Enthusiasts set to flock to Cullerlie for a weekend of traditional singing

A popular weekend of traditional singing is expected to draw enthusiasts from across the country to an Aberdeenshire steading.

The ninth Traditional Singing Weekend at Cullerlie Farm Park and Heritage Centre will take place from Friday, July 24 to Sunday, July 26.

The event, organised by the University of Aberdeen's Elphinstone Institute and Cullerlie Farm Park, will bring together outstanding performers for a weekend which includes a host of workshops and talks.

On the bill will be acclaimed singers from the UK and Ireland and the weekend will offer an unrivalled opportunity for enthusiasts to hear, enjoy, and join in unaccompanied ballads and songs.

Guests will include James Graham, a Gaelic singer from Lochinver – the 2004 BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year; Ken Hall who champions unaccompanied singing in London at the Musical Traditions Club and the Keith Summers Festival; Alana Henderson a young singer from Belfast who sings in both the English and Irish languages; and Roger Hinchliffe, son of the legendary Frank Hinchliffe, who sings his father's songs and those he learnt from his mother's brother, the late Stanley Marsden.

In addition, Gordeanna McCulloch from Glasgow; celebrated songwriters Adam McNaughtan from Glasgow and Con 'Fada' Ó Drisceoil from Cork; Hector Riddell from Leochel Cushnie, the 2009 Elgin Bothy Ballad Champion; and Irene Watt from Banchory Devenick, a PhD student at the Elphinstone Institute, will all perform.

The event also features full-time singer and singing teacher Christine Kydd, who delights in the songs of Robert Burns, to whom she is distantly related.

This year's Cullerlie weekend will have a special focus on the National Bard to tie in with the Homecoming Scotland 2009 celebrations, with a talk and workshop on Burns commemorating the 250th anniversary of his birth.

It will also provide the stage for the launch of a new DVD and CD featuring highlights of the 2008 festival. Ye'll nae beat Cullerlie has been produced in tribute to Tom and Anne Reid, who helped to found the festival in 2000, and includes archive footage of the couple.

A 48-page illustrated book of verse, song and prose, entitled Tom and Anne Reid - a Life in Song will also be unveiled at the festival.

In addition to the wide selection of music, there will be demonstrations of traditional farm crafts such as blacksmithing, straw platting, thrashing and farmhouse cooking, as well as a tour of the farm museum.

Weekend tickets for the event have now sold out but individual tickets can still be booked for the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon concerts.

Dr Ian Russell, Director of the Elphinstone Institute, said: "It promises to be a wonderful festival. Ticket sales have gone really well and all our guests are coming.

"This is the only event of its kind in north-east Scotland. There will be something for everyone and we are delighted that the DVD and book in memory of Tom and Anne are to be launched at the festival."

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.