Fife Traditional Singing Festival
FifeSing2018: The Fife Traditional Singing Festival
Friday to Sunday 11, 12, 13 May 2018

The Fife Traditional Singing Festival
FifeSing is held annually on the weekend following the
second Wednesday in May



Ron Bissett (1933-2017) leading with a song at FifeSing 2008

NEWS
Many thanks to all the guests who took part in FifeSing in May 2917 - and to all who came to listen, to sing and to contribute their enthusiasm. All the info below refers to the recent event not yet to the plans for 2018.

Booking Form
Click and print out PDF using Adobe Reader:


Click for Full brochure PDF

PAYMENT:
Payment by cheque or online direct to our bank - but send us a note or booking form by email or post as well.

Bank of Scotland, Cupar
East of Scotland Traditional Song Group
Identify your online payment with your name. Sort Code: 80-06-26
A/C Number: 00116207


Guest Singers for FifeSing2017
arranged so far:
Will Duke (Lewes, Sussex)
Janice Clark (Aberdeen)
Scott Gardiner (Forfar)
Michael McGonigle (Inishowen, Donegal)
Ellen Birt (Edinburgh & Aberdeen)
Ron Fleming (Cardenden, Fife)
with contributions from the hosts of the weekend:
Pete Shepheard (Balmalcolm)
Jimmy Hutchison (Newburgh)
and Chris Miles (Kirkcaldy)
and workshops from some of the above.

We will also be joined by Manfred Jaspers from Germany who will take part in a workshop on Sunday.

Geordie Murison (Stonehaven) will no longer be with us.
(v115)
Click here for last year's programme FifeSing 2016
Click here for more Pics

Old Songs on Sound Cloud

Old Songs on fifesing/ soundcloud



FifeSing 2017 Guest List

This year we welcome as guests Will Duke from Lewes in Sussex - a fine singer and concertina player with a distinctive repertoire of songs and tunes drawn largely from singers and musicians in his home county. From Aberdeen we welcome Janice Clark who long had an interest in the traditional music and song of the North East of Scotland. We welcome bothy ballad singer Scott Gardiner from Forfar. We are honoured to have with us Michael McGonigle - one of the finest of traditional singers - representing the living song traditions of Inishowen in Donegal. From Edinburgh but originally from Aberdeen we welcome Ellen Birt - daughter of Janice Clark - who continues family tradition with an enthusiasm for the old songs. Local Fife singer Ron Fleming joins us for the weekend with his extensive repertoire of songs (and stories) learned from family and friends in and around Cardenden in Fife.

All guests Friday to Sunday.
[Click names for more info]

Historic Falkland

Our venue: Falkland, Fife

Historic Falkland in the heart of the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Most events will take place on the Old Town Hall opposite Falkland Palace. Saturday evening Traditional Concert will be in the Falkland Village Hall. Late sessions will be in the Bruce Inn.

The village of Falkland in the ancient Kingdom of Fife
Falkland lies against the north slopes of the Lomond Hills in the ancient Kingdom of Fife on the A912. The nearest station is at Ladybank (4 miles) on the main line from Edinburgh to Dundee. Taxi (tel: 01337 858722).
Click map for for larger scale or click HERE to download the same map. A more useful street map that will be available on arrival is also available by clicking Falkland Plan.

Restaurant: Food and Bar Facilities
Falkland is well provided with places to eat: The Bruce Inn, The Covenanter, Lomond Inn, The Hay Loft and Campbells. Wonderful coffee from the Fayre Earth in the square.

Camping, Caravans & Campervans
We now have NEW provision for camping, caravans and campervans in the football field behind the Falkland Palace. Indicated on the Falkland Map and direction on the Falkland Plan. Charged at £15 per Tent, Campervan or Caravan for the weekend or £12 for one night. We are not planning to use the previous facilities on the Falkland Estate. The Smith Anderson/ St John's Works are NO MORE - recently demolished. NOTE: It is illegal to park a campervan in the town car park.

There is also camping available at Pillars of Hercules with shower block (bookable). If you would like to book in to a fully equipped caravan park the following can be recommended. Markinch: Balbirnie Caravan Park (5 miles) tel: 01337 857226 or Auchtermuchty: The Clink (4 miles) tel: 01337 828497.

Hotel and B&B Accommodation

Prices are taken from the websites per person per night.
It is worth asking for reduced rates for 2 or more nights.

