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Phil leads the line-up at Ross festival
Ross-shire Journal - 9th March 2007

THE wraps this week came off the line-up for the 17th Fèis Rois Inbhich (Adult Fèis Rois) taking place this May in Ullapool — with one of the biggest names in traditional music set to offer master classes.

It promises a full range of classes in Gaelic language and culture and traditional music song and dance, led by a star-studded cast.

Participants have a rich range of study options and may choose one morning and one afternoon class from accordion, bouzouki, ceilidh dancing, cello, creative writing, fiddle, flute, Gaelic language, Gaelic song, guitar, harmony singing, harp, Highland pipes, mandolin, piano, small pipes, step dancing and whistle.

This range is broadened by a Gaelic cultural class — The Scope — led by Allan MacDonald of Glenuig. it promises insightful illustrated talks in traditional music and Gaelic song.

Allan is a highly renowned piper and composer and teaches at the Piping Centre in Glasgow. With his brothers Iain and Angus, he was featured in the BBC television programme Ceòl mo Bràthair in January.

The extremely popular Groupwork afternoon class is led by maestro Phil Cunningham MBE, giving expert advice on how to create and arrange music in groups.

Widely regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative accordion players of his generation, Phil has taken this instrument from strength to strength, setting the standards by which many young players fix their sights today. His early work with leading Scots band Silly Wizard reclaimed a place for the instrument in the traditional music world and his astonishing dexterity and musicality has delighted audiences across the world.

As a multi-instrumentalist, Phil works extensively in the television and film world as a composer, music director and presenter.

He is much sought after as a record producer and he manages to juggle all of these diverse commitments to enable him to continue touring with long-time musical partner and friend, Aly Bain.

His compositions are covered by musicians the world over, and he continues to write and add to his prolific repertoire.

The depth and beauty of his slow airs is renowned among audiences and performers alike.

“It is a terrific honour for us to have Phil leading the groupwork class as he has so much to convey to everyone” said Dingwall-based Fèis manager Rita Hunter.

“His playing is so full of beauty and expression, and he has a vast knowledge and experience of arranging music.

His groupwork room becomes one of the focal points of the weekend as these gorgeous musical pieces build up and people gather round it like a great campfire”.

The Fèis is open to ages 18 and over and to all ability levels, and application forms are available on www.musicscotland.com/feisrois or from the office on 01349 862600.

 

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