Passing on Gaelic singing skills

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A SERIES of Gaelic singing workshops begins on Wednesday in Melrose’s Ormiston Lounge.

The workshops are open to everyone, whether they speak Gaelic or not, and will be hosted by Gattonside’s Mary Low, with expert assistance of Rachel Newton, one of the vocalists with top traditional band the Shee.

Rachel studied music in Newcastle and has performed at Celtic Connections and the Sidmouth Folk Festival. She has also been a tutor at the highly successful Coldstream Gaitherin’.

Mary has a wealth of Gaelic singing experience, learning from luminaries such as Christine Primrose, Rhona Lightfoot and Kathleen MacInnes. She recently returned from a year at Lews Castle College in the Outer Hebrides.

She also won a coveted place at the South Uist summer school, Ceòlas.

“We’d love to see some native Gaels at our workshops,” said Mary, “But beginners are just as welcome. Singing is a great approach to any language. The rhythm carries you along and the shared sound pulls it all together.”

The workshops begin at 7.30pm and run for six consecutive Wednesdays. Each session lasts about two hours and costs £3.

A full-scale Gaelic day is being planned for Saturday, February 25, with singing, drama, language classes and a concert in the evening, to include Rachel Newton and flute-player Lillias Kinsman-Blake from Smailholm.

For more information, contact 07990 842256.