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Dè tha dol aig Fèis Thatha?
Catch up on what's been going on at Fèis Thatha recently!
Workshops at Breadalbane with TRIP
TRIP arrived at Breadalbane Academy at 10.30 sharp on a wet Wednesday morning, raring to go! We got set up in the drama studio after a brief tour of the department from Sam Thorne and Melvyn Turnbull. After the bell went for the end of break, the drama studio was flooded with kids from S1 all the way to S6. Sam Thorne introduced the band and I introduced the Fèis and then we were off with four fantastic sets from the band. Isla and Craig chatted to the kids about what each of the instruments were - fiddle, accordion, bòdhran, guitar and piano - in between their tunes. A modern song by Status Quo sung by Alistair captured the kids’ attention before they played the tune they would be working on with the kids later in the day.
Wednesday 4th October 2023
Once the first-years had gone back to their classes, we were left with the S3 - S6 kids who study music or have music lessons in school. Isla divided them into three groups - melody, chords and percussion and everyone headed into classrooms with band members to get stuck in. Craig Baxter had 5 or 6 kids learn the percussion for the tune - Yew Cottage by Ailis Sutherland - while Rory Matheson and Alistair MacKenzie worked on chords and riffs with the guitars, cellos, basses and pianos. Isla Callister and Michael Biggins took the melody players and taught them the tune by ear with the help of Joseph Whiteman (string tutor) and Graham Mulholland (piping tutor). We had a great range of instruments learning the tune - pipes, fiddles, flutes, saxophones, xylophones, and piano! Most of the kids had never played traditional music before either but you wouldn’t have known.
After a break, with lunch for the band provided by the school, the kids headed back to their groups where they worked on the riff which would be played underneath the tune. And then only an hour or so later, everyone gathered in the band room for a mammoth band rehearsal. Isla got the kids to arrange the set, suggesting ideas until the kids were happy with the sound. After a few run throughs everyone was happy and John Devine (head teacher) popped in to see how we were getting on. Finally around 3.15pm, the new TRIP x Breadalbane Band played through their tune from start to finish - it sounded fantastic with lots of variation and different groups of instruments taking the lead. In the end the final tune was 4 minutes long which is a great achievement for a few hours of workshops! A brief thank you and hard sell of the Fèis weekend from me and a big round of applause for TRIP everyone headed off home. Overall there were approximately 35 participants with a few of them coming and going for maths tests - a fantastic turnout which we can hopefully repeat the main Fèis weekend in November!
Report by Katie Kean (Fèis Development Officer)