron as well as the two four march Duncan Henderson,and told many “yarns”
The original concept of Taransay was to involve as many local young fiddlers as possible to introduce them to “workshops”,”fiddle camps”,”tutors”.So far this has been successful as our young fiddlers are now comfortable with the concept.This has been achieved by introducing the youngsters to world class tutors like,Buddy Macmaster,Alan Henderson,Pete Cooper,Patsy Reid,Aly White,Ronan Martin,Alison Macleod.
The unique experience of being on Taransay for a week overshadowed the rather inclement weather.
The fabulous menus set up by Isobel and Catherine were a joy.As for Taransay itself may i quote Mr Allan Macleod,Inverness”The island is so interesting from the historical, flora and fauna etc point
of view that you could spend a week there with no music at all.”
Thanks also to Rod Huckbody,Maggie Macinnes,Ali Abassi,Calum Watt etc etc who came over to visit us on our open day.
The chairman would like to take this opportunity to thank all the backroom staff for doing a sterling job which included the logistical difficulties of transporting students and equipment safely to and from Taransay .