Cullerlie ceilidhs and Scottish traditions...

Cullerlie circle

Cullerlie circle

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A celebration of the singing tradition is set to take over a Donside steading this weekend for three days of music and crafts.

The annual Traditional Singing Weekend at Cullerlie, now in its 14th year, is heading to Cullerlie Farm Park, near Echt, from July 25-27.

The event, organised by the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute and Cullerlie Farm Park, will bring together outstanding performers for a weekend, which also includes a number of workshops in traditional crafts.

The festival was created in collaboration with Tom and Anne Reid in 2000, and continues to be held in their memory. Tom was a legendary North-east singer. Anne’s daughter, Tracey, and her husband, Eric Walker, currently run the farm and support the festival.

Emeritus Professor Ian Russell, from the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen, said: ““We have a wonderful line-up.

‘‘There will be ceilidhs featuring guest singers, singarounds for everyone who wants to join in, talks, and workshops on crafts and song, in fact, something for everyone.”

The line-up for this year includes Perthshire’s Aileen Carr, an eclectic singer with a wide repertoire of songs; John Crawford, who mainly sings Scottish traditional ballads; John Greaves, a retired farmer from the North York Moors who sings in his own dialect; Kathy Hobkirk from Ayrshire who “covers a’ things frae muckle sangs, tae Burns, tae daft wee ditties”.

Travelling from County Donegal in Ireland is Kevin Mc Gonigle, and from nearer to home there is Emma Spiers who was brought up listening to the traditional music of Aberdeenshire and learned songs like ‘The Back o Bennachie’, and John Valentine, from Cove near Aberdeen, who began singing whilst first-footing round there and at village parties.

In addition to traditional singing, there will also be workshops and demonstrations in traditional crafts including hand weaving, lacemaking, quilting, the making of Scottish smallpipes, and farmhouse cooking.

Tickets can be booked by contacting Ian & Norma Russell on 01224 645486 or Tracey & Eric Walker on 01330 860549.