Hamish Henderson Celebrated: Summer School, Ceilidh & Theatre Showcase Scotland’s Folk Legend

Maker, ye maun sing them…
Tomorrow, songs
Will flow free again, and new voices
Be borne on the carrying stream.
(Hamish Henderson)

Scotland's Voices ImageTraditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS) presents the Hamish Henderson Summer School which reflects the visionary spirit and diversity of the founding father of Scotland’s 20th Century folk renaissance, offering inspiration and enjoyment of the traditional arts against the backdrop of Alexander Moffat’s striking ‘Scotland’s Voices’ canvas.

TRACS is proud to present a programme of activities in celebration of Scotland’s folk traditions, delivered by contemporary singers, musicians, activists, poets and thinkers inspired by Hamish, allowing you to dive deeper into Henderson’s life, work and legacy, to get to the root of “Why Hamish Matters”!

Fred Freeman
Fred Freeman

There has been a resurgence of interest in Henderson’s extensive body of work since the release of a documentary feature in 2016, produced by Bees Nees Media. Fred Freeman effortlessly puts Henderson’s life and work into context, interspersed with recordings written by his friend and colleague, at ‘Hamish Henderson’s Carrying Stream’ on Wednesday 31 July, 5pm, as he states:

11th November, 2019 marks the centenary of the birth of Hamish Henderson, a man who personally accepted the surrender of Italy during WWII; who wrote award-winning war elegies (which bear comparison with Sassoon or Owen); who was a prime mover in founding of The School of Scottish Studies; and influenced, quite directly, the course of 20th-century history. 

Tina Jordan Rees
Tina Jordan Rees

Fred’s insightful talk is followed by a private viewing of Alexander Moffat’s exhibition – giving context to the pivotal figures captured on canvas which are accompanied by preparatory studies – ahead of ‘The Ceilidh House: Come All Ye’ at 7.30pm which showcases the joy of traditional arts live. Featuring Jess Smith (singer & storyteller), Charlie Grey (fiddler), Tina Jordan Rees (dancer) and David Francis (MC & caller) there’s chances to participate in jovial company or just soak it all in, as Programme Manager, Daniel Abercrombie states:

The ceilidh house was (and is) where the traditional arts of dance, music and story come together to be shared and enjoyed. TRACS exists to encourage the practice of those arts and to make them accessible to all. Our event aims to capture the spirit of the old ceilidh house where all are welcome!

Thursday 1 August and Friday 2 August tap into Scotland’s cultural riches with Summer School sessions from Ray Burnett, Donald Smith, Alison McMorland and Geordie McIntyre, Erin Farley, Steve Byrne, David Francis, Ewan McVicar, Fred Freeman, Stan Reeves, Mairi McFadyen and Stuart McHardy exploring international and local connections through the folk lens.

Geordie McIntyre & Alison McMorland
Geordie McIntyre & Alison McMorland

Then, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, enjoy Theatre Objektiv’s ‘Hamish Henderson: On the Radical Road’ (2 – 26 August), an evocative drama sculpted from the poetry, music and songs of Hamish with a dynamic, ensemble delivery.

Scotland’s folk revival continues, and these events are the perfect opportunity to stimulate!

  • Wed 31 Jul | 5pm – 6.15pm | £5
    Hamish Henderson’s Carrying Stream
    Fred Freeman highlights the inspiration of Hamish Henderson’s song, story, music and dance.
  • Wed 31 Jul – Tue 27 Aug | Free
    Scotland’s Voices
    Exhibition by Alexander Moffat gathers the pivotal figures of Scotland’s Folk Revival.
  • Wed 31 Jul | 7.30pm – 9.30pm | £10 (£8)
    The Ceilidh House: Come All Ye
    Welcome to The Ceilidh House, where people meet to dance, sing, play music and share stories.
  • Thu 1 Aug | 10.30am – 5pm | £20
    Poetry, Song & Solidarity
    Explore the upsurge of folk song in Scotland, its connections with poetry and the international political values that connects Scotland with the wider world.
  • Fri 2 Aug | 10.30am – 5pm | £20
    Sustainable Cultures
    Scotland taps into its cultural riches of content, styles and creative methods. Where is this heading and what will a sustainable cultural future look like?
  • Fri 2 Aug – Mon 26 Aug (not 5, 12, 19) | £12 (£10)
    Hamish Henderson: On the Radical Road
    Exhilarating ensemble theatre enacting and embracing Henderson’s vision from Theatre Objektiv.

