World renowned Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and American cellist Natalie Haas return to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig for Alasdair’s 29th annual fiddle camp in Skye. This is a unique camp with it being the only one taught by Alasdair in the whole of the UK, which brings students from far and wide year after year to join him and the exceptional cellist, Natalie Haas for a spectacular week hosted by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.
The emphasis of Alasdair’s course is on creativity and enjoyment of the music with plenty of opportunities for playing fiddle and cello in groups of all sizes and abilities, participation in daily workshops, nightly sessions and a huge finale cèilidh at the end of the week!
This year, as part of the course, there will also be an opportunity to take part in additional workshops during the week, with other notable Scottish performers including Christine Primrose with Gaelic Song.
If staying at the College, we recommend arriving here on the Friday evening (24/7/15) for the course and its opening fiddle concert which also gives you a chance to get orientated and settled for this intensive week’s instruction and indeed socializing! The course opens with the official registration on the afternoon of Saturday 25th July followed by an informal familiarization session with Alasdair and Natalie. In this session, you will also meet the other tutors chosen by Alasdair for the week and be introduced to some of the tunes you will be covering.
It is also usually at this stage that you will be briefed upon the different levels of learning at Alasdair’s camp and you will then self select the level which is most appropriate for you and this is not necessarily based on your playing ability. This is because much of the course is taught aurally and although some sheet music is available and can be distributed as an aid, the camp aims to ensure that you listen to the tunes rather than read them. As such, this teaching technique may influence the level of learning that you select during the week. Whilst most abilities are catered for, it is however expected that students will have at least a basic knowledge of fiddle/cello playing in order to attend the course. The official classes with the tutors will then begin on Sunday morning.
The formal tuition ends on the following Friday afternoon (31/7/15) but is then followed by the course cèilidh/concert where the course students will perform and that usually ends sometime on Saturday morning! We therefore recommend that students request accommodation for that Friday night in addition to the rest of the week. We also recommend booking early to avoid disappointment as this course is always over subscribed!