Falkland: The Bruce Inn (£75double) tel: 01337 857226

Falkand: The Covenanter Hotel (£95double)tel: 01337 857163

Freuchie (2 miles): Lomond Hills Hotel (£70pppn) tel: 01337 857329

Newton of Falkland (1 mile): Kiln House B&B (£35pppn) tel: 01337 857118

Ladybank (5 miles): Redlands Country Lodge (£85pppn) tel: 01337 831091

Holiday Cottages

Falkland: Courtside Holiday Cottage (£variable) tel: 01337 857254

Falkland: The Hayloft (£130 - 2 nights)

Other Accommodation: RoomFinder

or search on AirBnB

Auchtermuchty (4 miles): Redwood Cottage (£30pppn) tel: 01337 828272

Strathmiglo: (2 miles): Gorno Grove House (£40pppn) tel: 01337 860483

Newburgh (7 miles): Taypearls and Scottish Cottages

Gateside (5 miles): Edenshead Stables (£45pppn) tel: 01337 868500

Cupar (12 miles): Wester Dura (£40pppn) tel: 01334 65077

Glenrothes (10 miles): Holiday Inn (£49pppn) (see web offers)
or Laurelbank Hotel (£65 double) tel: 01592 611205


Workshops/Talks/Lectures

Saturday morning 10.00 am
Janice Clark & Ellen Birt:
A tradition inherited: How we came to learn from the great traditional singers of Aberdeen and the North East.

Saturday morning 11.30 am
Michael McGonigle:
Jimmy Hutchison talks with Michael about his songs and the Inishowen tradition.

Sunday morning 10.30 am
Scott Gardiner:
Scott talks about the bothy ballads old and new, sings some himself and takes contributions from the floor.

Sunday 12.00 midday - 12.30 pm
Jimmy Hutchison talks with Manfred Jasper:
From the Lowlands of Fife to the Lowlands of Germany: Scottish folk music influence on the German Folk Revival.

Sunday 12.30 pm - 1.00 pm
Ron Fleming:
Jamphlars and the ABCD of Cardenden.


The Programme

VENUE: Most events will take place in the Old Town Hall (upstairs) in the main street opposite Falkland Palace. The Friday Gathering will be laid out with seats around tables - bring along your own refreshemnets - food/ drink. Late evening singarounds on the Friday and Saturday (from 10.30 pm) will be in back room of the Bruce Inn with late licence till 1.00 am. The Traditional Concert on Saturday evening will be a larger event and will take place in the Falkland Village Hall.

Friday 12 May
The Gathering: 8.00pm - 10.30pm
This will be more of a singaround than a concert with songs and ballads from the guest artistes and participants - continuing as:
Singaround (Back room of The Bruce): 10.30pm - 12.30am
An opportunity for more songs, some music and a bar till midnight.

Saturday 13 May
Workshop: 10.00am - 11.00am
Janice Clark & Ellen Birt: A Tradition Inherited: How we came to learn from the great traditional singers of Aberdeen and the North East.

Interview: 11.30am - 12.30pm
Michael McGonigle: Jimmy Hutchison talks with Michael about his songs and the Inishowen tradition.

Ballad Concert: 2.00pm - 5.00pm
The guests and participants with traditional ballads from their repertoire. The classic big ballads - the muckle sangs.

Traditional Concert (Falkland Village Hall): 7.30pm - 10.00pm
Old Songs & Bothy Ballads from the FifeSing Guests.

Singaround (Back room of The Bruce): 10.30pm - 12.30am
Another chance for all to join in a singaround with songs from their own repertoire.

Sunday 14 May
Workshop: 10.30am - 11.30am
Scott Gardiner: Scott talks about the bothy ballads old and new, sings some himself and takes contributions from the floor.

Interview: 12.00midday - 12.30pm
Jimmy Hutchison talks with Manfred Jaspers: From the Lowlands of Fife to the Lowlands of Germany: Scottish folk music influence on the German Folk Revival.

Recollections: 12.30pm - 1.00pm
Ron Fleming: Jamphlars and the ABCD of Cardenden.

Farewell Concert: 2.30pm - 4.30pm
The guest artistes lead a farewell concert.


