Retirement is buzzing

Those of you who are wondering what SEALL founder Duncan MacInnes has got up to since he left the charity in November, can see from the picture that he is still keeping busy and looks the bees-knees in his sting-protective gear.

As a thank you for promoting performing arts in Sleat for 28 years, Duncan received a beehive from SEALL’s staff, members and friends, and will soon have a colony to look after.

Through this news feed, Duncan has asked us to thank all who supported SEALL over the years, for everyone’s wonderful good wishes and for the sweet gift of honey-making.

We hope to hear all about Duncan’s bee-keeping exploits once the colony arrives in Spring and sample a jar of that honey once it comes off the production line.

Small Halls receives trad gong

We were delighted to receive the Community Project of the Year Award at the recent MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards 2019.

At a glittering ceremony held in Aberdeen’s Music Hall at the beginning of December, the 2018 SEALL Festival of Small Halls (the first of its kind in Europe) beat off stiff competition from music projects Blazin’ in Beauly, Fèis Rois’ Kin and the Community and Bogha Frois: LGBT+ Voices in Folk, to win the prestigeous accolade which is sponsored each year by Skippinish.

We are absolutely over the moon to have been given such a prestigious accolade for the festival in its first year and were not expecting it at all. The other nominees are all so worthy of the title and we really didn’t believe we would be in with a chance up against such great competition. We therefore had no speeches prepared and, when our name was announced, we sat for a moment or two in shock!

Thanks to all who voted for us, to the people and businesses who supported us, our extraordinarily talented musicians and to everyone who turned out on some very cold wintery nights to attend the events.

We were also so pleased to see Skye music teacher Iain Ruari Finlayson winning the Youth Music Initiative’s Music Tutor of the Year at the awards. Ruari is an inspiration to the young rising stars of trad music on Skye and continues to make a significant contribution to the Island’s musical heritage. We are so pleased for him. His award is so well deserved.

Congratulations also to our amazing Small Halls musician Megan Henderson whose band Breabach won Album of the Year for their latest release Frenzy; and to the wonderful Su-a Lee who received an Inspiration Award on the night.

AN INSPIRATION TO ALL: Cellist extraordinaire Su-a Lee receives her well-deserved award from MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards founder and promoter Simon Thumire.

Festival of Small Halls – over 50% tickets sold

We are delighted about the response to the Festival of Small Halls. Several venues are almost sold out and over 50% of all tickets have gone. Do not miss out – BOOK NOW! Remember that in many halls you can BOOK a MEAL beforehand, in addition to the gig ticket. Look out for details of the additional workshops and events going on.

Support SEALL at the AGM

SEALL Annual General Meeting and Members gathering will take place in the SEALL office at 7.30pm on Tuesday 19 November. While SEALL is looking for a couple of additional Trustees on the Board, there is no pressure to sign up, just by coming along on the evening! Come and hear about SEALL’s wonderful year of events, the benefits of being a Member, the large increase in turnover, number of gigs and staffing, and everyone involved. It will also be Duncan’s last AGM with some conversataion about the wonderful new places that Marie, the team and the Director’s will be taking SEALL.

Introducing new staff member

Rosaidh Phillips joined SEALL as our new Administrative Assistant on October.  After completing her masters at Aberdeen, Rosaidh returned to Skye in 2017 as a multi-lingual administration whiz-kid. She first worked with SEALL as part of the youthful front-of-house management team for the Skye Festival / Fèis an Eilein in the late 2000s. She counts the monies, supports our Front of House volunteeers and keeps our Membership up to date.

 

 

 

SEALL’s technology improved

Ruari Gordon is a newcomer to Skye, and has been involved in festivals and events mostly in Arran but also elsewhere in Scotland. When he is not planting trees in north Skye he is a current UHI student. Ruari joined SEALL in June 2019 to take SEALL’s sound systems into the digital age and develop our ability to take sound and lights out around Skye for events in our small halls. SEALL now has high quality mobile sound, enough for two venues and a mibile lighting set in addition to our fixed lighting in SMO.

Vote for the Festival of Small Halls

Please vote now! The SEALL Festival of Small Halls has been nominated in the Community Event Section of the MG Alba Traditional Music Awards – not bad for its first year! It is up against some strong competition, so please shout out how great it was for the Skye and Raasay communities, and for small scale gigs across Scotland.

Click on https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/scotstrad2019 

Find the SEALL Festival of Small Halls in the Community Event section, and also vote for all your other favourite traditional musicians and organisations. Then buy your ticket for what will be a great night in Aberdeen.

So easy to make a donation!

Many of you are adding in a little extra donation when you buy a ticket online. Donations do not attract a booking fee. It is an easy way to make a really BIG donation to SEALL / Skye Festival! Next time you buy a ticket online – think about how else you can support our work – mòran taing. SEALL is a charity and we always need to raise extra funding, for example, to bring high quality events for young audiences. 

Small Halls auction raised £2,400

SEALL held a jolly fine charity auction on Saturday 12 October at the Old Inn Carbost at 8.30pm.

As a result of the enthusiasm and support of those packed into the Inn, and Marie’s inducement for them to part with their money, over £2,400 was raised. All proceeds will go towards bringing the SEALL Festival of Small Halls to communities, halls and schools around the Isles of Skye and Raasay in late November

Items included fine dining, overnight stay in Harris, lots of gin, vouchers for events and visitor centres, wonderful socks and lots lots more – over 30 items.

 

Late entry – a Rooftop concert!

Sometimes we just leap at the chance of a new event, so when we heard that the 45-strong Street Orchestra of The Nevis Ensemble were staying in Sabhal Mòr on Tuesday 27 August at 8.30pm we just had to arrange a short late evening rooftop event for them. Come along to Sabhal Mòr Ostiag, main venue and follow the signs to the Fàs building for a free 45 mins of wonderful sounds over the Sound!