Book Launch: Hebridean Step Dancing by Mats Melin

On Friday 12 July 2019, it was 140 years since dancing master Ewen MacLachlan passed away in Daliburgh, South Uist. He left a legacy of solo dances which were kept alive by a number of people over the years including Fearachar MacNeil of Barra, John ‘Iain Ruadh’ MacLeod and Donald ‘Roidein’ MacDonald both of South Uist, among many others.

To celebrate these wonderful dances and their historical background Mats Melin launched his book Hebridean Step Dancing during the fiddle and dance evening at Ceòlas Summer School on Friday 12 July 2019.

Hard and digital copies available at


Living Stories & Folk Traditions Showcased at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

August is one of the busiest times of the year in Scotland’s capital, with an unbelievable amount of inspirational art and culture on display. The Centre will be welcoming 22 unique shows as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, showcasing stories in all their forms, from entertaining, to thought-provoking, experimental, inspiring and well-loved, there’s a tale for everyone.

We know you’re probably wondering what’s hidden behind some of the creative and visionary show titles and how to #MakeYourFringe to ensure you’re not missing out on any fantastic events! Who better to ask for a tour of the Centre’s Fringe showcase than the man in charge of our events programme, Daniel Abercrombie!

‘Throughout the year the Scottish Storytelling Centre offers a platform for storytellers, musicians, dancers and all creative minds to explore cultures and traditions in Scotland today. For the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we have curated a high-quality programme, produced by companies and performers who fit with our ethos of inclusiveness and openness and who reflect the energy and variety in our year-round programme.’

‘The Centre is well-known as a thriving, yet peaceful, haven of activity in the middle of the frantic Fringe. This August we are partnering with the Year of Conversation project to encourage visitors, performers, staff, tourists and locals to take 10minutes away from your phone or the Fringe buzz and have some human connection in our Conversation booth. You never know what you might discover or who you might meet!’

‘Before you enjoy a show, drop-in to the Storytelling Café for a re-fuel or engage with our exhibition and children’s Storywall in the Storytelling Court. We host three fantastic and varied children’s shows this year, with Celeste’s Circus (perfect for babies), Wee Seals and Selkies (storytelling and music) and Feast of Fools (foolish and fun stories).’

‘Our Fringe programme offers audiences of all ages the chance to experience and celebrate our shared cultural heritage with a contemporary twist by encouraging ownership and slamming stereotypes. Hamish Henderson: On the Radical Road uses Henderson’s work to outline his legacy, whilst Burns for Brunch revives the nation’s bard with a contemporary twist and The Night with… Evenings showcase new work by Scottish composers and poets.’

‘Throughout this programme there is a sense of humanity, with many performers exploring and reacting to the challenges we face in the world today, often delving into turbulent contemporary waters. For example, when ancient mythology and modern storytelling collide in an exploration of our colonial past from Mara Menzies in Blood and Gold, or poet Jenny Lindsay challenging us to rewrite This Script by discussing #MeToo and ageing in a gendered world. The heart-warming environmental tale of The Man Who Planted Trees reminds us how just precious our planet is, whilst BBC Folk Award winner Rowan Rheingans reveals family secrets from 1940s Germany in Dispatches on the Red Dress, a troubling yet defiantly hopeful elegy for our times.’

‘We are delighted to host award-winning shows and two Made in Scotland showcase events, alongside an exciting list of new performances and the return of some sell-out favourites from previous years, such as TumbleDry Theatre’s A Trilogy of Horrors Vol I & II, Nordic myths with Walk the Oars and a dazzling horror-comedy from Fringe First winner Alan Bissett in The Red Hourglass. The inspirational Loud Poets are our nightly closing act, showcasing the very best spoken word and poetry in their Best of The Fringe extravaganza, which makes for a perfect night out during the festival.’ (Daniel Abercrombie, Programme & Events Manager)

Daniel Abercrombie

Join us and discover our programme of story, song, music, theatre, spoken word and fun as some of Scotland’s best storytellers and performers create new conversations around live issues or reflect on past events which resonate fully in the present.

