"This was an absolutely incredible experience for me, getting to work with such amazing musicians."
HNC Music student Daisy McCormick tells us about how she moved to Uist to immerse herself in the music and culture of the islands and last month performed at Celtic Connections 30th anniversary festival.
HNC Music student Daisy McCormick tells us about how she moved to Uist to immerse herself in the music and culture of the islands. Daisy has been able to experience a totally unique learning experience with UHI Outer Hebrides and last month performed at Celtic Connections 30th anniversary festival.
I'm from Edinburgh, I live just south of the city, in a very musical village called Pathhead. I've been playing fiddle for about 12 years. I got into trad music because my aunt and older cousin are both fiddlers and I've grown up surrounded but the music.
HNC Music Students Ben and Daisy in our recording studios at our Cnoc Soilleir Campus
I chose to study music at UHI OH because I wanted a change of pace from living in the city as well as the opportunity to surround myself with the Gaelic language and culture. I am currently learning Gaelic and the chance to learn from musicians and lecturers like Allan Henderson and Ian Macdonald was just too good to pass on.
Recently Celtic Connections got in touch with accordionist and composer, John Somerville and asked him if he would be interested in writing a piece of music for the 30th anniversary of the festival. John developed the piece into a traditional orchestral piece for young trad musicians across Scotland to be a part of. Myself and fellow UHI Music student Ben Godlington were chosen to be part of the event. As well as being part of the orchestra we also got the chance to do some small group work with people in our regional area bringing to the stage different styles from places across Scotland.
Celtic Connections rehearsals
As part of the 2023 anniversary festival we played at a concert put on by Celtic Connection for the Glasgow schools. Session A9 was also playing at the same gig, and we spent the whole of Sunday in tutorials with them, learning some of their tunes to play with them at the end of the gig. This was an absolutely incredible experience for me, getting to work with such amazing musicians.
It was lovely being able to have a few tunes in the breaks of the day with people like Charlie Mckerron, Gordon Gunn and Kevin Henderson. I ended up having a session with Alasdair White the fiddler in the hotel on the last night along with one of the members of Daimh and a couple of other musicians that were staying there. It was amazing meeting so many young musicians from all over, sometimes I think you can get stuck in the same circle of musicians, but it was lovely to work with so many different people from all over.
Ben and Daisy on stage at Celtic Connections
This opportunity will be great for my career; the experience of travelling, rehearsing, early morning sound checks and waiting to perform in such big venues has been an incredible insight and an experience I will take a lot from. Being able to be like a 'proper' musician was very informative and I now have a much greater understanding of everything that goes into something like this. Now the next time I do something like this there will be much less unknown, and I can probably relax a bit more about it!
- Find out more about studying HNC Music with UHI Outer Hebrides - HNC Music (uhi.ac.uk) as well as our range of Gaelic courses - Courses - UHI Outer Hebrides
- Search all our courses - Courses - UHI Outer Hebrides
- Get in touch to chat to our staff and find more support and option for you - Study with us - UHI Outer Hebrides
- Come to our Open Day this March - Study with us - UHI Outer Hebrides