The College’s 50th anniversary commemorative CD launched in Benbecula

Stornoway Gazette
September 25, 2003
The College’s 50th anniversary commemorative CD launched in Benbecula

“ Briseadh an Fhearainn”, (“Breaking the Ground”), the Lews Castle College 50th anniversary commemorative CD, was launched last week at the Isle of Benbecula House Hotel. Staff and students of Colaisde Bheinn na Faoghla, the Lews Castle College Benbecula Campus, gathered with other guests for a celebration and start of term social event on Thursday 18th September. David Green, Principal of Lews Castle College, was also on hand to launch the first of a weeklong programme of events to mark the college’s half-century.

“We have chosen the theme of ‘pioneers’ for our celebrations”, said David Green, “to mark the initiative and bold thinking that went into the creation of Lews Castle College 50 years ago, and projects such as this ‘Briseadh an Fhearainn’ CD underline our continuing commitment to innovation and development. I’m particularly pleased to kick off our celebrations in Benbecula, where we opened Colaisde Bheinn na Faoghla only 4 years ago. In that time we have introduced core programmes in Care, IT, and Business Administration, available in the Uists for the first time, and developed from scratch additional courses in Gaelic Language and Music, and in Art and Design which serve not only a Western Isles-wide demand, but also attract incoming students from the mainland, other islands, and indeed overseas.”

Will Lamb (bouzouki) and Iain Macdonald (small pipes) are joined by students in the Old Creagorry Bar.

The evening started with a light buffet in the Function Room of the newly refurbished hotel (formerly well-known as the Creagorry Hotel). After the speeches this year’s music students entertained the company in the Old Creagorry Bar, with the help of friends, former students, and teaching staff, including Iain Macdonald of Glenuig, and Norman Chalmers of the Battlefield Band. Also in attendance, and adding to the convivial atmosphere, were a group of 20 international artists coming to the end of the fortnight long “Còmhla” workshop held by Taigh Chearsabhagh at Newton House. The evening’s entertainment was brought to a close with a rousing set from the college’s resident rock and roller, Bill Hickey.

The CD consists of a 14-track selection of some of the best work of the students on the FE Diploma in Gaelic Language and Music, and HNC in Music Performance at Colaisde Bheinn na Faoghla. Course leader Dr Will Lamb said, “We can be justly proud of the work these students have done, and the progress they’ve made. Thanks to their own efforts, and with the help of some of the best known figures in Scottish traditional music today, they have produced work which is of a really high standard. The CD will serve them as a record of their own achievements, but, more importantly, will provide a good listen for anyone with an ear for Gaelic and traditional music.” The CD is on sale from both Benbecula and Stornoway campuses of Lews Castle College for £10.