The Centre is the perfect place for families, tourists and locals to meet, with a warm, community welcome and a creative and authentic Edinburgh experience. We look forward to welcoming you, as you #MakeYourFringe.

Book Tickets


Mountain Melodies returns to St Margaret’s, Braemar this July for musicians aged 14-17

St Margaret’s Braemar, in partnership with Live Music Now Scotland, will host a week-long music and composition project during the 2019 Summer holidays called Mountain Melodies, for talented young musicians from the local area, combining composition workshops, one-to-one tuition, talks, seminars and performances.

A few places are remaining for the project running from Monday 8 to Sunday 14 July 2019 in Braemar. Application deadline extended to Friday 28 June 2019. 

To apply contact Kirsten Hunter for an application form:

Musicians should have a keen interest in Scottish traditional music, be aged 14–17, and of Grade 4 or above* standard on one of the following instruments: fiddle, pipes, piano, whistle, guitar, bouzouki, voice.

*Age range and level are for guidance, and participants need not have sat exams at Grade 4 level – if this is the case, students should discuss with their teacher if they would be suitable.

Participants will work with award-winning Scottish traditional band Barluath and composer Simon Thoumire to develop instrumental skills and work together to create new music – inspired by the local area – that will then be performed in community venues and in a public performance in St Margaret’s Braemar.

The project is being offered completely free-of-charge to participants, but those taking part should be available for the whole period: there is also performance from Barluath on Wednesday 10 July, and a final performance on the evening of Sunday 14 July 2019. Please note accommodation is not available for participants.

Barluath is a diverse and innovative Scottish folk band that embraces both the traditional and contemporary music of Scotland, Ireland and America. The band has delighted many audiences since forming in 2010, and is well-known on the traditional circuit, having made appearances at festivals such as Celtic Connections (where they won the 2012 Danny Kyle Award), Linlithgow Folk Festival and PipingLive!,as well as in Germany, Denmark and Belgium. In November 2011, the band was invited to Washington DC as part of the ScottishGovernment’s St. Andrews Day celebrationsin the USA, culminating in performances at The National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the British Embassy.

Simon Thoumire is a virtuoso concertina player and composer originally from Edinburgh now living in Glasgow. He has performed across the world playing Scottish music and new compositions, both as a soloist and with bands including the Simon Thoumire Three, Simon Thoumire and David Milligan and Keep It Up. Simon wrote the first Celtic Connections New Voices in 1997 and went on to write Music for a New Scottish Parliament, The Scottish Requiemand more recently writing new music for the Strathspey and Surreal Society. Simon also works with Hands Up for Trad – a development organisation that promotes Scots traditional music across the world.

St. Margaret’s Braemar is considered to be one of Scotland’s finest churches, designed in the late 19th century by renowned Scottish architect Sir John Ninian Comper. The St. Margaret’s Project is a partnership between The Scottish Redundant Churches Trust and the St. Margaret’sTrust. Its primary aim is to restore and develop the building into a renowned, high quality performance and arts venue which will attract local, national and international performers and audiences. The project also aims to record and celebrate the rich cultural heritage and history of the building and the surrounding area.

Live Music Now was established in the 1970s by the violinist Yehudi Menuhin and is now theUK’s foremost music outreach organisation, reaching into the heart of local communities, working in old people’s residential and day care centres, adult resource centres, secure units and schools –including for those with additional support needs, and rural areas. In Scotland, Live Music Now works with around 100 musicians in chamber groups across all musical genres delivering around 750 performances a year, as well as a programme of training and professional development.


Violin Tutor Required: Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop

Lochgoilhead Fiddle Workshop is small fiddle workshop based at Strachur on the Cowal peninsula.

They are seeking a traditional tutor for their adult classes, ranging from beginners to competent players.

Hours offered will depend on uptake of members – previously classes were held on two evenings over 26 weeks, however this may reduce to one evening if numbers fall.

For further information please contact Alison Duncan on


Marketing and Communications Assistant – TRACS

Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS) are looking for a Marketing and Communications Assistant to carry out a range of marketing and communications tasks, who can also bring their creative flair and passion to engaging with the Traditional Arts Networks in fresh ways.

