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Skyeís Celtic Connection

 by Liam

The Isle of Skye will soon be hearing the noise of the well recommended folk festival from Glasgow Celtic Connections.

The Concert will be held at the Broadford Airfield on the 23rd and 24th of March. The concert marks the finale of the year of Scotland ís islands and there will be a great amount of local artist.

Like the Networks, The civil wars and Grammy award wining singer-song writer Rosanne Cash just to name a few.

The show in Glasgow was a huge success and when pupils in February and if the show gets transformed over to Skye it is meant to pull in people from allover the highlands and islands to Skye the show is expected to be a big success.   


Glasgow Youth Film Festival 5-15 February 2012

War Horse

a review by Justin

On Friday the 10th of February the BBC school report team at Williamwood High School went the Glasgow Youth Film Festival (GYFF) to see the Steven Spielberg film War Horse.

The film is based on the book written by Michael Morpurgo called ďWar HorseĒ. The book was first published in 2004 and has attracted many readers of the book.

The movie is set in WW1 during which a horse named Joey is forced to leave his owner Albert in the outbreak of war.

The movie is mainly based on Joeyís travels to the different territories at war until Joey is reunited with his first owner Albert.

For most of the movie you worry about Joey and you connect with him from the different close-up and slow motion scenes. Towards the end of the movie however, Joey is found tangled up in barbed wire in no manís land. Both German and British troops help Joey to try and get him out.

War Horse is a great movie and I personally enjoyed it. The movie was tense in parts, grim at other parts and sometimes quite depressing but at least it starts off quite merrily and also finishes that way.

School reporters attended a Celtic Connections School Concert on Friday 3 February.  We interviewed Tom Dalzell, the Education and Outreach manager of the festival on how he thought the festival was going this year and managed to bag an interview with Laura Veirs, a singer/ songwriter who was performing that day.

Tom, how did you become involved with Celtic Connections? Iíve worked here for 9 years and it started when I was doing a PhD at University.  I got a call from someone looking for an Education Assistant for the festival, but they needed someone who was doing research too, so I fitted the bill.  I got the job and started running the Education Programme about a year and a half later.  I was just fortunate I was in the office when the phone call came in!  Thatís what happens in life- you need to be in the right place at the right time.

How does Celtic Connections help forge links between Scotland and America ? Celtic Connections forges links with very many countries.  The main way links are forged are through the music. America has only been colonised from the 1600s and a lot of people who live there originally came from Scotland , Wales , Ireland and other Celtic countries.  All the links that we make are first of all musical.  A lot of the music you hear thatís come from America , some of the roots of it are in Scottish music.  And the other way is that we just know lots of people!

Who has been your favourite artist at Celtic Connections? Two artists really got what the concerts are all about.  The first one played a few years ago- an American lady called Linda Tillery and she brought over a group of musicians called Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir.  There are only 5 of them but the sound they make is fantastic.  Itís like a walking encyclopaedia of African American music. The other is a guy called Bobby McFerrin who signs acapella but he also sounds like a band. He beats his chest to make the sound of drums, which is remarkable.  When I was told he was doing the concert for school children I wondered if 2000 kids would sit in the audience and connect with him, but he hand them in the palm of his hand. He was asking the childrenís names and making songs up about them on the spot, which was magical!

Laura Veirs grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. 'Tumble Bee' is her first childrenís record.  The recording covers a wide range of folk songs from early 20th century work songs to the ballads of Jimmie Rodgers, Woody Guthrie, Peggy Seeger and Harry Belafonte.

When did you start playing music? I started playing when I was 19. I started to learn guitar and soon after I learned I began to write my own songs.  Iím 38 now so Iíve been playing for about 20 years.

What made you want to play Celtic Connections? Well weíre on tour just now and my booking agent suggested we play Celtic Connections and I thought, ĎThis sounds like fun- letís do it!í

Have you always played and written folk music or do you like other kinds of music? Iíve done all kinds.  I used to play in a punk band, all women wearing crazy outfits and dancing crazy and playing rock music really loud.  After that I became interested in funk music and I played keyboards and guitar with raw pedal and a lot of improvising.  And then after that I did a folk band and became interested in country music and old time banjo music. So itís fun to feel like Iím free in as far as I donít have to play one kind of music. I can go between styles and enjoy learning about how different kind of music works and the different culture that goes along with each different one.

What made you decide to play childrenís concerts and music younger people would listen to? I had a son about two years ago and I was interested in singing different songs to him because itís fun to sing to a baby.  It soothes them and makes them feel better. I was interested in that art from and that what appeals to children differently from adults, and what works for little kids versus middle school versus high school kids. Hopefully the songs we played today worked for people your age but we left some off the list that were for really young ones. So I donít know- it was inspired by me having a kid.

Have you performed at Celtic Connections before and what have you enjoyed most about the festival this year? We just got here this morning so we havenít played yet.  We play another show tonight and then tomorrow we leave for Birmingham . I know itís a three week festival but weíre only here for a day.  I played here about three years ago, so Iíve been here before for the festival but Iíve played Glasgow about four or five times and Edinburgh, all over England and Australia and the United States. Thatís the cool thing about if you decide to become a musician- you can travel all over the world.

What do you feel the connection is between Scottish and American music? I think there are a lot of connections between Scottish music and American music.  A lot of Scottish people moved to the States about 200 years ago and some of their music they brought with them.  They mixed with people who were already there, like African Americans.  That mixture of music has really influenced American music, I think.  The African blues sound and the drumming with Scottish and Irish melody makes for a really cool sound- a really American sound.

What are you looking forward to about performing tonight? I like to bring the bubble machine even though itís an adult show because they donít expect that.  The bubbles look so beautiful going up into the air and the adults really like it too.