This year saw the first Colonies Ceilidh Dance held at The Grange Sports Clubhouse on Saturday 2nd January.
Organised by Hamish Moore of Dunrobin Place and helped by the Residents Association, we sold 120 tickets and judging by the full hall and lively, fun atmosphere, it seemed that most people had made it.
There was an excellent, top standard repertoire of musicians and performers, led by Freeland Barbour and the Occasionals, who played us through all the old favourites, but also the opportunity to learn some not so well known dances which were ably called by the patient and amused, Sheila McCutcheon.
While we got our breath back intermittently, we were entertained by some wonderful musicians and local figures including :
Maura Mitchel (Hamish’s granddaughter) and Mairi Campbell – fiddle.
Alasdair Stiubhart and Hamish Moore – practice chanter. Ali and Hamish both live in Dunrobin Place and Ali is receiving occasional lessons from Hamish.
Jimmy Hutchison from Newburgh – one of Scotland’s best and best loved traditional singers and also co-organiser of the best wee Folk Festival in Falkland.
Fiona Moore (Hamish’s daughter) and Mairi Campbell – fiddles. A beautiful old highland set of tunes in C largely forgotten at home but taken to Nova Scotia by the settlers who lost their homes as a result of the clearances. Learned from the playing of Buddy MacMaster, Dave MacIsaac and Carl MacKenzie from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Allan MacDonald originally from Glenuig. A giant of the Gaelic World known firstly along with his two brothers, Angus and Iain for their piping . He is a consummate musician being equally at home singing or playing the whistle or more recently the button box.
James Robertson – author and poet. A National Treasure. Probably his best known novel is “And the Land Lay Still”
Mair Campbell. A wonderful and natural musician who brought the night to such a beautiful and dignified close with Burns’s Anthem for The World, Auld Lang Syne. This original version became world famous when she performed it with her husband, Dave Francis, in the movie Sex in The City.
We really were very privileged to have such a line-up and thanks go again to Hamish Moore for the initiative and arranging as well as to all those who helped make it a fantastic night. Thanks to cameraman Simon, you can see photos of the event on our Facebook page.
If you missed this Colonies Ceilidh, don’t worry, Hamish intends to make Ceilidh Dances a regular event throughout the year, so watch this space.
From Be Morris on behalf of SCRA