Creative with a sound knowledge and interest in the rich tapestry of Scotland’s traditional arts scene, you will be an excellent communicator with sound copywriting, editing and proofreading skills. Ideally you will have experience in a similar role with exposure to databases, social media, marketing e-tools and CMS.

A team player who can also work independently, you will have proven organisational and time management skills, as well as the ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines, with a varied and demanding workload.

Closing Date for applications: Thursday 20 June, 5.30pm
Late applications will not be accepted.

Interviews will be held on Wednesday 26 June at the Scottish Storytelling Centre (EH1 1SR)
If you know this date is a problem for you, please flag with your application and we will do all we can to accommodate your situation.

To apply – please send your CV and a Cover Letter, outlining your interest in the role and relevant experience, utilising the responsibilities and requirements in the job description, to:

Lindsay Corr
Marketing and Communications Manager

Email     with “M&C Assistant Application” as subject line
Post                TRACS, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR
Enquiries        0131 652 3272 (Lindsay or Annemarie)

Download Job Description


Voice of Youth: The Next Generation of Storytelling

The Scottish Storytelling Forum (SSF) is a membership organisation, dedicated to keeping the art of live oral storytelling alive and growing in Scotland – a diverse network of storytellers and individuals supporting Scotland’s vibrant storytelling community.  It’s Facilitated by Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS) and based at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

The SSF blog series hopes to introduce you to the many different strands within the storytelling scene in Scotland and beyond.

This month, Ailsa Dixon, a young storyteller and student from Aberdeenshire, tells us all about her wonderful mentoring experience with storyteller Lari Don, as part of the Scottish Book Trust’s ‘What’s Your Story?’ scheme, a development programme for 14-17-year olds from across Scotland interested in telling stories.

‘Many people believe storytelling is the preserve of grandparents, or that it faded out of our culture at the point when an average adult began to spend more time on electronic devises than asleep. But when another young person responds to my love of stories with a story of their own, I know that nothing could be further from the truth.

‘I’m a 16-year girl from Aberdeenshire, and I do normal, teenage things – revise for exams, listen to music, watch YouTube, have sleepovers with friends, walk the dog – but I love storytelling. Completely and absolutely. And having young people who are obsessed by finding, telling and reworking stories is essential. As a young person, I understand the value of being listened to when so often you’re dismissed as irrelevant, hormonal or immature. The power of storytelling, particularly as a teen, is the power of being listened to, the joy of sharing something integral to you with another human being. This power is transformative – it makes you feel worthwhile and reaffirms the fact that teens do have something important to say. And storytelling is so often the best way to say it.

‘Unfortunately, for young people, especially those who live outside the central belt, storytelling can be a hard thing to get into. The art of storytelling relies on learning from those more experienced, perfecting your technique through others criticism and, above all, constant practice. This is easier said than done, especially for young people who rely on public transport, juggling exams and social lives, as well as usually lacking the confidence to believe that they might have a place in the centuries old tradition of simple, human imagination and creativity.

‘Originally, I got into storytelling through music. I love trad music, and since late primary I have sung at local folk clubs and played cello with ceilidh bands. (The current project is learning Clarsach, which is progressing slowly!) Karine Polwart has always been one of my contemporary trad heroes, and while obsessively listening to ‘A Pocket of Wind Resistance’, the album of her sensational stage show ‘Wind Resistance’, I began to marvel at the way she weaved words through her music, and how the stories she told seemed old and relevant at the same time. Gradually, I began to realise that the stories she told were part of a whole different world.

‘Around the same time that I was obsessively listening to this album, as well as trying to find out about more stories, I applied to a fantastic scheme run by the Scottish Book Trust called ‘What’s Your Story?’ This is an intensive development programme that selects seven 14-17-year olds from across Scotland interested in any form of telling stories – from short stories and novels, to poetry, blogs, podcasts and illustration – for intensive mentoring by a professional in their medium, as well helping plan events like Storycon and culminating in a showcase.  Somehow, I managed to get selected and was paired with the ever wonderful Lari Don (storyteller, author of the ‘Spellchasers’ series, ‘Fabled Beast’ Chronicles and a variety of trad story collections).

