Lochaber’s finest musical talent get ready to raise funds for Ukraine refugees

Topping the bill is the ever popular Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band. NO F19 GCB Outdoor shot
Topping the bill is the ever popular Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band. NO F19 GCB Outdoor shot

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Some of the biggest musical names to come from Lochaber have pledged their talents to this weekend’s fundraising Concert for Ukraine, which is being staged in Fort William’s Nevis Centre.

The event line-up for Saturday boasts such well-known local musicians as the hugely popular Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band, legendary fiddler Aonghas Grant, Skye Gaelic singer Anne Martin, renowned piper Angus Nicolson, the entertaining John Whyte’s Big Band, talented guitarist and singer Jim Michie with Brian Hepburn, talented local singer Fergus Munro and the wonderful Lochaber Schools Gaelic Choir.

Host for the evening will be Mick Tighe and tickets are still available.

The much-needed funds raised will go directly to the Disaster Emergency Committee for the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, to help provide Ukrainian refugees with essentials such as medical supplies, food, clothing, blankets and accommodation.

All the musicians taking part are kindly giving their time for free and the Nevis Centre and Martin Whyte Lighting and sound are also contributing by providing their services for reduced fees.

There will also be what promises to be a spectacular raffle and organiser Anne Rowan is hoping for a great turn-out in support of a very worthy cause.

She told us: ‘Fergus Grant, a Mod medallist, will open the concert by singing the Ukrainian anthem in Ukrainian.

‘At the end of that, John Whyte’s band will quietly begin to take up the anthem. Screens on either side of the stage will light up and on them there will be an English translation of the anthem.

‘As the sound builds up, perhaps the audience, or part of it, may like to sing along with it. John Whyte taught for decades in Lochaber High and the percussion bands that he has formed are highly regarded and frequently tour throughout Scotland.

‘Aonghas Grant, on fiddle, I think needs no introduction. Mick Tighe will be the compare and during the interval he will draw the really super raffle prizes – wonderful whiskies, vouchers for meals, books, the cinema, gifts, craft work and even £200 off a stay in a holiday caravan from Linnhe Lochside Holidays, and that is not all.

‘I am sure that the musicians will give it all that they’ve got and that it will be a great night. I very much hope that there will be a full house and that we shall nevertheless be able to send a decent amount of money to the Emergencies Disaster Committees.’

Lochaber Rotary Club is among those who have donated money, giving £500 to help with the costs of staging the concert.

Lochaber Rotary president, Simon Hardiman, commented: ‘I hope that people will support this excellent concert that Anne Rowan has organised and we are delighted to be able to help.

‘Many will have seen the Rotary Shelter Box that we often have on display at the Lochaber Agricultural Show and we have donated one of these for Ukrainian refugees, as well as making personal donations to DEC.’

Tickets -priced £12 for adults (concessions £9 and children £8) – are available online, and you can purchase these by clicking on Concert for Ukraine on the Nevis Centre website.

Alternatively, tickets can be bought in The Highland Cinema in Fort William.