Am Bratach No. 237
July 2011

Lairg Music Festival 2011

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On this and on pages 4, 5 and 14 we bring you a selection of photos from the recent Lairg Music Festival.

Above are two young fiddlers who made their mark. Kathleen Steventon from Ullapool is 17 and for the second year running she was placed first in the open slow air competition, this time with a fine rendering of Nathanial Gow's Coilsfield House. Close on her heels was Robbie Mackenzie from Inverness, who played Roslin Castle, a sad but beautiful air from the repertoire. Although Robbie is only 15, he is a veteran of the festival, having attended since he was knee high to a donkey. His big brother, Graham, another weel kent face at Lairg until recently, is now studying at a leading music conservatoire in Manchester, something Robbie would also like to do. Taught by Rhona Sutherland from Brora, Kathleen also won the fiddle solo competition (16-18 years) while Robbie took the honours in his age group.

Twelve-year-old accordionist Rory Matheson (pictured below) from Drumbeg, was perhaps the only competitor from the north-west of Sutherland on the day and he acquitted himself well, winning the highly rated competition for the playing of pipe music on the box. Rory is taught by Lachie Campbell, Bonar Bridge. He was pipped at the post by 10-year-old Will Campbell, Halkirk, in the 10-12 years solo competition. Will also took home the new George Mackay Memorial Shield, awarded to the outstanding competitor on the accordion.

The new tin whistle competition produced playing of a high order. Jem Irving, Lairg, was placed first in the juniors while Sarah Leslie of Inverness came first in the senior section.
Festival secretary, Diane Peat, Mossbank, said that competitor numbers were up to scratch while, for the afternoon group session and the evening concert, the main hall was packed to the door. Guest singer, James Graham from Lochinver, received enthusiastic applause for his singing in Gaelic and Scots.

The full results are as follows:

ACCORDION Up to 9 years 1. Liam King, Halkirk 2. Fiona Dalton, Rosehall 3. Mairi Taylor, Avoch 10-12 years l. William Campbell, Halkirk 2. Rory Matheson, Drumbeg. 3. Ciorstaidh Chaimbeul, An Caol 13-15 years 1. Sarah Alexander, Buckie 2. Megan Macdonald, Lairg 3. Karin Ross, Lairg 16-18 years 1. Russell Mackay, Wick 2. Gemma Strange, Thurso 3. Calum Green, Inverness Open No Entries.

OPEN PIPE MUSIC (accordion) 1. Rory Matheson, Drumbeg 2. Megan Macdonald, Lairg 3. Sarah Alexander, Buckie.

FIDDLE Up to 9 years 1. Kirsten Stuart, Keith 2. Rona Macleod, Bonar Bridge 3. Archie Ryder, Bonar Bridge 10-12 years 1. Ruairidh Gollan, Edderton 2. Mark Green, Inverness 3. Fiona Macdonald, Tain Royal Academy. 13-15 years 1 . Robbie Mackenzie, Inverness 2. Sarah Alexander, Buckie 3. Daire Holloway, Tain Royal Academy 16-18 years 1. Kathleen Steventon, Ullapool 2. Lisa Mackay, Tain 3. Channel Cooper Open 1. Robbie Mackenzie, Inverness Open Slow Air 1. Kathleen Steventon, Ullapool 2. Robbie Mackenzie, Inverness 3. Mark Green, Inverness.

PIANO / KEYBOARD Up to 9 years 1. Iona Philip, Inverness 10-12 years 1. Fraser Roach, Rogart 2. Mark Green, Inverness 3. Eve Macleay, Inverness 13-15 years 1. Eithne Barnes, Inverness 2. Shona Hutton, Evanton 3. Robbie MacKenzie, Inverness 16-18 years No Entries Open 1. Eithne Barnes, Inverness 2. Robbie MacKenzie, Inverness.

TIN WHISTLE 11 and under 1. Jem Irving, Lairg 2. Fiona Dalton, Rosehall 3. Eilidh Grant, Cromarty 12 and over 1. Sarah Leslie, Inverness 2. Kara Mackay, Lairg.
GROUPS / BANDS Juniors (up to 12 years) 1. The Boxing Fiddles (Tain) 2. Klibrick (Lairg) 3. Soimeachas (Cromarty). Intermediate (13-18 years) 1. Culloden Ceilidh Band (Inverness) 2. Gizzen Briggs II (Tain Royal Academy) 3. Blind Summit (Tain). Seniors 1. Caithness Scorries (Wick). Open 1. Culloden Ceilidh Band (Inverness) 2. Young Traditionals (Wick) 3. Caithness Scorries (Wick).

SPECIAL AWARDS George Mackay Memorial Shield for outstanding competitor (accordion) William Campbell, Halkirk. Overall winner (fiddle) Kathleen Steventon, Ullapool. Overall winner (piano or keyboard) Eithne Barnes, Inverness.


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