The historic village of Falkland in Fife is about to experience an exciting weekend of traditional music when the fifth Falkland Traditional Music Festival takes place over the weekend of 23-25 June. The festival includes a ceilidh dance, concerts, competitions (for accordion, fiddle, and song), workshops, and informal sessions. One highlight of the weekend will be a talk with entertaining music legend Cathal McConnell who will be ‘in conversation’ on Saturday morning. Cathal will also be playing his flute and singing from his extensive repertoire of Irish songs in the weekend’s concerts.
Other star performers in the festival line-up include accordionist Colin Dewar, himself a Fifer, who will be playing at the ceilidh dance on Friday with his trio, then presenting a workshop on Saturday morning, as well as judging the accordion competitions on Saturday afternoon – a busy time for the local accordion maestro.
Another instrumentalist with a growing reputation is fiddler Carol Anderson, originally from Aberdeenshire but now living in London. Carol will be playing in the concerts on Saturday and Sunday, as well as offering a Fiddle Masterclass on Sunday morning, and adjudicating the fiddle competitions.
Singing is strongly represented over the weekend and the festival is delighted to welcome husband and wife duo Alan and Carole Prior from Edinburgh. Alan and Carole are both fine strong singers: Carole has also written many excellent songs in the traditional style. Top bothy ballad singer Allan Taylor will be appearing in concerts and as an adjudicator at Falkland. Allan from Alford in Aberdeenshire has won many bothy ballad competitions across Scotland and is a regular finalist in the Bothy Ballad Champion of Champions event held annually in Elgin.
The concerts, competitions and workshops take place in various venues around the village from Friday evening until Sunday. And for the many visitors who wish to contribute themselves as well as listen to the guest artistes, there will be informal sessions throughout the weekend in local pubs and hotels – and even in the community library! – where anyone is welcome to sing a song, play a tune, join in choruses, or simply listen and enjoy the music.
Full details of the festival including information on obtaining tickets and on accommodation (including camping), can be found on the festival website: www.falklandtradfest.org.uk and on Facebook (FalklandTradfest).
Photo by Sean Purser.