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Following the weekly Friday night cèilidhs which have been ongoing since March, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is to host a New Year’s Day cèilidh live online on January 1 at 7pm, subject to local restrictions.
The cèilidh will be streamed live on the Comhairle Facebook page, as well as being streamed into every care home in the Western Isles, and will also be available to watch afterwards.
Colin George Morrison, media cordinator at the Comhairle, said: ‘The Comhairle is very pleased to welcome back Willie Campbell, Iain ‘Costello’ Maciver and Calum Martin to host the live cèilidh on New Year’s Day.
‘The artists will be performing solo songs as well as singing together. This will include a specially composed song for the event, with a mixture of Gaelic and English. The song will be available for download after the cèilidh, and all funds from the sales will go to the Bethesda Hospice.
‘We hope the community will support the event as they have done the weekly cèilidhs over the past few months.’
There is an opportunity for the public to submit dùrachdan/New Year messages which will run at the bottom of the screen for the duration of the cèilidh. Should anyone wish to submit a dùrachd or a New Year message for friends or family, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a 140 character limit on each dùrachd, and the deadline is 5pm on Wednesday November 25.
Willie Campbell said: ‘It’s been a difficult year for everyone, so it’s been amazing to be able to sing for people on the livestreams the last six months.
‘The goodwill towards the musicians that have taken part and the council for arranging them has been special to see. We’ve all noticed while playing that people are enjoying the music and socialising during them, it gives you a real sense of how the community has pulled together this year.
‘I’m delighted to have been part of it, so I’m really looking forward to the New Year’s Day cèilidh when in a way that feeling of hope and gathering is even more important. Iain, Calum and me share a lot of the same taste in music and enjoy harmonising, it’ll be a really fun night.’
Calum Martin said: ‘There is nothing quite like playing music together in a group setting and although I have really enjoyed all my solo cèilidhs so far, it is very exciting to be able to team together with two of the island’s best to hopefully put a smile on your faces with classic songs in both Gaelic and English.’
Iain ‘Costello’ Maciver added: ‘At first I wasn’t confident with the live element of the Comhairle Covid cèilidhs, but since becoming involved I’ve loved being part of the project and seeing how it has helped people through these uncertain times.
‘I’m so happy to be given the opportunity to perform live with Calum and Willie on what promises to be a fabulous cèilidh.’
Further details on the ceilidh will be released over the coming weeks.