Sunday, September 25, 2011 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm
507 West View Place, North Nanaimo

It is our pleasure to present two of Gaeldom's most notable bearers of the soulful traditions of the intertwined music of the pipes and the voice~Allan MacDonald and Groigair Labhruidh (Gregor Lawrie), from the Highlands of Scotland. They will be hosted by Carolyn and Rene Cusson at their home in North Nanaimo.

PLEASE CALL TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT.  Space is limited. A donation of $20. is suggested. Refreshments and tea/coffee will be served.  (250) 758-0208 or 1-866-301-2358 toll free.

Interested in doing a song or piping workshop beforehand? If so--let us know when you book.

See BIOS and video footage of each of Allan and Griogar below.

Allan MacDonald


A leading light in the Gaelic musical scene, Allan MacDonald, or in Gaelic, Ailean Domhnallach-- is in demand internationally as a composer, musical director, piper, singer, workshop leader, and lecturere on Gaelic music. One of his myriad difts is to make pibroch accessible and lovable. His work as a scholar-performer runiting seventeenth-century piping with its Gaelic roots is influencing a whole generation of pipers. 

Allan has performed at every major Celtic and piping festival on the planet. He lectures on Scottish Music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, and has had numerous commission tocompose for BBC television. In 2005, he co-directed a six-part tenelvision serioes screend on RTE, BBC3 and ITV--"The Highland Sessions"--addressing the common language and musical traditions of Scotland and Ireland, which won the best documentary music award in Ireland.

The BBC made a documetary on Allan and his brothers, Dr. Angus and Iain (also world-famouspipers), broadcast in January 2007. The three borothers wer born in the tiny Gaelic-speaking town of Glenuig in Moidart. Allan won the highest award in piping, th Clasp at the Northern Meeting two years running (1989 and 1990). He then followed his heart and developed a style of playing more in tune with the Gaelic culture of 1550-1750. His approach is infused with an insider's ear for the fragile traces of historical continuity that survie within Gaelic-speaking communities, and he attempts to reverse the effects of cultural colonialism.

This freer, more varied, and historically-informed apporach to ceol mor may to many minds makes the "great music" more appealing. The most exciting player of his generation, Allan is stimulating the renaissance of one of Europe's most soulful and majestic musical traditions.

You Tube of Allan in the BBC airing of "Highland Sessions":    Watch now>>

Griogair Labhruidh

Griogair Labhruidh pronounced 'Grigar Lowry' is a traditional Gaelic singer who sings in the seann-nòs style of the southern Hebrides and Argyll. He is also a very accomplished piper and composer of both bagpipe music and Gaelic song/poetry and belongs to a piping tradition that has been in his family for many generations. His technical ability and sensitive arrangements of traditional music on the guitar are also a huge factor in his work.     

He is 24 years old and was brought up in Gartocharn on the East side of Loch Lomond and has lived for the past few years on the island of South Uist but now bases himself on the mainland. On his father's side he belongs to the Lowrey/Lawrie piping family of North Argyll and his maternal lineage, also known for piping, goes back to the the Knapdale area of Mid-Argyll. Despite family ties with both Skye and the traditionally Gaelic speaking areas of Loch Lomond, it is very much to Argyll that he belongs.

He draws much of his material from Argyllshire's incredibly rich Gaelic tradition but also has a huge interest in the bardic tradition of South Uist, which has influenced much of his own work. He is a fluent Gaelic speaker and as well as having a wealth of traditional material, he also writes original music having won the Seo Seinn competition for Best New Gaelic Song.

He regularly works with the top Gaelic acts in Scotland including: Margaret Stewart, Iain MacDonald, Allan MacDonald, Cathy Anne MacPhee and Kathleen MacInnes. He has given numerous radio and television performances including this years Hogmanay programme which featured his distinctive, playing the small pipes and singing traditional Argyllshire 'mouth music' at the same time. He regularly performs in both Ireland and Scotland and having collaborated with Irish Gaelic musicians, considers the connections between Scottish and Irish Gaelic culture a very important factor in his work.

He has performed at many music festivals including Celtic Connections and the Festival of World Cultures and in 2004 he was involved in the making of a major film production called Joyeux Noel. A wartime story based upon the 1914 Christmas Truce. In this film he was involved as a piper/actor and the following year, was asked to attend the Cannes film festival, where he played the cast of the film up the red carpet.

Griogair has done much study into the aural tradition of Argyll using materials which are housed in the School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh and has recorded some of this music on his new debut album; Dail-riata. The album which was produced by Iain MacDonald (Glenuig) also includes some of his own material and gives a taste of the unique side of the Gaelic tradition that he belongs to.

You Tube of Griogar performing at Celtic Connections Festival:   Watch now >>