Ticket Prices

All-In Ticket (Friday to Sunday): £36 (£32)
Friday Evening Gathering: £12 (£10)
All day Saturday & Evening Concert: £20 (£16)
Saturday morning Workshops/Talks: £8 (£6)
Saturday Ballad Concert: £8 (£6)
Saturday Evening Concert: £12 £10)
All day Sunday: £12 (£10)
Sunday morning Workshops/Talks: £8 (£6)
Sunday Farewell Concert: £10 (£8)

Concession prices in brackets are for Senior Citizens, Students & Unwaged.

Cheques payable to East of Scotland Traditional Song Group by post to the address below. If possible, please use the booking form - download a pdf file by clicking on the words
Booking Form
and print out using Adobe Reader:


Click for Full brochure PDF

Download: Falkland Plan
Download: Falkland Map
Click words to download PDF

Biographies

Click on image for larger version. Click on high definition link where shown for image for publicity purposes.

Link: High definition image

Will Duke:
Will is a mighty singer and anglo concertina player from Lewes in Sussex. His singing is among the finest in the current generation of tradition bearers with a powerful and individual style. He has a distinctive repertoire of songs and tunes drawn largely from singers and musicians in his home county - with a particular enthusiasm for concertina style learned from Scan Tester one of the last of the old traditional players.

He often plays as a duo with Dan Quinn and presents workshops on the concertina repertoire and style of the famed player Scan Tester - and now plays two concertinas that he inherited from Scan.





Janice Clark
Janice was born and brought up in Aberdeen and has long had an interest in the traditional music and song of the North East of Scotland. In her early years she was influenced by her mother's enthusiasm for north east song and Janice and her sisters soon started singing together. She has passed on her enthusiasm to her own family and we are very pleased that she will be joined at FifeSing by her now adult daughter Ellen Birt. Their ballad singing style and repertoire has been heavily influenced by some of the great traditional source singers like Jeannine Robertson, Lizzie Higgins and Stanley Robertson. Janice began singing at Folk Clubs and Festivals in her early teens and travelled and recorded with bands such as Iolair, Lang Johnnie More and Highland Connection. Janice has given singing workshops at Folk Festivals throughout Scotland and has been a regular tutor for Scottish Culture and Traditions in Aberdeen supporting singers to build a repertoire, develop their individual style and gain performance skills for solo and group singing.

Recordings:
1980 Iolair‚ Celtic Music CM0003
1994 Gaining Ground, Highland Connection, Greentracks CDTRAX087

Scott Gardiner
Scott is well known for his performing the songs of east and north-east Scotland - in particular the bothy ballads old and new. Brought up on a farm near Forfar, he's been singing at concerts and festivals around the country since his schooldays. Career highlights include representing Scotland at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in USA, two nominations for Scots Singer of the Year Award.

We are very pleased he has been able to step in at short notice and also to present a workshop on the bothy ballads.
Michael McGonigle
We are honoured to have with us Michael McGonigle - one of the finest of traditional singers - representing the living song traditions of Inishowen in Donegal. Michael was born in the townland of Cloontagh in Clonmany, Inishowen. He learned many of his songs from his late father, James Eoghain and is one of a large family - brother to Jim, Pat, Charlie, Annie Hirrell and Mary Gill - who are and were all fine singers. He is part of the Inishowen Singers' Circle that has worked in recent years to encourage the continuation of the rich and distinctive singing traditions of this area of County Donegal.

Website:
Michael sings Dark Inishowen



Link: High definition image
Ellen Birt
Ellen (daughter of Janice Clark) was brought up in an Aberdeen family with aunts, mother and granny who were all enthusiasts for the ballads and songs of the North-east. So it is not surprising that she has inherited a rich traditional song repertoire and it is great to see the tradition being carried on and passed so well to another generation.

Janice and Ellen have their own solo favourites but they also take pleasure in singing songs together in unison and harmony. Ellen now works in Edinburgh with the Scottish government.

Ron Fleming
Ron, previously a guest in 2015, was brought up in a Fife family where a party and a sing-song were part of life and where he was of course expected to have a song to sing or a story to tell, and where first footing at New Year often lasted two or three days. We are really pleased to have him back as a guest this year.

Ron was a stalwart of the old Elbow Room in Kirkcaldy and the St Andrews Folk Club and Festival. Some of his songs came from his father and other family and friends but he is known in particular for one of his own songs with the fantastical title: To View the Heights of Benarty from the Back of Kelty Store - based on a local saying. He served his time as an iron moulder at Melville Brodie in Kirkcaldy, later working at Fairleys foundry in Auchtermuchty and finally in specialist bronze casting at Rosyth. He followed his father's enthusiasm for motor bikes, his favourite being a 1934 Rudge.

