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

Payment by cheque or online direct to our bank. But if you pay online send us a note or booking form by email to let us know you have paid and booked.

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

Programme for FifeSing 2018
Version dated 26 January 2018

Booking Form
Click and print out PDF using Adobe Reader:

Click for Full brochure PDF

Guest Singers for FifeSing2018
arranged so far:
Aileen Carr (Inchture)
Maurice Leyden (Belfast)
Iona Fyfe (Glasgow & Aberdeenshire)
Geordie Murison (Stonehaven)
Aly Macrae (Darvel & Glasgow)
from the hosts of the weekend:
Pete Shepheard (Balmalcolm)
Jimmy Hutchison (Newburgh)
and Chris Miles (Kirkcaldy)
workshops from some of the above including Maurice Leyden and Jane Cassidy (Belfast) and from Chris Wright (Dundee).

Click here for last year's programme FifeSing 2017
Click here for more Pics

Old Songs on Sound Cloud

Old Songs on fifesing/ soundcloud

FifeSing 2018 Guest List

This year we welcome as guests Aileen Carr - a fine singer originally from Blairgowrie and now back in Inchture with a distinctive repertoire of songs learned from the great Scots ballad singers. From Belfast we welcome Maurice Leyden who has an extensive repertoire of traditional Ulster songs. We are very pleased that singer/ musician Aly Macrae is able to join us - a musician, singer, actor of considerable talent. Iona Fyfe is one of Scotland's up and coming younger singers - originally from Aberdeenshire but now studying at Glasgow. Geordie Murison has been a stalwart supporter of traditional song events throughout the northeast and of our own FifeSing weekends. He was to have been a guest last year (2017) but ended up in hospital instead! We are very pleased to welcome him as a guest this year. Chris Wright from Dundee has recently completed his masters degree at the Elphinstone and he will join us to talk about some of his work and his interest in Dundee traditions. Maurice Leyden and Jane Cassidy will give a workshop on the Ulster songs.

Most guests Friday to Sunday. All are expected for the Saturday concert.
[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


Saturday morning 10.00 am

Saturday morning 11.30 am

Sunday morning 10.30 am
Aileen Carr:
Jimmy Hutchison talks with Aileen about her background in Blairgowrie, the singers who inspired her, those she has sung with and what she refers to as 'her lifelong affair with traditional music'.

Sunday 12.00 midday - 1.00 pm
Maurice Leydon and Jane Cassidy:
The Ulster Song repertoire.

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 11 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 12 May
Workshop: 10.00am - 11.00am

Interview: 11.30am - 12.30pm

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.

Interview: 10.30am - 11.30am
Aileen Carr: Jimmy Hutchison talks with Aileen about her background in Blairgowrie, the singers who inspired her, those she has sung with and what she refers to as 'her lifelong affair with traditional music'.

Illustrated talk/ Workshop: 12.00midday - 1.00pm
Maurice Leyden and Jane Cassidy:
The Ulster Song repertoire.

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.

PAYMENT: Payment by cheque or online direct to our bank. But if you pay online send us a note or booking form by email to let us know you have paid and booked.

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

Booking Form
Click and print out PDF using Adobe Reader:

Click for Full brochure PDF

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


Click on image or high definition link for image for publicity purposes.

Link: High definition image

Maurice Leyden:
Maurice is a folk-song collector, singer, broadcaster and writer with a passion for Ulster folk-song. He is a well respected singer taking part at folk concerts and festivals, often with his wife Jane Cassidy.

Originally from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, his first book ‘Belfast, City of Song’ (Brandon) explores the traditional songs of the city which has been his home for many years. His research for the Belfast book revealed a wealth of children’s songs and street lore and Maurice’s second book ‘Boys and Girls Come out to Play’ (Appletree) presents a rich collection children’s singing games. Both books are complemented by recordings of selected songs. Maurice has completed a third book on the folk-songs associated with the Ulster linen industry which is being prepared for publication.


