35th Music and Dance Festival is busiest yet

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Thousands enjoyed Oban’s 35th Highlands and Islands Music & Dance Festival over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The turnout thrilled organisers and festival chairman Breege Smyth said it was their busiest event on record.

‘This year was without a doubt our busiest and most engaging year. We felt everyone got involved, from pubs, clubs and hotels to all the competition venues. There there was a whole town buzz. We’ve had superb comments and our reputation for friendly, humane competitions continues.’

Supported by EventScotland – Scotland the Perfect Stage, Oban welcomed more than 1,100 pipers, fiddlers, pianists, accordion and clarsach players, as well as Highland dancers to the town, to take part in 125 competitions.

On Thursday pupils from 16 primary and nursery schools in fancy dress took to the Corran Halls stage on Schools Day to sing songs with actions, getting the festival off to a bright start – unlike the weather.

Retired teacher Martin Wilson, who presented youngsters with certificates,  said: ‘Well done for bringing lots of colour and sunshine into the Corran Halls on such a dreich Oban morning.’

On Friday, clouds still loomed  as festival fever was building up. Anticipation was growing  for musicians competing in the Accordion & Fiddle masters at St John’s Cathedral, sponsored by PF Charitable Trust. Fiddle player George Davidson, 21, from was hoping it would be third year lucky for him. ‘I’ve won this the past two years so it’ll be good to win a third time,’ he said.

Later that  night pubs were busy around the town and ceilidh band Dunmor had everyone up on their feet dancing at Markie Dans into the late hours.

Saturday saw an early start, with piping competitions at the new Oban High School.

Oban ambassador Kay McDonald said: ‘It’s fantastic to see all these talented young people so enthusiastic about traditional music being here in Oban, the town is buzzing.’

Performers travelled from far and wide to take part in the festival, including a piper from Germany. Grannie Joy Neely spent 12 hours on a journey from Bready in Northern Ireland to watch her grandaughter’s troupe Sollus Highland Dancers.

‘I’ve been coming to this festival for years. It’s well worth the journey. I wouldn’t miss it,’ she said.

Anna Tait-Westwell, 16, from Oban and Archie Sloan, 14, from Perth were just two of the competitors hoping for trophies in the Clarsach and Piano categories at St John’s Cathedral while over at the Congregational Church Hall, young musicians from Taynuilt Primary School were among those hoping to impress judges of the woodwind & brass section.

Station Square hosted an outdoor open mic  with Oban FM and brought out the sun as well as a crowd listening to offerings from bands including Ceildih Trail, Turas and Oban Live finalist Neon Sheba.

There are plans for a bigger open mic next year, said Ms Smyth. ‘It was brilliant with Oban FM broadcasting all afternoon to people all over the world. We’re hoping to put a stage up next year.’

The Saturday sun was still shining in the late afternoon for the parade of pipes and drums by Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band.

The show continued into the night with live music at packed pubs, bars and restaurants in the town.

On the festival’s final day, Atlantis Leisure Centre hosted the Highland Dancing Premier Competitions. Andrew Gregg from Motherwell was performing the Scottish Measure dance before judges for the first-time. The nine-year-old has been dancing since he was six. ‘I didn’t have many friends before I started dancing but I’ve got lots now. I’m dancing at George Square in Glasgow next weekend,’ he said.

