Fife Traditional Singing Festival
FifeSing2015: The Fife Traditional Singing Festival

Friday - Sunday 15, 16, 17 May 2015

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

The Lomond Hills in Fife with historic Falkland just visible.

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A cancellation today (14 May) may mean there is a spare room in the Covenanters.
New link for local accommodation:
Try AirBnB

Not long to go! Spring is well and truly with us in Fife.
We look forward to continuing good weather for FifeSing.

Click below for the FifeSing programme for May 2015. Bookings already coming in fast.
Weekend booking tickets are limited!

Now updated for FifeSing2015

Booking Form
Click and print out PDF using Adobe Reader:

Click for
Full brochure PDF

Joining us at FifeSing as part of their UK and European tour are two outstanding young women singers/ musicians from Virginia : Anna Roberts-Gevalt & Elizabeth LaPrelle.

Here are Anna and Elizabeth singing their Appalachian ballad The Devil's Nine Questions - a version of the ancient ballad Riddles Wizely Expounded (Child 1).

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Guest Singers for FifeSing2015

Roisin White (Co Clare, Ireland)
Anna & Elizabeth (USA)
Ron Fleming (Cardenden, Fife)
Arthur Knevett (Lincolnshire)
Arthur Watson (Perth)
Dougie Mackenzie (Inverness)

with contributions from the hosts of the weekend:
Jimmy Hutchison (Newburgh)
Pete Shepheard (Balmalcolm) and Chris Miles (Kirkcaldy)
and workshops from some of the above
and from Ewan McVicar

FifeSing 2015 Guest List

This year we have guests from England, Scotland and Ireland and the USA. From Miltown Malbay in Co Clare we welcome back a superb singer Roisin White who was a guest at FifeSing in 2004. Arthur Knevett has an enviable repertoire of old songs and ballads, a rich voice to carry the songs and is from Stallingborough in Lincolnshire. We are very pleased to be able to welcome Anna & Elizabeth (Anna Roberts Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle) two very talented young singers/ musicians from the Southern Appalachians who join us in Falkland as part of their UK tour. We have known the local Fife singer Ron Fleming for many years and we are very pleased he has agreed to join the weekend with his extensive repertoire of songs (and stories) learned from family and friends in and around Cardenden in Fife. Dougie Mackenzie has been involved in the folk and traditional song scene in Scotland for many years, is from Inverness, and has often been at FifeSing. In June 2014 he won at the Traditional Singing competition at Falkland Festival. Perhaps Arthur Watson needs no introduction! Born in Aberdeen, Arthur has long been an enthusiast for the North East ballad repertoire, a member of the FifeSing organising committee until last year and we welcome him as a guest this year for the first time.

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

Historic Falkland

Our new 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 857485 or 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 Covenanters, Lomond Inn, The Hay Loft, Kynd Kyttocks, Campbells.

Accommodation & Camping
There are numerous local hotels and B&Bs - see list below. Camping on the Falkland Estate with water and toilet facilities (straight on beyond Falkland Centre for Stewardship) - for Tents and smaller Campervans (up to 7 metres - we think). For larger Campervans and Caravans see below. Camping will be charged at £15 per tent or campervan for the weekend or £12 for one night. There is also camping available at Pillars of Hercules with shower block (bookable).

Caravans & Larger Campers
We have arranged provision of hard standing for caravans and larger campervans at Smith Anderson/ St John's Works at the top of Cross Wynd & East Loan - with Portaloo (#18 on the Falkland Plan CLICK Falkland Plan to PRINT). This site is at the foot of the fields sloping down from the Lomond Hills and within a couple of minutes stroll to the town centre. Charged at £15 per Campervan or Caravan. Let us know your Campervan/ Caravan size when booking.

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 857188

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
Arthur Watson and Pete Shepheard:
Songs and Ballads with Scottish Landscapes. An audio visual presentation.

Saturday morning 11.30 am
Anna Roberts Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle: Our route into folk song and music, the singers we have known, the songs and ballads of the Appalachians.

Sunday morning 10.30 am
Ewan McVicar:
Bonny Collier Lads and Lassies: Hear and share songs of coalmining from Scotland and far afield.

Sunday 12.00 midday
Jimmy Hutchison talks with Roisin White:
Jimmy talks with Róisín about her background, the singers she has known and the songs she sings.

The Programme

VENUE: Most events will all take place in the Old Town Hall (upstairs) in the main street opposite Falkland Palace. Some refreshments (tea, coffee) will be available in the venue. If you wish to have other drink in the hall please bring this with you. 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 15th May
The Gathering: 8.00pm - 10.30pm
This year the opening event 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 16th May
Illustrated Talk: 10.00am - 11.00am
Arthur Watson and Pete Shepheard: Songs and Ballads with Scottish Landscapes. An audio visual presentation.
Illustrated Talk: 11.30am - 12.30pm
Anna Roberts Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle: Our route into folk song and music, the singers we have known, the songs and ballads of the Appalachians.
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 17th May
Illustrated Talk: 10.30am - 11.30am
Ewan McVicar: Bonny Collier Lads and Lassies: Hear and share songs of coalmining from Scotland and far afield.
Interview: 12.00midday - 1.00pm
Jimmy Hutchison talks with Roisin White: Jimmy talks with Róisín about her background, the singers she has known and the songs she sings.
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.