Link: High definition image

Jane Cassidy:
A professional folk singer during the 1980s, Jane Cassidy toured extensively in Europe and released 2 albums with Claddagh Records, Waves of Time 1982 and The Empty Road 1985, as well as an album in 1995 with husband Maurice Leyden, telling the story of Mary Ann McCracken 1770-1866. She released a new solo album just over a year ago entitled 'Silverbridge'. Jane and Maurice specialise in performing shows combining history and folk-song as well as delivering traditional singing games workshops in primary schools. .
Jane and Maurice will present a workshop/ talk on Sunday morning on the Ulster song repertoire.


Aileen Carr
Aileen was born and brought up in rural Perthshire, in a musical household and she can’t remember a time when she didn’t sing. However, it was the excitement of being at the early Blairgowrie Festivals – and later those at Kinross – which was the catalyst for what has become a lifelong affair with traditional music. Hearing people like Belle Stewart perform quickly set her on the path to becoming one of Scotland’s most expressive interpreters of traditional song.

In the 1980’s she joined Ceolbeg for a time and later became a member of the highly popular a capella group, Palaver. Aileen continues to sing solo with her excellent, powerful singing voice. She persistently searches out fresh and interesting material from both sung and printed sources, constantly researching texts, tunes and history. Although an eclectic singer in the true folk tradition, it is the great classical story ballads - especially Scottish - and their rich history that she enjoys most of all.


Alasdair Macrae
Alasdair or Aly Macrae has been a part of the folk scene for many years, sings with passion and finesse and plays fiddle and guitar. Originally from Darvel in Ayrshire and now based in Glasgow, he has been in great demand as an actor, sound designer, musician, musical director and composer. He trained in Theatre Arts at Langside College, Glasgow. Recent work as musical director, sound designer and composer includes: the revival of The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil; The Uisge Beatha Gu Leor NTS; Cyrano De Bergerac, Get Santa!, The Bloody Great Border Ballad Project Northern Stage; Gastronauts Royal Court; Anna Karenina, Sleeping Beauty Dundee Rep; The Bookie Cumbernauld Theatre; The Government Inspector Communicado; Little Red Riding Hood Arches; The Beggar’s Opera Vanishing Point/The Lyceum, Edinburgh/Belgrade Theatre, Coventry/ Tramway; Subway Vanishing Point; Interiors Traverse/Vanishing Point/ Festival Teatro Napoli; and Tam O’Shanter Communicado/Perth Rep.

Among his awards Aly highlights the following: "He has won several awards for his work and was recently placed 1st in the Border Ballad Competition at Newcastleton Festival." So we are really pleased he can join us for FifeSing in Falkland.


Iona Fyfe
Iona is one of Scotland’s finest young ballad singers, rooted deeply in the singing traditions of North East of Scotland. She has established a strong sense of place in her repertoire and was a nominee for Scots Singer of the Year at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. A finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2017, her debut 6-track EP encapsulating North East folksong was received with great acclaim.

Hailing from Huntly, Iona draws inspiration from source and revivalist singers and is a fine interpreter of traditional folksong and is currently studying BMus Traditional Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Since performing at the Glasgow Barrowlands in 2014 alongside tradition bearers such as Sheila Stewart, Joe Aitken and Danny Couper for Aidan Moffat’s collaborative project “Where You’re Meant to Be”, Iona has been featured in BBC Scotland programme Landward. Growing up within the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland movement, Iona is a fine exponent of Doric poetry as well as Traditional Ballads and Bothy Ballads. Singing at numerous national competitions, she has won a number of prestigious titles such as Best Female Singer both at Aberdeen TMSA 2016 and Buchan Heritage Society. Iona’s sensitivity for ballads is what led her to be awarded 100/100 marks for Bonny Udny at The Buchan Heritage Society 2016 – an unprecedented mark in solo ballad competitions.


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 . He was to have been a guest last year (2017) but ended up in hospital instead! We are very pleased to welcome him as a guest this year.

Elgin Bothy Ballads

Chris Wright
Chris comes from Dundee and has been singing songs from the Scots tradition since his teens. He worked for the landmark Kist o Riches project for over four years, cataloguing the Scots songs recorded by the School of Scottish Studies in Edinburgh. Inspired by his work for Kist o Riches, Chris began collecting songs from his native area and has also researched The Poets' Box, the Dundee broadside publisher of the previous two centuries. He founded The World's Room singers club in Edinburgh and has recently completed his thesis for his Masters Degree at The Elphinstone in Aberdeen.


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.

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.

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.

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