HIGHLANDS and ISLANDS MUSIC and DANCE FESTIVAL RESULTS – 2018
Oban – May 4 to 6, 2018. www.obanfestival.org
ACCORDION and FIDDLE MASTERS: ACCORDION: 1 Lagavullin Distillery Trophy:
Susan MacFadyen, West Kilbride, 2 Iain Campbell and Donald William Campbell Memorial
Trophy: 2 Adin Graham, Fife, 3 Gary Sutherland, Fife; FIDDLE: 1 Oban Distillery Trophy:
George Davidson, Tarves, 2 Gordon MacLachlan Memorial Trophy: Magnus Westwell,
Oban, 3 Ellie McLaren, Braemar. JUNIOR SOLO PIPING, CHANTER AND DRUMMING
COMPETITION: Chanter – Under 12 years – Scale and 2 part tune: 1 The Muir Trophy: Sam
Dods, Oban, 2 Alexander MacDonald, North Connel, 3 Evie Bonetti, Fionnphort; Chanter –
Under 12years – 4 part tune: 1 Argyll Print: Grace Kelman, Inverness, 2 Zara McLeod,
Connel, 3 Lewis MacCuish, North Connel; Frances Shand Kydd Trophy = Calan
McGuigan, Oban and Ethan Campbell-Black, Oban; Chanter – 12 years and under 14 years –
March: 1 Wm Leslie Meikle Memorial Trophy: Rachel Gallagher, Tobermory, 2 Anndra
Monk, Bearsden; Novice March – Under 14 years: 1 Oban Electrical Services: 1 Mark
Morrison, Alexandria, 2 Andrew Russell, Forfar, 3 Tamzyn Cassidy, Broughty Ferry; The
Lodge Earraghaidheal Trophy: Logie Johnston, Bunessan; Ground of a Piobaireachd – Under
15 years: 1 D Watt and Son: 1 Fraser Hamilton, Paisley, 2 Milly Fox, Crossgate, Fife, 3 Jack
McGowan, Dumfries; Piobaireachd – Under 15 years: 1 Pipe Dreams: Gregor MacDonald,
North Connel, 2 Christopher Happs, Gorebridge, Mid Lothian, 3 Bobby Allen, Glasgow;
March – Under 15 years: 1 The Willie MacCallum Trophy for March Playing: Milly Fox,
Crossgate, Fife, 2 Bobby Allen, Glasgow, 3 Gregor MacDonald, North Connel; Strathspey and
Reel – Under 15 years: 1 Cameron Family Trophy: Gregor MacDonald, North Connel, 2
Christopher Happs, Gorebridge, Mid Lothian, 3 Bobby Allen, Glasgow; The Billy Kirkham
Trophy: Bobby Allen, Glasgow: Jig – Under 15 years: 1 Tommy Askew Memorial Trophy:
1 Archie Clark, Spean Bridge, 2 Bobby Allen, Glasgow, 3 Christopher Happs, Gorebridge,
Mid Lothian; Piobaireachd – 15 years and under 18 years: 1 Angus MacAlister Memorial
Quaich: Eosaph Caimbeul, An Caol, 2 Ross Conner, Campbeltown, 3 Thomas Young,
Dunoon; March – 15 years and under 18 years: 1 Ryan MacPhail Memorial Trophy: 1
Thomas Young, Dunoon, 2 Ross Connor, Campbeltown, 3 Luke Kennedy, Strathaven;
Strathspey and Reel – 15 years and under 18 years: 1 Chris Crowe: Luke Kennedy, Strathaven,
2 Thomas Young, Dunoon, 3 Eosaph Caimbeul, An Caol; Hornpipe and Jig – 15 years and
under 18 years: 1 Bill Crowe: Ross Connor, Campbeltown, 2 Luke Kennedy, Strathaven, 3
Eosaph Campbell, An Caol; The Allan MacInnes Memorial Trophy: Ross Connor,
Campbeltown; Stick and Pad (14 years and under): 1 Oban Music: Bobby Allen, Glasgow, 2
Kai MacKechnie, North Connel, 3 Sophie MacPherson, Oban; March (4 part) (14 years and
under): 1 Royal Bank of Scotland: Robbie MacKay, Oban; 6/8 March (14 years and under): 1
Netherlorn Shield: Robbie MacKay, Oban; Hornpipe and Jig (15 years and under 18 years): 1
United Auctions:Rachel Thom, Livingston; 4 Part March, 4 Part Strathspey, 4 Part Reel (15
years and under 18 years): 1 The Adam McCracken Trophy: Rachel Thom, Livingston, 2 Zoe
Cook, Oban. SENIOR PIPING: Piobaireachd – Grade A and P: 1 Cooper Salver: Cameron
MacDougall, Nigg, 2 Dugald MacColl Memorial: Gordon McCready, Renfrew, 3 Sarah
Muir, Glasgow; Piobaireachd – Grade B: 1 Royal Bank of Scotland: Steven Leask, Glasgow,
2 Walter Drysdale: Chris Lee, Glasgow, 3 Jonathon Simpson, Bo’ness; Piobaireachd – Grade
C: 1 Ronald Lawrie Memorial Trophy: Callum Moffat, Lockerbie, 2 Walter Drysdale
Memorial: Enora Morice, Glasgow,3 Dan Nevans, Glasgow; March, Strathspey and Reel –
Grade A and P: 1 Reid Family Trophy: Sarah Muir, Glasgow, 2 HIMDF: Gordon McCready,
Glasgow, 3 Allan Russell, Kelty; March, Strathspey and Reel – Grade B: 1 Riona T MacInnes:
Cameron MacDougall, Nigg, 2 Gavin Ferguson, Glasgow, 3 Kristopher Coyle, Carrickfergus;
March, Strathspey and Reel – Grade C: 1 Fusion Marine: Lewis M Russell, Livingston, 2

