May 2009 Newsletter 1
One of Scotland’s pre-eminent singer-songwriters, Dougie MacLean, will be performing live at The Gathering 2009 in Holyrood Park on Sunday 26 July.
Dougie has been described as “a musical hero” by the Wall Street Journal and one of his classic songs Caledonia has been adopted as the theme tune of Homecoming Scotland year, which celebrities, including Sir Sean Connery and Lulu, sing in the official television advertisement.
Dougie said: “I'm really looking forward to performing at The Gathering 2009 in Holyrood Park along with some of Scotland's finest musicians. From the response I'm getting from audience members throughout the world, I'm aware that there's a real excitement about the idea of Homecoming Scotland 2009.
“The music, history and landscape of Scotland features large in the imaginations of so many people in near and distant countries. A year of 'special welcome' and co-ordinated events is a wonderful idea and I am also looking forward welcoming visitors to my own Homecoming event, The Perthshire Amber Festival, later this year."
Also playing on the main stage on Sunday is leading Scottish group Capercaillie, while BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year 2008, Julie Fowlis, will headline on Saturday, with Braebach opening the weekend’s festival. The Battlefield Band and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers will be performing on both days.
The pipes, the pipes are calling...
...or rather, we are calling for pipers to take part in a Kitchen competition on the first day of The Gathering 2009, in collaboration with the National Piping Centre.
Kitchen piping is a development in competitive piping in which the ability to entertain an audience, using a combination of creative flare and virtuoso technical ability, takes precedence over the more structured and formal requisites of the traditional competition format.
If you, or someone you know, would be interested in performing then now is the time to get in touch! Competitors will be competing for a chance to win a prize of £200 with all competitors receiving a special commemorative medal, and an appearance fee of £50.
For selection purposes prospective competitors are required to submit a short recording of their playing to be vetted by National Piping Centre Principal Roddy MacLeod. Recordings can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to The National Piping Centre, 30-34 McPhater Street,
Cowcaddens, Glasgow, G4 0HW.
Laying down your Scottish roots
Planting trees in Teaghlach Wood is a great way making your connection with Scotland a permanent one and at the same time combating climate change. Trees4Scotland tell us that the support from Clan organisations and societies is growing steadily – so keep up the good work! Add your name or society name on the Teaghlach honours board by visiting www.teaghlachwood.com
Still time to get your dancing shoes on!
There is still time to enter The Gathering 2009 International Championship. We welcome entries from UK and International dancers of all abilities aged from 4 years right through to adults.
We have Primary, Beginners, Novice, Intermediate and Pre-National and Pre-Championship taking place on Saturday 25th July and the Premier National and National Championship on Sunday 26th July. All competitors will receive a special commemorative medal. So click here to find out more and get you entry forms in.
The last word
Margaret Lambert and her husband from Whakatane in New Zealand are coming to Edinburgh with the President of the Clan Davidson for NZ, and she is looking forward to travelling around Scotland. Margaret likens her trip to The Gathering 2009 to going to a wedding you feel honoured to have been invited to, and so you make the effort to travel round the world for it!
“Both sets of my great grandparents came from Scotland and it awakened my resolve to dig deeper and find out more. I was lucky to have New Zealand relatives who were deeply involved in family history and I have grown up with a love of porridge, tartans, the bagpipes, and Scottish dancing and the knowledge that my maiden name was pronounced Kay in the south of NZ but Key in the North. Buy that was all apart from the deep feeling in my bones that I belonged to Scotland. I needed to know more and to that end it has been a great journey which will have its finality when, after The Gathering 2009 and a drive around the Highlands, I get to Dumfries, Lochmaben, Hightae, Dunscore and Greenock where many sailed from.”