‘Mentorship is a unique thing. It’s somewhere between guidance and teaching, and Lari was amazing. For a whole year, she allowed me to ask stupid questions, lent me books, told me stories, read my manuscripts and suggested alterations, read and answered rambling, exclamation mark filled emails, gently coaching me through the first stumbling blocks of storytelling.

‘I spent two days in Inverness at Moniack Mhor where I got my first taste of how effective well honed, polished storytelling could be. Its wild, fluid, iridescent, and feels like breathing. Good storytelling is planned and practiced, with an almost imperceptible rhythm, but feels both to the teller and the listener like something brand new being born out of thin air. Its power can overtake you, which I found when you’ve pretended to kill a dragon in the middle of the Starbucks queue and quite a lot of people are looking very confused – but they are intrigued, and this is the key to human interaction. I learnt to find stories from books, (Otta Swire, Ian Stephen, Tom Muir and Patricia Monaghan, you have my thanks), and from other storytellers, I learnt how to plan and imagine a story or whole other world from a snippet in a book and, perhaps most importantly, that it’s OK to change a story.

‘Perhaps this is what young people are best at – changing things up. Maybe it’s why we need more young tellers. As a young woman, some stories I encountered just felt wrong, like ‘The Selkie Bride’. For those of you who don’t know the myth, it’s about a man who tricks a female selkie into becoming his partner through lies and deception. Parts of the story personally felt uncomfortable but some aspects, like the selkies playing in the moonlight, I really loved. Thousands of people know it, it’s in countless anthologies and collections, but it’s a tale old enough to look after itself and I realised my updated version – where the selkie’s sister rescues her and hits the fisherman over the head with his own violin – is not going to bring the ancient traditions crumbling down around my head.

‘Despite this, when performing at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) in October 2018, I still felt nervous about sharing a remastered version of ‘The Five Sisters of Kintail’ (who want to stay young forever to have fun, be free and not have to marry) in case it was against a previously undiscovered storytelling bylaw. However, even though I was the youngest performer there and the only school age person to attend the storytelling in education workshop, everyone was incredibly lovely. If I didn’t already know that storytelling was my passion, SISF told me. It felt like an extended family – everyone knew everyone else, happily showed you about and introduced you to new people, shared stories and offered advice. I essentially lived in the Scottish Storytelling Centre Café for a week – with my wonderful mum, now also a convert to the storytelling cause – soaking it all in, performing, learning, reading and generally trying to make a permanent imprint of it all on my brain.

‘What’s Your Story?, Lari Don and my amazing experience at the SISF taught me so much about storytelling, but I still have lots to learn. At some point in the future I’d love to take part in the Storytelling Apprenticeship, and work towards getting on the Directory of Storytellers, and I hope to study Scottish Ethnology at university. Currently, it’s hard to get opportunities to tell stories as a young person outside your school environment, and within school it can also be hard – I’d be very grateful to anyone who could persuade my teachers that storytelling is a worthwhile thing to be doing with your life. Very grateful indeed! Exams also seem to eat time (I should probably be studying instead of writing this, but maths should always be balanced out by stories. That should probably be the law).

‘Currently I’m working on a project that is essentially my response to Brexit. With a Dutch mum and an Orcadian dad, sometimes I feel like I’m being split in half. This feeling of dissonance between my two passports has grown in the last few years, and I realised that while I tell numerous Scottish trad tales, my knowledge of Dutch folklore was obscure to say the least. When I was investigating Dutch stories, I began to wonder how many of my Polish, French, German and other myriad nationalities of friends and acquaintances knew any stories from their own countries.

‘I am asking my friends, teachers and acquaintances for their childhood stories as well as their own personal stories, and to share them out – a German story to my Polish friend, a Dutch story to a French teacher. It’s fascinating as through this process I’m hearing more and more of my teenage friends, who never understand why I spent my evenings researching, practicing and telling stories, share stories of their own. I’ve told my English class a tale from Ecuador, heard Syrian folktales and stories of flying into Aberdeen for the first time on bonfire night with fireworks in the sky. Also, a friend once made my cry by telling me five wonderful polish folktales as a birthday present.

‘I’m not entirely sure where this project is going. All I know is that more and more young people are beginning to find their stories and share them. More and more young people are beginning to connect through story to people from different continents and cultures. And right at this moment, the more connected we are, the better. Scotland is the Scotland it is today – music, story, infrastructure, food, dance, culture and beyond – through people from different places sharing their knowledge and imagination. And I want to be able to tell that story.’