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 Google Map
Click words to download PDF


Click on photos for a high definition version. For publicity purposes open in a new tab.

Rosin White:
Róisín was born near Kilkeel near the Mourne mountains in Co. Down and remembers her mother singing all kinds of songs around the house which gave her a life-long interest in the old traditional repertoire. Roisin sings an eclectic mix of songs which have been passed onto her by the likes of Joe Holmes, Eddie Butcher, Paddy Tunney, Bridget Tunney and Robert Cinnamond.  She worked as a teacher of Irish in Armagh and, after she retired, she and her husband Alwyn moved to Miltown Malbay in West Clare a place that she had come to know as a holiday (and music) destination since the 1970s. She has been a guest at Whitby Folk Week on numerous occasions and at festivals throughout England and Ireland, a past guest at FifeSing and at the Cullerlie Singing Weekend.

Congratulations: Róisín was awarded Irish Traditional Singer of the Year 2015 at the TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2015 Irish Traditional Music Awards held in Cork on 27 January 2015.
Links: Gradam Ceoil
and Irish Times

Irish Traditional Music Archive
Music in Scotland

Anna and Elizabeth
Anna (Anna Roberts Gevalt) and Elizabeth (Elizabeth LaPrelle) are two young women from Virginia who follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before – the traditional singers and musicians of the Appalachian mountains. They sing both unaccompanied and with guitar, fiddle and banjo. Anna and Elizabeth have immersed themselves with old (and young) masters and folklorists, playing on porches and in kitchens, staying up all night to learn just one more song. Each used college to dive deep into history and archives, reading folklore and stories, listening to scratchy records of haunting voices, learning from relatives of long-gone greats. Their music has evolved, raw, sparse ballads, sweet lullabies and driving fiddle tunes and banjo songs. We are very pleased to be able to welcome two fine musicians to join us in Falkland as part of their UK tour. 

Anna & Elizabeth

Here are Anna and Elizabeth singing their Appalachian ballad The Devil's Nine Questions - a version of the ancient ballad Riddles Wizely Expounded (Child 1).

Ron Fleming
Ron 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.

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.

Arthur Knevett
Arthur Knevett
... has been singing traditional songs since the early 1960s when he was a founder member of the Kingston-upon-Thames Folk Club at the Fighting Cocks.  He moved to North East Lincolnshire in 1974 and became a member and then a resident of the Grimsby Folk Club and a guest several years at Whitby Folk Week.  Over the years he has earned a reputation as a fine performer and interpreter of traditional song, particularly ballads.

Website: Arthur sings Lord Bateman
Arthur Knevett

Arthur Watson
Arthur who now lives in Perth, sings and plays whistle, founded the renowned Peacock Print Makers in Aberdeen and is now Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Dundee. He and Pete aften sing together and both were in Shepheard, Spiers & Watson and was a member of The Gaugers folk group from 1974 with Peter Hall and Tom Spiers, recording their first album for Topic in 1976. He is a fine singer and whistle player with his own distinctive style and a particular enthusiasm for the older ballads. Arthur was on the organising committee of FifeSing until last year. Now that he is no longer on the committee we have invited him as a guest – so at last he will get the chance to sing (and we will get the chance to hear) more than a couple of songs from his excellent ballad repertoire over the weekend!

Shepheard, Spiers & Watson

Dougie Mackenzie
Dougie is from Inverness and has been singing the old songs for many years and has participated at festivals from Keith to Stonehaven and Kinross to Auchtermuchty and last year he won the traditional singing contest at the Falkland Traditional Music Festival. We welcome him as a guest to FifeSing.

Ewan McVicar
Ewan was born in Inverness, now lives in Linlithgow and has been involved in the folk song movement since the 1960s. He has edited several CDs of Alan Lomax’s 1950s Scottish recordings and written several books on aspects of Scotland’s traditional songs. In 2014 he gathered together 42 old and new songs of Scottish coalmining published as a book and CD that includes Burns songs, Joe Corrie singing It’s Fine Tae Keep In Wi The Gaffer, a 1953 recording of The Blantyre Disaster from the wife of a man whose relative died in the disaster, and more recent songs including two of the 1845 Miners Strike. Ewan's workshop on Sunday morning will present some of these songs, and also look at coalminers’ songs from England, the USA and Nova Scotia.

Birlinn: A B C Ma Grannie Caught a Flea

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. Peter and Arthur have both been members of Shepheard, Spiers & Watson recording two CDs.

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

Jimmy Hutchison 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 the Blairgowrie Festival and became a great admirer of Jeannie Robertson, the Stewarts of Blair 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 was born in Falkland and now lives in Kirkcaldy. She has been singing folk songs for many years and, apart from singing solo, she's been performing with Gordeanna McCulloch and with Aileen Carr and Maureen Jelks, both well known as solo singers and together as Palaver.

Chris Miles

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