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HebCelt 2014 - Thursday 17th July

We are pleased to annouce that the Donnie Munro Band will be the headline act for the Hebcelt 2014 Festival on the Thursday 17th July, 2014. Bookings are currently live on www.hebceltfest.com/booking and we can also be found on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HebCelt and twitter - @HebCelt with next year being hashtagged #HebCelt14.  This will be a full band concert and everyone in the band is looking forward to the concert. More details can be found over on the Hebcelt website.

Donnie said: "I have watched with enormous interest the fantastic success of HebCelt as it has grown year on year and I am absolutely thrilled to have been invited to perform at next year's festival.

"I have a very deep affinity with Lewis going back over many years now, from my earliest performances with Runrig in places like Ness Hall, Back Community Centre, the Hanger at Stornoway Airport and of course the Stornoway Town Hall itself and more recently at An Lanntair.

Message from Donnie

A chàirdean / Dear Friends

It seems remarkable that another year has passed and we find ourselves again looking back as the threshold to another year fast approaches. It has, for so many, been a year of struggle and uncertainty, as the grim economic situation continues to undermine public confidence and for many it has meant dealing with the difficulties of losing employment as companies, large and small struggled to cope with the impact of recession not just at home but internationally. But our year draws to a close however, with a world now united both in the sadness of loss but also the euphoria of hopefulness and inspiration drawn from the life’s example of a man who has been an inspiration to so many who, for the best part of half a century, have fought for justice, peace and an end to the inhumanities of prejudice, mistrust and fear.

Nelson Mandela in an exemplary way showed the world how we can move beyond division and that the most powerful weapon we have at our disposal is the ultimate defining gift of forgiveness. With you all I honour the legacy of Mandela’s courage, humility and dignity as we are all indeed made the more whole and complete by his example.

Courage is something we encounter in our daily lives and I have always felt deeply humbled by the immense courage shown by ordinary men and women who simply refuse to give up in the face of great personal struggles and I am fortunate so often, through music, to be able meet and share in the lives of so many inspirational people many of whom I meet at concerts around the country and only by meeting and talking and sharing do I come to understand just how many people possess that same courage dignity and resilience again so much in evidence in the City of Glasgow following the tragic events of the Cluatha Bar tragedy.

I have had a really interesting and rewarding year both in my musical life and through my work with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and the wider world of arts and cultural heritage.

In addition to some great shows with the full Band, this year has also seen a series of hugely enjoyable and successful acoustic shows at which I have been lucky to have been joined by the wonderful young Shetland Fiddle player, Maggie Adamson and guitarist and producer/engineer Eric Cloughley. These shows have allowed for a very different and much more intimate and narrative approach to the performance and one which has allowed me to revisit some of my own favourite songs along the way. The shows have been a musical journey across a vast landscape of songs from my earlier Runrig days through my own writing and also just some songs which I have loved along the way. It was an interesting year to set out on this reflective course as my former colleagues celebrated 40 Years of RUNRIG and I was very deeply moved to have been re-united with the band to share an extremely moving performance with over 13,000 supporters at the Party on the Moor in August of this year.

The event was an enormous success and a real testimony to the work of the band over the years and to the incredible support which we have been so fortunate to have enjoyed throughout a very remarkable musical journey. I congratulate all the band, Rory, Calum, Malcolm, Iain, Bruce and Brian on their incredible achievement and I remember in particular with the deepest affection Robert Macdonald for the early days and both Billy Wharton and Marlene Ross who both contributed so hugely to the band’s success.

I look forward to some special shows planned for next year with both the full band line up and also the acoustic set.

On the Sabhal Mòr Ostaig front, which like Runrig, was celebrating its 40th Anniversary, things have been hugely interesting, challenging and exciting. This year saw the initiation of one of the most significant developments in the Colleges short but noble history as we embarked on the work to set in motion the creation of Kilbeg Village the first new planned village to be built on Skye in more than 100 years. This has been a hugely rewarding but extremely challenging project to realise and the £6million + project will have hugely significant impact on the continuing regeneration of the language, the community and indeed the whole of the country and become an exemplar of sustainable rural development, with the language and the culture at its heart. We have enjoyed the support of the Scottish Government in this and the personal and particular support of the First Minister himself. Work is about to commence on Phase 1 of the project whose master-plan allows for the creation of Housing, Sports and Recreation, Academic and Research Buildings, a Conference and Events Centre, retail and enterprise units and a small hotel. This will build on the success of Sabhal Mòr, as the National Centre for the Gaelic Language and Culture and will consolidate on the wider economic and social impacts of Sabhal Mor’s work.