Stuart MacCallum, Kilmarnock, 3 Andrew Bell, Catrine. ACCORDION – JUNIOR and
OPEN: Traditional Scottish – March – under 12 years: 1 HIMDF: Scott McPhee, Taynuilt;
The Frances Shand Kydd Trophy: Alex MacDonald, North Connel; March, Strathspey and
Reel (Traditional) – Under 12 years: 1 Islay Accordion Club: Alexander MacDonald, North
Connel; Gaelic Waltzes – 12 years and under 16 years: 1 Iain MacPhail: Isla MacCormick,
Oban, 2 Donnie MacCorquodale, North Connel; March, Strathspey and Reel – 12 years and
under 16 years: 1 Iona Shop: Isla MacCormick, Oban; March, Strahspey and Reel (Pipe): 12
year and under 16: 1 Duncan Campbell: Donnie MacCorquodale, North Connel; The John
Allan Memorial Cup: Donnie MacCorquodale, North Connel; OPEN ACCORDION: 1 Mr and
Mrs Hugh MacInnes, Beechglade: John MacCormick, Oban; March, Strathspey and Reel –
Button: 1 John MacCormick, Oban; March, Strathspey and Reel (Traditional) – Open: 1
McIntee Family: Emma Dickson, West Linton, 2 Gary Sutherland, Dunfermline, 3 John
Burns, Kilsyth; March, Strathspey and Reel (Pipe) – Button: 1 John Weaks, Glasgow, 2 John
MacCormick, Oban; March, Strathspey and Reel (Pipe) – Open: 1 Neil Sinclair: 1 Emma
Dickson, West Linton, 2= Colin Brown, Burntisland and Gary Sutherland, Dunfermline; The
Jimmy Shand Scotrail Trophy: Emma Dickson, West Linton; Gaelic Waltzes (Traditional) –
Open: 1 Iain MacPhail Trophy: Susan MacFadyen, West Kilbride, 2 Craig MacFadyen, Oban,
3 Corstaidh-Sarah Campbell, Isle of Skye; Own Composition – Accordion or Fiddle: 1
Angus and Ella MacFadyen Memorial Trophy: Alex Morrison, Stoke on Trent, 2 Emma
Dickson. West Linton, 3 Susan MacFadyen, West Kilbride. FIDDLE: Slow Air and March –
Under 12 years: 1 Oban Strathspey and Reel Society: Mimi Spence, Mull, 2 Niamh Jane
Stainthorpe, Ruthwell 3 Rose MacInnes, Oban; Frances Shand Kydd Trophy: Niamh Jane
Stainthorpe, Ruthwell; March, Strathspey and Reel – 12 years and under 16 years: 1 Accordion
Club: Rhiann Matthew, Tarland, 2 Cassie Findlay, Keith, 3 Meredith Kiemer, Stirling; Slow
Air – 12 years and under 16 years: 1 McLachlan Trophy: Meredith Kiemer, Stirling, 2 Rhiann
