Some of the top artists playing this year’s 40th anniversary Girvan traditional Folk Festival include Altan and the Robyn Stapleton Trio with Claire Hastings.
Also on the bill for the festival running from Friday, May 2 to Sunday, May 4 are the Fiona Hunter Band, Ellen and Kevin Mitchell, Chris Miles, Billy Henderson, May Mayberry, Mike Hancock and Colin McAllister.
No Irish traditional band in the last dozen years has had a wider impact on audiences and music lovers throughout the world than Altan.
With their exquisitely produced award-winning recordings, ranging dynamically from the most sensitive and touching old Irish songs all the way to hard hitting reels and jigs, and with their heartwarming, dynamic live performances, Altan have moved audiences from Donegal to Tokyo to Seattle. Throughout, there has been the unwavering commitment of the band to bringing the beauty of traditional music, particularly that of the Donegal fiddlers and singers, to contemporary audiences in a way that brings out all its qualities and destroys none. In fact, Altan have always believed that Irish traditional music is a modern music in every sense and its growing influence and popularity have proved them right.
The seeds of the band lie in the music and fun of gatherings and sessions in kitchens and pubs in Donegal where virtuoso music was heard in an atmosphere of respect and intimacy – it is here that the band’s heart lies still whether they are performing on tv in Australia or jamming with Ricky Skaggs on the west coast of the United States.
Robyn Stapleton, from Stranraer, recently graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a First Class Honours degree in Scottish Music, specialising in Scots Song under the guidance of Rod Paterson, Anne Neilson and Gordeanna McCulloch. Robyn also spent one year at the Irish World Academy, Limerick, as an exchange student studying Irish music. There she was fortunate to be tutored by Irish singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh. Robyn is this year’s winner of BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year award. Notable performances to date include singing for HRH Prince of Wales at Dumfries House, the East India Club in London, Scottish Parliament and Robbie Shepherd’s ‘Take The Floor’ on BBC Radio Scotland. Robyn regularly performs for the Keepers of the Quaich at Blair Castle and was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship from them during her time at the Conservatoire.
Passionate about community singing, Robyn is also building a strong reputation as a singing leader and tutor. She greatly enjoys passing on her knowledge of singing and of traditional music to others.
Robyn was accepted onto the prestigious Live Music Now programme, alongside fellow singer Claire Hastings with their duo ‘Robyn & Claire’, providing music to isolated community groups across the country.
2014 looks to be an exciting year for Robyn as she launches an intergenerational singing project, SongRoots and prepares to record her first album. 2014 Ticket Prices: Workshops/ Competitions - £4; Children’s Singing Workshop - Free; Circus Skills Workshop - Free
Friday Eve Concert - Westcliffe - £ 10/ £8; Friday Singers Session - Catholic Hall £10/£8; Sat pm Bobby Robb; Tribute Concert Hamilton Arms £10/£8; Saturday Eve Concert - Academy - £ 15/ £12; Saturday Late Dance Ceilidh - £5/ £3; Sunday Family Ceilidh - £5 / £3; Sunday Farewell Concert - Catholic Hall £10/£8; Saturday All Day Ticket - £25 / £20; Sunday All Day Ticket - £20 / £18; Weekend Ticket - £35 / £30.
To order tickets by phone or post: Phone 01465 712128; or send a self-addressed envelope with payment (made out to Girvan Traditional Folk Festival) to: Girvan Festival, Westcliffe Hotel, Louisa Drive, Girvan KA26 9AH.