Isle of Lewis Branch Report 2020

There are currently 12 paid up members in the Lewis branch. 

Earlier in the year, a small number attended one of the care homes on the Island and played a variety from the group’s repertoire.  Janet and Màiri played a duet of ‘Leaving Stoer’ and the ‘Rose of St. Magnus’, both written by Ivan Drever.  This was well received.

Several members attended the, Virtual Edinburgh International Harp Festival.  One member followed  Rachel `Hair’s ‘Looking at a rainbow through a dirty window,’ by Calum Stewart and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  We were grateful that there was so much variety to choose from.

Many of us watched several concerts and tutorials and downloaded the music which was fantastic and are now learning new pieces.  We all agree that if we can’t attend in person, this is the next best thing and indeed many of us who would never be able to attend the festival, found the experience invaluable.

We are having regular  ensemble practices, using Skype.  We have learned new pieces during the Lockdown:   ‘Brochan Lom’ in three parts and ‘The Brown Island’.  Many of us have been surprised how much we have adapted to the virtual learning experience and are  able to move forward in our learning with this medium – the bonus being for the older ones, that our backs are a lot better for not dragging our harps about!

Some of our younger members have done well in their various categories in competitions 

Mod 2019 – Glasgow

  • Intermediate 1 – Fiona Langley (2nd)
  • Intermediate 2 – Mairi Anna Binns (1st)
  • 13-18 Duet – Mairi Anna & Fiona (3rd)

Western Isles Young Musician of the Year (Feb 2020)

  • Junior Secondary Strings – Mairi Anna Binns (Finalist)
  • Primary Strings – Fiona Langley (Winner)

Inverness Music Festival (March 2020)

  • Intermediate – Mairi Anna Binns (1st).

We are understandably, extremely proud of their achievements.