Matthew, Tarland, 3 Cassie Findlay, Keith;March, Strathspey and Reel – Open: 1 Calum
MacPhail: Magnus Westwell, Oban, 2 George Davidson, Tarves, 3 Jack Westwell, Oban;
Slow Air (Traditional) – Open: 1 Christine MacKenzie: Magnus Westwell, Oban, 2 George
Davidson, Tarves, 3 Iain Anderson, Glasgow. WOODWIND and BRASS: The HIMDF Lorne
Trophies: Woodwind Winner: Hazel Selfridge, Lochgilphead, Brass Winner: Amy Paterson,
Campbeltown, Elementary (less than 1 year’s experience): Woodwind – Secondary 1 st year: 1
Anya Bannaghan, Lochgilphead, 2 Rowan MacDonald, Lochgilphead, 3 Mirren Bowden,
Lochgilphead; Open: 1 Aileen Barr, Lochgilphead, 2 Sophie Balkeen, Lochgair, 3 Aisling
Duncan, Taynuilt; Duet: 1 Ruby MacDougall and Maisie Shaw, Taynuilt; Woodwind
(Secondary 1 st year): 1 Megan Day, Taynuilt; Woodwind – Intermediate (Secondary 2 nd and 3 rd
year): 1 Hazel Selfridge, Lochgilphead, 2 Sarah Garvin, Oban, 3 Hannah Johnson,
Ardrishaig; Woodwind – (Secondary 4 th , 5 th and 6 th year): 1 Rowan Chisolm, Taynuilt;
Ensemble: Oban High School Wind Ensemble; Duet Woodwind or Brass: Mo Inall and Sarah
Garvin, Oban; BRASS Primary: Elementary (less than 1 year’s experience): 1 Eilidh
Flanagan, Lochgilphead, 2 James Barr, Campbeltown, 3 Jorja MacDonald, Lochgilphead;
Open: 1 Camron Macphail, Lochgilphead, 2 Mae Barr, Campbeltown, 3 Finlay Love,
Ardrishaig; Ensemble: Campbeltown Junior Ensemble; Duet: 1 Betsy Jeffrey and Nikitta Todd,
Ardrishaig; BRASS Secondary School Age: Junior (Secondary 1 st year): 1 Rona Campbell,
Campbeltown, 2 Charli-Ann Bird, Kilmichael; Intermediate (Secondary 2 nd and 3 rd year): 1
Kyle Paterson, Campbeltown, 2 Myrtle Turnbull, Lochgilphead, 3 Drew Cunningham,
Campbeltown; Senior (Secondary 4 th , 5 th and 6 th year): 1 Amy Paterson, Campbeltown;
Ensemble: 1 Campbeltown Brass Senior Ensemble.SINGING: PRIMARY : The Gillies Cup:
Feorlin Renton, Inveraray; Scots Song – Primary: 1 HIMDF: Feorlin Renton, Inveraray, 2
Niamh Stainthorpe, Dumfries, 3 Rose MacInnes, Oban; Vocal Solo Girls (Primary 4 and 5): 1
Evayne Symes, Appin; Vocal Solo Girls – Primary 6 and 7: 1 Frances Shand Kydd: Niamh

