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Scottish Parliament praise for Speyfest on landmark anniversary


By Alan Beresford

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SPEYFEST's three-day 25th anniversary event has been praised by the Scottish Parliament.

Clare Alexander, James Alexander's daughter, performs as part of the Auld Fiddlers. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Clare Alexander, James Alexander's daughter, performs as part of the Auld Fiddlers. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

The event, making a welcome return after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic, also saw heartfelt tributes paid to founder member James Alexander MBE, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Speyfest and Fochabers Fiddlers founder, the late James Alexander MBE.
Speyfest and Fochabers Fiddlers founder, the late James Alexander MBE.

Moray MP Douglas Ross, who is also an MSP for the area, has submitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament recognising the special anniversary and also congratulating all those involved.

Douglas Ross MP, MSP: Speyfest has "touched so many lives". Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Douglas Ross MP, MSP: Speyfest has "touched so many lives". Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Mr Ross said: “This year’s event was another great celebration of traditional Scottish and Celtic music but was also tinged with sadness at the loss of Speyfest founder and champion James Alexander who died earlier this year.

“The event was opened on the Friday evening by James’s four young grandsons and was followed by a minute’s applause for the man who had such a positive impact on the lives of so many young musicians not only in Moray but across Scotland and internationally.

“I wanted the 25th anniversary of Speyfest to be recognised in the Scottish Parliament which is why I submitted a motion which has quickly received cross-party support. MSPs joined me in recognising the success of this year’s event, the first since 2019 due to the Covid pandemic, and also paying tribute to the organisers, sponsors and supporters and of course the musicians for ensuring the very welcome return of Speyfest.

“Ashleigh Mcgregor, chair of Speyfest, committee members and all the volunteers did a remarkable job in bringing exceptional music to Fochabers, putting on an event that ranged from more than 70 musicians putting on 39 performances and music workshops, to the ever-popular craft fair on Saturday and the Celtic Church service on Sunday.

“Congratulations go to everyone involved for an outstanding 25th anniversary event and I wish every success as the planning starts for the 26th Speyfest!”



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