One of Scotland’s most popular traditional music events will return to an Aberdeenshire farm next month.
The ninth staging of the Traditional Singing Weekend at Cullerlie Farm Park and Heritage Centre on July 24-26 is expected to attract scores of song enthusiasts to the Aberdeenshire steading.
Jointly organised by the University of Aberdeen's Elphinstone Institute and Cullerlie Farm Park, the festival brings together outstanding traditional singers from Scotland, England, and Ireland for a weekend of ceilidhs, singarounds, workshops and talks.
This year the event will mark the Homecoming Scotland 2009 celebrations, with a talk and workshop commemorating the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.
The festival was created in collaboration with Tom and Anne Reid in 2000, and continues to be held in their memory. Tom (known as 'Tam'), the legendary North-East singer, was crowned the Bothy Ballad King in 1977 before a crowd of 10,000 at the Haughs in Turriff. Anne's daughter, Tracey, and her husband, Eric Walker, currently run the farm and support the festival.
Now a stellar line-up of acclaimed UK and Irish singers from Lochinver to Cork will descend on Cullerlie for this year's gathering.
Dr Ian Russell, Director of the Elphinstone Institute, said: "The weekend is designed to be informal and friendly and is a great way to hear some of the finest traditional singers from across the UK.
"We are delighted to recognise Homecoming Scotland 2009 by incorporating a commemorative talk and workshop celebrating Scotland's Bard, Robert Burns, as a welcome addition to this year's event.
"With a line-up of excellent guest singers and contributors and a wealth of singarounds and craft workshops, the festival offers a host of enjoyable activities for people of all ages."
Guest singers at the event include: Gaelic singer, James Graham; Belfast singer Alana Henderson, who sings in Irish and English; Roger Hinchliffe from Sheffield; Liverpool-born singer Ken Hall; Gordeanna McCulloch from Glasgow; celebrated songwriters Adam McNaughtan from Glasgow and Con 'Fada' Ó Drisceoil from Cork; Christine Kydd from Kirriemuir; and local singers, Hector Riddell from Leochel Cushnie, the 2009 Elgin Bothy Ballad Champion, and Irene Watt from Banchory Devenick, a PhD student at the Elphinstone Institute.
The Traditional Singing Weekend at Cullerlie takes place from Friday July 24 to Sunday July 26. For further information on the guest singers, visit http://www.abdn.ac.uk/elphinstone/events/cullerlie09/index.shtml or phone the Elphinstone Institute on 01224 272996.