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The Ceilidh 2015

August 24, 2015 at 4:25 PM

The Saint Kentigern clan raised their knees and voices to their Scottish heritage at the much-awaited annual Ceilidh at the College on Saturday night. The special event reached a significant milestone this year as it celebrated its 20th consecutive running, with many saying this was the best yet!

A Ceilidh is a traditional Gaelic gathering, with our version incorporating plenty of music, singing dancing, haggis and, of course, good cheer. The shindig attracts all walks of life, with many Scottish ex-pats travelling from afar to share in an authentic slice of home. The money raised from ticket sales and auctions on the night will go towards the Pipes and Drums of Saint Kentigern and its pilgrimage to Scotland in 2016.

On a crisp and clear night, the guests, resplendent in kilts, tartan shawls and tam o’shanter hats, were welcomed into the College by our 2nd Pipe Band. The Pipes and Drums of Saint Kentigern then led them in a Grand March into the beautifully decorated Elliot Hall. Under the orders of the MC for the evening, Mr Duncan McQueen, groups of four entered the hall then formed lines of eight ready to get the merrymaking under way.

It took very little convincing from caller, Bev Young to entice the crowd onto the dance floor for the first number of the evening. To tunes performed expertly by Wee Jock’s Ceilidh Band, the would-be dancers were at first walked through the steps before being let loose. The Ceilidh regulars among the participants were easy to spot, as were those new to the dances! Gauging by the huge smiles and animated laughs, everyone was having an equally good time, regardless of ability!

Considerably lifting the standard of dancing was a group of dance students from the College who performed a contemporary dance ‘Association to the Gael.’ A number of those in the audience commented on what a great addition to the Ceilidh it was. The pipers and drummers also put on a superb display of their musicianship.

The star of the night – the haggis – was then piped into the hall and addressed by Ode Maker and Pipe Major, Byron Lum. Year 13 student, Byron gave an animated and passionate performance of Robbie Burns’ ‘Ode to the Haggis’ to raucous applause. The was no need for General Manager of the Trust Board, Mr Eric Shiels to affect an accent as he blessed the meal with the Selkirk Grace in his dulcet Scottish tone. You had to be fast if you wanted to partake in the haggis as it was soon all gone!

Dinner had hardly settled when it was time for another round of dancing, followed by singing that included an energetic rendition of ‘The Flower of Scotland.’ Mr McQueen then became auctioneer extraordinaire for the live auctions and to announce the winners of the silent auctions.

The whole crowd then took to the floor to and sing dance to ‘Auld Land Syne’ before the Pipers assembled on the balcony to play ‘Amazing Grace’ to conclude the evening’s entertainment. No one was in a hurry to leave, nor did the smiles diminish as those assembled chatted with compatriots; old friends and new ones made on the dance floor!

We would like to sincerely thank our parents and staff on the organising committee, and especially to our students and supporters who performed on the night and assisted in the great success and smooth running of the event.

The Pipes and Drums would also like to express heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our sponsors who generously donated goods for auction and families and friends for their participation and support of our 20th Annual Ceilidh!

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