Ailsa Dixon is from Cruden Bay in Aberdeenshire and enjoys storytelling and writing around her studies. She was on the long list of the annual Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award in 2017 and was selected for Scottish Book Trust’s coveted What’s your Story? mentorship in 2018.

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Isle of Gigha Music Festival – 29th June 2019

The Isle of Gigha Music Festival may be one of the smallest festivals in the country but it is certainly one of the most vibrant and welcoming. This years festival takes place on Saturday 29 June with music across the island not just on this day, but on the Friday evening.

The main event is the headline concert on the Saturday night will feature Chris Stout and Catriona McKay, the Fiona Hunter Band and Argyll based Rhuvaal.  With the village hall only holding 150 people, its an ideal opportunity to enjoy world class traditional music in an intimate setting.

In 2012  the festival set the enviable and undisputed world record of 65 minutes for a non-stop Orcadian Strip the Willow at the end of concert ceilidh. With this years ceilidh being led by the youthful Rhuvaal, who knows what will happen!

Tickets for the concert are available on Eventbrite or by emailing

As well as the evening concert there is a packed programme of music during the day including the up and coming Campbeltown based band – The Endorphins, an open mic session, singing workshop, the Loch Fyne Pipe Band and live music across the island.

So come and enjoy a weekend of live music and don’t forget to bring your instrument if you have one. We can never have enough music.


Unfolding Song (workshop), 16th-18th August 2019

Unfolding Song 

From Friday 16th to Sunday 18th August 2019

Facilitated by Mairi Campbell, Helen Chadwick,  

and Ali Mills

At Kilcreggan House

One hour from Glasgow on the Clyde Estuary

I’m delighted to announce our next singing workshop at the end of August. It’s perfect for people who are intrigued by the craft of songwriting and how group improvisation and play let tunes form and rhythms unfold. We’ll tend to these elements and explore how we can collaboratively let them grow into song.

We call this unfolding song because what we make emerges out of the collective experience of the group, guided by our facilitators, crafted and sung by all of us.

We are really lucky to have both Mairi and Helen collaborating on this – it promises to be very special.

The workshop is limited to around 20 people in single, twin and triple rooms. The weekend is fully catered and food will be lovely fresh and vegetarian – prepared for us by a local chef.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have further questions once you’ve looked at the practicalities below and do share this email with anyone you think would like to come. As numbers are limited to a small group do book as early as  possible as places seem to go very fast!

I look forward to seeing you here. Ali x


Kilcreggan House

Kilcreggan House is a grand old country house sitting high above the Clyde, with spectacular views across the water to Gourock and out of the mouth of the Clyde to the Isle of Arran. The house has recently been renovated and this is our first year offering workshop space and accommodation.

There are extensive grounds to walk in, working artists studios in the grounds and a beautiful hall to sing in with wood burning stove. There is a kitchen for catering, a large dining room with open fire and an elegant drawing room with a baby grand piano.


There are 6 bedrooms on the first floor of the house with 4 brand new bathrooms each with a spacious shower and one with a bath. There are an additional 6 studio rooms with en-suites in the grounds of the house. All bed linen and towels are provided. Bring warm slippers or socks for the Hall.


All meals are provided by our local chef and are vegetarian. Everything is provided for you to help yourself to a simple breakfast in the dining room. Bring your own wine and any treats you fancy.


Cost for 2 nights inclusive

3 people sharing a room – each person – £200

2 people sharing a room – each person – £240

Single room – each person – £320

£100 deposit will secure a place with your booking details or special offer below**

This is refundable minus £30 admin charge up until 6th July 2109.

Early-bird discounted rate £15 reduction

We also offer an early-bird rate if payment arrives before 26th May 2019

3 people sharing a room – each person – £185

2 people sharing a room – each person – £225

Single Room – £305

£100 deposit will secure a place with your booking details or special offer below**

This is refundable minus a £30 admin charge up until 6th July 2019

We need to receive payment in full by 6th July.


