Fidhleirean Eilean An Fhraoich.
Chairman’s Report 2004 AGM.
Firstly I would like to thank those committee members whom have over the year done lots of work regarding the fiddle group.Taransay two was a resounding success in all respects .
The concerts in the Legion to raise funds for the hall were a disaster on both occasions.
The potatoes and herring night in the golf club was a success with good funds being raised.This well worth repeating.Thanks to Isobel Macritchie and Willie Macrae for help there.
Appearances in public included the Church of Scotland fete as well as appearances at the Accordion and Fiddle club where the fiddlers get most exposure.This is a great opportunity where any potential fiddlers can sample what we are about.
There is still a problem in attracting new members and more effort is required to attract new members to the club even if players are at an early stage.
Our independence is being threatened.
I have been approached to become affiliated with an umbrella organisation.There is now so much demand for funding with other organisations after their slice of the action the powers that be are not going to hand out funding to everybody.
Nevertheless the decision will soon have to be taken do we almalgamate,or become affiliated,or stay independent.It is up to you.
Even at this late stage funding for Taransay 3 (CNES) is not forthcoming and even after all this time we are being confused with Accordion and Fiddle club who also apply for funding for tuition.
I would like to thank WIE and CNES for their funding up to this point.Their contribution makes life a bit easier financially.
The hall costs are approx #500-600 per annum.This is a large sun as we never had to pay this kind of money previously.There was a misunderstanding regarding hall access recently.This has now been sorted out and we can use the hall during the week as long as the keyholder is informed.
Keyholders in the fiddle group are,Dolan,Kenny and Woody.
The tune books and cds have been a success with 20 copies of book 1 ,5 copies of cd 1 been sold.
Tune book 2 is now ready and available to order.
All proceeds to club funds.
It is hoped to get Patsy Reid back for a series of tuition weekends.Hopefully these will be starting soon.
It would be nice to find out numbers to see how many are interested bearing in mind at Patsys` last class there were only five fiddlers.
Taransay 3 is just about organised.Tutors are Charlie mackerron,Chris Stout,Alistair White, and Patsy Reid.
Taransay fiddle club has just been voted No1 fiddle camp in the Uk on the Fiddle on magazine.This is good news for the club and I would like to thank everyone for their contribution.
Slow sessions should be every Monday and I thank my esteemed vice-chairperson for spending time doing slow sessions and teaching new tunes throughout the year.If we publicise the slow sessions I reckon we could get more fiddlers out there interested.
The club is also looking for volunteers.There is plenty to do.
We still have an outstanding problem and it is a shame that I have to report the fact that we still have not received the flight case for our mixer from Fonn after two years.
Mr W ood is still negotiating with Mr Eadie but if we are not successful we will be taking legal action against Fonn Music Shop.The outstanding sum is #120.00
There was a recording made of the concert in Tarbert last year after Taransay.It is an excellent concert but the sound is a bit distorted in some parts .If any members would like a copy let the chairman know and he will make a copy.Price #5.00 each for club funds.
A meeting took place in Tarbert last August with Harris Arts and Leisure,CNES and myself.Is is hoped to take some youngsters from Harris over to Taransay this year to give them a taste of Taransay.Mr Duncan Macpherson,Harris has organised another meting in a couple of weeks and it is hoped that any funding that he gets we will be invited to the fiddle tuition in Harris.
Finally I would like to thank all Committee members,members and volunteers for making the club so successful throughout the year.
Taransay Traditional Fiddle School 2004.
Third Taransay Fiddle School.
Taransay 2004 finished Friday 24th 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 ,Ian Copeland from Peatbog Fairies,Charlie Mackerron of Caper ceille and Session A9, Chris Stout from Shetland who plays with Fiddlers Bid amongst others,Patsy Reid,Lochaber,Alison Macleod,Inverness,Nancy and Dave Carmaechal from Arizona who entertained us all with amazing bluegrass fiddle tunes.Accompaniement on keyboards was by Andy Thorburn of the popular band Blazin` Fiddles.Sarah Naylor from Breakish in Skye entertained also this year.Sarah is a wonderful traditional fiddle player and we hope to have her teaching in Stornoway in the near future.Our very own Alsitair White (Battlefield Band)contributed enormously to the event and is developing into a very respescted tutor.Ewan Macpherson from Uist taught mandolin all week and his class was busy .
All the students both advanced and intermediate performed at the concert .The quality of the tutoring was evident by the exceptional performances by the students.
Forty students from as far afeild as Arizona,USA and Melbourne, Australia London,Belfast,etc attended the fiddle course which this year had additional lessons in keyboard accompaniment,piping masterclass,stepdancing. and mandolin.
A first this year at the school was a tune writing competition.This was won by joint winners Robbie Leask from Shetland and David Mackay from Belfast.The standard of composition was of an extremely high standard in the competition.The tune writing competition was also interesting as it was judged by a ‘Pop Idol” type of panel with “Fergie Maconald,Anne Lorne Gilles,and Simon Powell etc”This was extremely hilarious and went down well with the audience.
Another first was the Taransay gaelic choir with all students participating .The gaelic was supervised by Sandra Mackay from Point,Lewis and the musical arrangements were by Andy Thorburn of Blazin` Fiddles.
Three part harmony was the order of the day and it turned out to be a professional performance.
The gaelic choir performed to rapturous applause at the ceilidh in Tarbert.This was the first time many of the students were exposed to the gaelic language and gaelic singing and they all enjoyed the experience.
Again this year Highlight of the week was the thursday night traditional ceildh in the marquee when we had fourteen Heareach visitors sail over from Harris.They were entertained by the students and also the beautifull Gaelic singing of a young girl Catriona Watt from Stornoway as well as the Gaelic Choir.
This year it was particulary pleasing to have so many youngsters at taransay and they will surely benefit from being in the company of such talented and gifted tutors.
The fiddle school is gaining in popularity and is definately now one of the annual fiddle schools that fiddlers wish to attend nationally.Having won the Fiddle school of the year award this year Taransay Fiddle school is definately on the map.
Patsy Reid was her wonderfull self teaching Cape Breton tunes .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 accordion.Many students took an alternative subject on the fourth period of the day so Andy was kept busy teaching both disciplines.
Alan Henderson of the band Blazin` Fiddles was also at the camp in an advisory capacity and also taught some piping ,music reading,and assisted in nautical duties during the week.Alan has now been at Taransay fiddle school for three years and is an important member of the staff.
The unique experience of being on Taransay for a week really is something special with the visitors commenting on its natural beauty and also on the importance of nurturing and promoting fiddle music in the Outer Hebrides.Taransay fiddle school is a uniquely different fiddle school experience where a community environment is encouraged, with a hands on approach being the order of the day.As Taransay is uninhabited the students are confronted with isolation and unspoilt beauty and a bond is developed by the students as they work together on the island for a week.It also puts the students into the type of environment where fiddle music would have been played in the past.The younger students also become part of the team spirit and are extremely loyal and supportive to the cause.At the fiddle school all the young students are a credit to their generation.
Taransay fiddle school is run by local volunteers from Fidhleirean Eilean an Fhraoich in Stornoway who are commited to the development and re-establishment of traditional fiddle music in Lewis and Harris.
The school is partly public funded by CNES and Wie.According to a recent poll in the Glasgow Herald Traditional music was more worthy of public subsidy than any other type of music .Thirty six percent voted for traditional music out of five art forms.This is particulary encouraging but more must be done to enable the young local players access Scottish traditional music in all its different guises.
Finally the Fidhleirean Eilean an Fhraoich would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody concerned with the running of Taransay Fiddle School and hope to see you all again next year .