Oban High School Pipe Band:
Founded in 2005, and led by Pipe Major Angus MacColl, OHSPB reached its pinnacle in 2010, winning the World Championships in Novice Juvenile, and being crowned Champions of Champions 2010.
Oban Gaelic Choir:
One of the oldest competition choirs in Gaeldom which has been competing regularly in Mòds for many years. Under the conductorship of Sileas Sinclair the choir is going from strength to strength.
A specially commissioned Rural Parliament tune written by Donald Shaw and performed by Angus MacColl:
Donald Shaw was brought up in Taynuilt, Argyll, and at just 16 he won the All-Britain accordion championship. A year later he co-founded Capercaillie, with whom he still writes, produces and performs alongside other musical interests. In 2002 he was rewarded with two Royal Television Society awards for Best Soundtrack and Best Theme in UK television. He has produced and recorded on more than 50 albums for artists in all areas of music in the last 10 years. He launched the independent label ‘Vertical Records’ in 2000, which has gone on to release many critically acclaimed albums by artists. In 2006 Donald was appointed Artistic Director of Celtic Connections 2007 and he won the Scots Trad Music Composer of the Year Award in December 2006.
Angus MacColl hails from Benderloch near Oban and began piping as a young boy. Angus has a tremendous track record in competitive piping and has won virtually every award in piping including the Gold Medals at Inverness and Oban, the Glenfiddich Championship three times, the Clasp at Inverness four times, the Senior Piobaireachd at Oban four times, the Silver Star for former winners, MSR at Inverness and the former winners MSR at Oban on several occasions.
Ballet West was established in 1991 and aims to deliver excellent training in dance, in particular classical ballet, in a rural location but to an international standard for all ages and abilities. They offer a degree course through Northumbria University bringing students from over Scotland, the rest of the UK, Cyprus, Estonia, USA, Canada, Japan, France, Indonesia and Australia. Ballet West also has an extensive outreach programme, teaching dance classes to children and adults in Oban, Fort William, Taynuilt, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Finlay Wells and students
From the moment he picked up a guitar at age 11, Finlay was gripped by a passion for music making. Self-taught on guitar he went on to become fascinated with all aspects of musical creativity including live performance, recording and production. Finlay opened his own commercial and educational recording facility (Nutshell Music) in Oban and has now been a professional musician/producer for over 20 years maintaining a live performance and creative output through solo and collaborative projects with some of the most highly regarded industry professionals. Finlay expanded his musical focus to include education work about fifteen years ago and in that time has tutored hundreds of guitar & bass players as well as delivering Sound Engineering courses to Higher/Advanced Higher and BA level.
Widely recognised as the haunting vocals of Celtic super-group Capercaillie, Karen was given an OBE in the 2006 New Years Honours list, an astonishing achievement to add to her award of “Best Gaelic singer” from the inaugural Scottish folk awards – just two of many plaudits earned from a career which began with her performing as a child in her local village hall on the West coast of Scotland. “Downriver” was released in 2005 and is Karen’s third solo album.
Angela Dunbar, CalMac Culture finalist
Angela Dunbar is an Islay folk singer who made it to the finals of the CalMac Culture Singer/songwriter Awards earlier this year. Angela performs regularly with a number of other highly talented musicians on Islay. She recently wrote a song Homeward Bound To Islay which she has had plenty of opportunity to perform at Feis 2014 the annual Whisky Festival on Islay.
Skipinnish are one of Scotland’s most accomplished and respected ceilidh bands, richly skilled in the arts of music and dance. Angus MacPhail and Andrew Stevenson met while studying at what is now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and originally formed the band with a mission to champion classic Scottish Highland West Coast music. They built a solid reputation as a musical powerhouse over several years with their exhilarating live performances that set audience’s feet stomping in venue after venue. Skipinnish are now embarking on an exciting new phase of their career with Atlantic Roar, their first studio album in some time released in 2013.