Arrival and departure:

Friday – Arrive from 4pm

Leave from 4pm on Sunday

Getting here by car, or train and ferry

Kilcreggan is just over an hour by car west from Glasgow, but a lovely way to arrive is by train and ferry. Trains go regularly from Glasgow to Gourock which takes 40 mins and then there is a 10 minute ferry that crosses the Clyde to Kilcreggan, its a 5 minute walk then up to Kilcreggan House.

When you book please give us:





Dietary requirements.

Food is vegetarian but we can accommodate vegan diets. Please enquire about other dietary needs.


Shared with 3 people





For BACS payments contact: Ali Mills – 07802 928874


The Leaders

Mairi Campbell

From singer, dance musician, visual artist to facilitator, Mairi is a multi-award winning musician at the cutting edge of the Scottish folk scene. She is renowned for extending the boundaries of the folk tradition in Scotland, bringing a powerful combination of deep craft, groundedness and spirit to her work.

Mairi was music director of Sangstream, an Edinburgh folk song choir for twelve years and has continuously developed her improvisational practice with mentors and study over thirty years.

During Mairi’s improvisation sessions she works with simple frameworks that support ‘making things up in the moment.’ Her dynamic approach and sense of fun help everyone join in a powerful and transformative creative experience.

Helen Chadwick

Helen is a singer, songwriter, composer and recording artist, with a background in theatre. She creates unaccompanied songs and performances with Helen Chadwick Song Theatre, including site-specific works for choirs and soloists, involving local communities and responding to the places in which they are made.

Helen has been commissioned to create song theatre performances for among others the Royal Opera House, English Touring Opera, Greenwich, Salisbury and Norwich Festivals and has composed for the BBC, The Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

Helen is the founder with Thames Festival of the mass choir charity project Sing For Water which has raised over a million pounds for water projects at Wateraid, through work led by choir leaders all over the UK, Europe and Australia.

Ali Mills

Ali’s interest in site specific singing comes in part from her career as a television set designer for the BBC. This combination of designing spaces, relating to the environment and her delight in singing has led her to create a rich song leading style.

Ali is particularly interested in the experience of singing in the moment, creating a soul space, often by candlelight, around a fire or outside on a beach or hill. She leads a singing group, Soulwind, in the village of Kilcreggan, teaching songs by ear from many different cultures in four part harmony.

Ali created a Songline coast to coast across Scotland from Dunbar to Helensburgh as part of the opening of the John Muir Way. She brought songs through six sites of interest across Scotland involving both singers from each community and a those who travelled with her.

Ali, with her partner Lawrence, is developing and running a singing and creative centre at Kilcreggan House on the Rosneath Peninsular.

For any queries: Ali Mills – 07802 928874


Callout: dancers aged 16-25 needed to perform in The Jaialdia Mix

The Jaialdia Mix is an exciting new dance performance project for young people aged between 16 – 25 years old.

We are looking for a group of young people with some experience in traditional dance (with a special focus on highland) to be involved in a collaborative project with young people from the Basque Country. This free-to-participate international project is a unique cultural dance experience where selected participants will have the opportunity to visit, rehearse, socialise and perform together, creating a pop-up community of talented young dancers from two northern cultures sharing their indigenous music and dance.

Between June and September you will take part in 15 sessions, working with a professional choreographer and musician, to create a new dance of style that combines Basque and Scottish traditional dancing with contemporary styling.

This exciting new dance will be performed to original music in this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August) and then at the Atlantikaldia Festival in the Basque Country in September 2019.

Deadline: If you are interested in being part of The Mix ask for an enquiry form which includes details of the dates of the project from by Monday 10 June at 13.00.

The young people in The Jaialdia Mix will be invited to meet at Dance Base in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh on Saturday 15 June to receive full information about the project and to take part in an introductory workshop. The performers will be selected through the course of that workshop.

  • Dates:
    Saturday 15 June
    Sunday 16 June
    Saturday 22 June
    Sunday 23 June
    Sunday 30 June
    Monday 22 – Friday 26 July
    Between Monday 5 – 11 August (Dates TBC)
    Atlantikaldia Festival – September (Dates TBC)

The Jaialdia Mix is funded by Creative Scotland and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Youth Talent Development Fund. This is a partnership project between Dance Base, Scotland National Centre for Dance, Atlantikaldia and Etxepare Basque Institute, Basque Country with support from the Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland and TRACS.