The Ceilidh 2018
July 02, 2018 at 4:23 PM
The Saint Kentigern ‘clan’ raised their knees and voices in celebration of our Scottish heritage at the annual Ceilidh on Saturday night. The traditional Gaelic gathering included plenty of music, singing, dancing, haggis, banter and, of course, good cheer!
On a crisp and clear night, the guests were welcomed to Elliot Hall by our younger 2nd Pipe Band, who were also joined by the pipers and drummers from the Boys’ School.
The Pipes and Drums of Saint Kentigern then led the ‘Grand March’ into the hall. This is always a ‘touch and go’ moment at the start of an evening of ‘following instructions!’ With old fashioned loud hailer in hand, MC for the evening, Middle College Principal, Mr Duncan McQueen called for couples to join together in lines of four to enter and circuit the hall, before doubling up to eight people on the next circuit, and then sixteen on the final round, ready to get the merrymaking under way. Let’s say, it ‘sort of’ went smoothly!
It took very little convincing from caller, Bev Young to entice our guests onto the floor for the first round of dance. To tunes expertly performed by Wee Jock’s Ceilidh Band, including three of our own student musicians, the would-be dancers were at first walked through the steps before being let loose! The Ceilidh regulars were easy to spot, as were those new to the dances but somehow the twinkled toed and two left feet melded into one! Gauging by the huge smiles and laughter, everyone was having an equally good time, regardless of dancing ability!
The evening was interspersed with entertainment of a Scottish flavour, beginning with the Drum Fanfare. With lightning dexterity, the drummers’ sticks moved in rhythm, not only playing their own drums but the ones next to them too!
The star of the night – the haggis – was then piped into the hall and addressed by Year 13 Pipe Major, Fraser McEwen. This is the second year that Fraser has taken on the task and his performance of Robbie Burns’ ‘Ode to the Haggis’ was animated and passionate, attracting deserved applause.
Before dinner was served, Mr McQueen offered the traditional Selkirk Grace, then advised that tasting the Haggis was compulsory for all, ‘unless, of course, you can produce a medical certificate,’ he quipped!
Entertainment continued when we welcomed diminutive Grace Broun to the floor. She may have only been seven years old but she was nimble on her feet as she demonstrated the sword dance to an audience of almost 200! Songsters followed on, with a solo by Year 12 student, Venice Qin before guests joined the Pipes and Drums to sing Scottish faithfuls!
Dinner had hardly settled when it was time for Mr McQueen to become auctioneer extraordinaire for the live auctions before another round of dancing got underway. The evening concluded with all taking to the floor to and sing dance to ‘Auld Land Syne’ before the Pipers assembled on the balcony to finish with ‘Amazing Grace’ to conclude the evening’s entertainment.
We would like to sincerely thank our parents and staff on the organising committee, and especially 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 to assist in their next venture abroad – hopefully a return trip to the Basel Tattoo in Switzerland within the next two years!
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