Stainthorpe, Dumfries; Songs from the Shows – Primary: 1 Berni McMillan: Feorlin Renton,
Inveraray, 2 Niamh Stainthorpe, Dumfries, 3 Aiobhann Clark, Oban. SECONDARY and
OPEN: Scots Song – Secondary 1 – 2: 1 Margaret Farmer Trophy: Ealasaid MacLean, Isle of
Lismore, 2 Laura Robertson, Inverlochy; Scots Song – Secondary 3 +: 1 HIMDF: Holly
Renton, Inveraray, 2 Anna Tait Westwell, Oban; Classical Song – Secondary 1 – 2: 1 Iona
Shop Cup: Ealasaid MacLean, Isle of Lismore; Classical Song – Secondary 3 + : 1 Holly
Renton, Inveraray, 2 Maria Clark, Oban; Songs from the Shows – Secondary 1 – 2: 1
Frances Grant Trophy: Lauren Murphy, Sollous, 2 Ealasaid MacLean, Isle of Lismore;
Songs from the Shows – Secondary 3 +: 1 MacKinnon Family trophy: Holly Renton,
Inveraray, 2 Maria Clark, Oban; Folk Singing Solo: 1 Oban Gaelic Choir Trophy: Shona
Keith, Lochgair; The Anne MacDougall Memorial Trophy: Shona Keith, Lochgair;
Scottish Song (English or Gaelic): 1 Argyll Oils trophy: Shona Keith, Lochgair, 2 Alison
McGinty, Ardrishaig; Songs from the Shows : 1 The Highlands Restaurant trophy: Kyle
Renton, Inveraray, 2 Shona Keith, Lochgair, 3 Alison McGinty, Ardrishaig ; Classical Song: 1
HIMDF: Shona Keith, Lochgair, 2 Alison McGinty, Ardrishaig. LADY FERMOY PIANO and
CLÀRSACH COMPETITIONS: The Lady FermoyTrophy: Meredith Kiemer, Stirling;
PIANO: Piano Solo – Grade 1: 1 Caroline Boyle Trophy: Grace Kelly, Co Londonderry;
Piano Solo – Grade 2: 1 Sileas Sinclair Trophy: Alison Gurney, Co Tyrone; Pianoforte Solo –
Grade 3:1 Sheila Sinclair Trophy: Isabelle Davidson, Perth, 2= Mairi MacCorquodale,
North Connel and Archie Sloan, Perth; Piano Solo – Grade 4: 1 Peter and Peggy Sinclair
Trophy:1 Anna Tait Westwell, Oban, 2 Becky Taggart, Co Tyrone; Piano Solo – Grade 5: 1
Fiona Cruikshank, Benderloch, 2 Charlotte Gurney, Co Tyrone; Piano Duet – Grade 3,4, and 5:
1 Fay Black Trophy: Isabelle Davidson and Archie Sloan, Perth; Piano Solo – Classical
Period: 1 Paul Mathers, Leven; Pianoforte Solo – Romantic Period: 1 Bryce Stewart Trophy:
Meredith Kiemer, Stirling, 2 Paul Mathers, Leven; The Margaret Burns Trophy: Jack Tait
Westwell, Oban; Piano Solo – Classical Period (Adult advanced): 1 Jack Tait Westwell,
Oban; Piano Solo – Modern Period (Adult advanced): 1 Jack Tait Westwell, Oban.
CLÀRSACH: Solo beginners – up to and including Grade 1: 1 The Campbell Family Trophy:
Elasaid MacLean, Isle of Lismore; Solo – Open – 18 years and over: 1 Ciorstaidh Campbell,
Isle of Skye; Solo – Intermediate: 1 Oban Gaelic Drama Trophy: Breagha Dunbar, Inverness;
Solo – Advanced: 1 The Russell Quaich: Meredith Kiemer, Stirling, 2 Isabelle Davidson,
Perth; Solo singing with self-accompaniment: Clàrsach Society Trophy: Anna Tait Westwell,
Oban; Solo – Recital of Scottish/Gaelic Music: Soroba House Trophy: 1 Anna Tait Westwell,
Oban, 2 Ciorstaidh Campbell, Isle of Skye, 3 Meredith Kiemer, Stirling; Solo – Non
Traditional: 1 HIMDF: Meredith Kiemer, Stirling. SCHOOLS: SINGING AND
RECORDER: Primary Choirs – Accompanied: 1 Sinclair Family Trophy: Park Primary, 2
Taynuilt Primary, 3 Lochnell Primary; RECORDER: Primary Recorder Groups: 1 Agnes
Connelly Trophy: Barcaldine Primary; Folk Singing Group Primary: 1 Rockfield Primary
Folk Group B, 2 Rockfield Primary Folk Group A.