Our artists in residence programme run in partnership with Creative Scotland continues to produce a unique opportunity for artists to work within an immersed Gaelic language community and some fantastic and innovative new works have been created as a result. We also have the support of the Jon Schueller Trust which has generously funded an international visual arts fellowship in honour of Schuellers work and life and as an internationally important artist of the New York School and in particular to celebrate his very specific relationship with the Sound of Sleat which for many years became the inspiration for some of his most powerful works.

I continue, as Chairman of Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches, the national conservation and digitisation programme, one of the most important cultural heritage programmes I have ever been involved in, and I thank all of you who have been generous enough to respond to our recent ‘crowd funding ‘ appeal. This is an immensely important project which has incredible benefits to education, research and community and I with my colleagues in the project are fighting very hard to ensure that the projects work can continue open out the enormous cultural heritage legacy which has been lovingly created and which is now accessible from your desktop or handset.

I also Chair the European project CeangalG / ConnectG which is a tri-partite European funded projects which seeks to bring together the Gaelic language communities of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and in particular looking at key sectors which use the Gaelic language as a positive identifier for their business. Once again this wonderful ‘gateway’ project has enormous potential for creating a real sense of a very tangible and emerging economic, cultural and social community of the ‘Greater Gaeltachd of Scotland and Ireland’. This is a fascinating project from which great opportunities for genuine collaboration and the exchange of knowledge and skills could result.

Sabhal Mòr is at the heart of change and as it has been throughout its short history is an inspiring and innovative place, always willing to engage with the resolution of problems creating new and interesting opportunities in education enterprise and the arts and I feel deeply honoured to have been associated with the centre’s inspirational work over many years.

So as you can see a great deal has happened in a short space of time and I am extremely fortunate to have been involved in all of these wonderful opportunities.

I would like to thank everyone whose has helped in all these things and in particular my musical companions, Fos, Morph, Chaz, Dougie, Jim, Eric and Maggie and I would also like to thank Lisa and all at Active for their hard work and similarly Karin at Northbeat, Helen in Troon, Elaine and Sandy on Merchandise, Catriona for all her help collecting for the Joseph McGoff Foundation and last but not least, Richard Edgar for the fantastic work he continues to do with this website.

I look forward to seeing you all next year at different places along the way, to my long overdue return to Germany and another few surprises yet to be announced.

May I thank you all for your support and wish you a very Happy Christmas and Happy, Healthy and prosperous New Year

Taing mhòr
Donnie

Tobar an Dualchais - Kist o Riches.

Tobar an Dualchais ('Well of Heritage' in Scottish Gaelic) - also known as Kist o Riches in the Scots language - is an exciting project to make available online a vast collection of sound recordings from Scottish folklore and folklife archives, including many from open reels and wax cylinders. By digitising and cataloguing this material, our ultimate aim is to make thousands of hours of audio available to the public for free through our website. For a small donation of just £5 you can become a Friend of Tobar an Dualchais.

Friend of Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches

£5.00 or more : Become a 'Friend of Tobar an Dualchais' - your name will be acknowledged on our website as a supporter of our project (or omitted as desired). N.B. All higher-value donations also earn this reward.

All the details of these great offers please visit http://www.sponsume.com/project/tobar-dualchais

Concert Video Clip

2014 Concerts

Friday 25th April,
Braid Art Centre,
Ballymena
(Acoustic)

Friday 30th May,
Assembly Rooms,
Wick
(Acoustic)

Saturday 31st May,
Strathy Hall,
Thurso
(Acoustic)

Thursday 17th July,
Hebcelt Festival.
(Full Band)

Saturday 2nd August,
Crail Festival,
Crail
(Acoustic)

Saturday 20th September,
Ayr Town Hall,
Ayr
(Full Band)