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Highland Life / News / Highland Council News / Gael Force at The International Eisteddfod, Wales

Gael Force at The International Eisteddfod, Wales

Issued: 18 Jul 2007

Fionnar, the Gaelic vocal harmony group for young people, led by the Màiri Mhòr Gaelic Song Fellowship for The Highland Council has just returned with an armful of prizes from the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales. This highly prestigious and colourful music festival attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world and choirs and groups come from all over the world compete and perform to large audiences over the course of six days.

Fiona Mackenzie, the Màiri Mhòr Fellow said: "The girls in Fionnar have worked very hard over the last 6 months, putting their stage sets together for the Eisteddfod, both for the competitions and also for the stage performances which they were asked to undertake during the Festival. The set they performed in the Celtic Small ensemble class provided a snapshot of Highland Culture, showcasing the Highland bagpipes, a Gay Gordon's set and of course, Gaelic Song, where we incorporated the use of the Golden Broom tartan, the official tartan of Highland 2007."

"The standard of the competition was very high this year with groups participating from many Celtic countries and the girls were thrilled to win 3rd prize and have it presented on the huge Pavilion stage on the showground. Some of the girls also competed in solo vocal and instrumental competitions and proved themselves to be accomplished artists in their own right. We were also delighted to be able, this year, to collaborate with the Kiltearn Feis Rois Fiddlers in their set for the prestigious Massed Celtic ensemble, utilising a local song from Evanton which the girls have just recorded on their new CD, An t-Ionnsachadh Òg."

"The whole group was absolutely delighted to win first prize in that class against stiff opposition from Wales and Ireland. Demonstrating their Gaelic culture to large audiences in excess of 4000 is also excellent experience for the group and the girls certainly relished the challenge, delighting the audiences with their lovely Gaelic song, piping clàrsach and fiddle playing."

Fiona Mackenzie herself was also successful, winning second place in the highly prestigious Celtic Vocal Solo competition and going onto perform on the SC4 stage for Welsh television.

Hamish Fraser, chair of the Highland Council Gaelic Committee said: "Fionnar deserve all our congratulations for their success in Wales. They are the face of Gaelic for the Future and we heartily congratulate them and the Màiri Mhòr Fellowship for their success in bringing profile to the Gaelic Culture, outside of the Highlands in this special year of Highland 2007, when all of Scotland celebrates Highland Culture."

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