Robert in Lockdown – Thursday March 4

Joy Dunlop.
Scottish Singer, TV and Radio Presenter Joy Dunlop was Bean an Taighe for the evening at the virtual Taynuilt Celidh

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It seems to be the time of year for online concerts and cèilidhs.

Having reviewed the excellent Mull and Iona virtual gathering last week, my attention was drawn (alas, too late!) to the Glasgow Islay Gaelic Choir’s virtual evening which took place the following week – Friday February 26.

Bean an Taighe for the night was Sìleas Sinclair and Mànran’s Ewen Henderson was the special guest. There were virtual performances from the choir, conducted as always by Kirsteen Grant, as well as soloists, duets, and spoken word.

It must be a particularly difficult time for choirs because software has not yet been developed to allow choristers to sing together without any latency or delay; so it is great to see choirs such as the Glasgow Islay still managing to perform.
Having missed this virtual cèilidh, I will be making sure not to miss another great evening the following weekend when the Glasgow Islay Association celebrate their 159th Annual Gathering.

Yes, it will be a gathering so very different to the previous 158 but, similar to the Mull and Iona last week, the Islay association’s stated aims upon their foundation well over a century ago included a commitment ‘to afford relief to necessitous and deserving Members of the Association or natives of the Island of Islay’.

I think it is fair to say that these virtual evenings are affording a great deal of relief to those who can tune in from near and far. I will include more details about the evening as I hear them over the coming week.
Out with Glasgow (as if that matters in this brave new world of virtual events), I also intend covering the Taynuilt Virtual Cèilidhs which started last month with great success.

On a sadder note, another association I write about often (the Clydebank Highlanders) wrote to express their sadness at the recent passing of one of their members. Ian Young passed away suddenly in the early hours of New Year’s morning.
Ian and his wife Ruby have been faithful supporters of the association for many years and he will be greatly missed by all. Ruby and her family are very much in the thoughts of the Clydebank Highland Association at this sad time.

The association were also sad to hear of the passing of Gordon McKeeve at the end of last year. Gordon had entertained audiences in Clydebank over many years with his beautiful singing and sense of humour.

I knew Gordon through similar cèilidhs and also through the GGs choir, so I was very sorry to hear of his passing. A finer tenor voice you would struggle to find anywhere.

It is a sad reality that, once all the kindred associations in Glasgow are finally allowed to gather again, there will be much loved members and affiliates no longer with us. Let’s hope we can meet together some day soon in order to raise a glass to them. In the meantime, I know absent friends will be remembered fondly through the virtual gatherings.