Geordie Murison
Geordie was born and brought up on a farm at Fetteresso just outside Stonehaven, his father having moved there in 1935 from a farm in Buchan. His father had two older sisters who were a great source of stories about school and farm life before and after the First World War. The eldest one attended Whitehills School, New Deer while Gavin Greig was still headmaster. His mother's family (Robertson) were very musical and one of his earliest memories is of his granny sitting singing. His uncle played the fiddle and accordion and his older sister plays piano, guitar and sings. A chance meeting with Jim Taylor, Tam Reid's nephew, in 1997, led to Geordie attending Aberdeen Branch TMSA sessions. There he met Tam and Anne Reid who encouraged him to enter competitions at festivals. This led to him being invited to festivals all over the country including London, Dorset, Dublin and Whitby as well as in Scotland. In February 2008 he won the Elgin Rotary Club's champion of champions Bothy Ballad competition. Geordie has been a stalwart supporter of traditional song events throughout the northeast and of our own FifeSing weekends and we welcome him back as a guest.

Website:
Elgin Bothy Ballads


Manfred Jaspers
Manfred came from Geremany to study as a student in St Andrews in the early 1970s and became involved in the folk club in the Star Hotel. There of course he heard Jimmy Hutchison and became inspired by hearing the singing of unaccompanied traditional ballads. When he returned to Germany he formed a group called Moin, and set about using the same approach with the intension of bringing traditional German folk music back to life - searching for the interupted and forgotten German singing tradition. He will be interviewed by Jimmy Hutchison on Sunday morning: From the Lowlands of Fife to the Lowlands of Germany: Scottish folk music influence on the German Folk Revival.


Link: High definition image
The East of Scotland Traditional Song Group

The FifeSing traditional singing weekend is organised by The East of Scotland Traditional Song Group - a trust with a committee of Peter Shepheard, Jimmy Hutchison and Chris Miles.


Pete Shepheard
Pete is a singer, musician and folksong collector. A founder member of the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) in the mid 1960s, his enthusiasm as a singer and collector resulted in the creation of Springthyme Records in the 1970s specialising in the release of recordings of Scottish traditional song and music. Pete has recorded two CDs as a member of Shepheard, Spiers & Watson. His contacts with the Scottish traveller traditions of the Stewarts of Blairgowrie and Jeannie Robertson's family in Aberdeen led to exploration of traveller tradition in Ireland and England as well as Scotland. He has presented lectures and workshops based on his song collecting, on ballad repertoire in the living tradition, traditional singing style, song repertoire among the Romany gypsies in Gloucestershire and among the Scottish travelling and farming communities in Fife, Tayside and Aberdeenshire.

Websites:
Peter Shepheard
Springthyme Records
Shepheard, Spiers & Watson
CD1: They Smiled as We Cam In
CD2: Over The High Hills

Jimmy Hutchison
Jimmy is originally from South Uist - his mother a Gaelic speaker, his father from Glasgow. Jimmy has been singing traditional songs for many years. In the 1960s he was involved in the St Andrews folk club and was also a founder member of the Blairgowrie Festival and the TMSA. He became a great admirer of Jeannie Robertson, the Stewarts of Blair, Norman Kennedy and old Davie Stewart. Jimmy now lives in Newburgh where he runs a joinery business. He has recorded a solo CD Corachree on the Living Tradition label.

Websites:
Jimmy Hutchison

Chris Miles
Chris was born in Falkland and now lives in Kirkcaldy. She has been singing folk songs for many years and, as well as singing solo, she has performed with Gordeanna McCulloch, Aileen Carr and Maureen Jelks, all well known as solo singers and together as Palaver.

Websites:
Chris Miles

With thanks

Thanks to all who have given free use of their recordings to the East of Scotland Traditional Song Group for their FifeSing CD series. Profit from their sale goes towards the Fife Traditional Singing Festival and events organised by the Group.

The FifeSing events are run by
The East of Scotland Traditional Song Group
(Committee: Peter Shepheard, Jimmy Hutchison, Chris Miles)
Contact us at:
Peter Shepheard, Balmalcolm House, Balmalcolm, Cupar, Fife KY15 7TJ
tel: 00 44 (0)1337 830773
01337 830773
email: peter shepheard