Outside the box: BBC ALBA celebrates Tiree’s music scene

Phil cunninngham

In Trusadh: Tiree – Outside the Box – on Monday 11th March from 21:00 – 22:00, BBC ALBA listens in to sunny Tiree. This  small Atlantic island well off Argyll’s west coast, with a population of just over 700, has produced many box players who have gone on to make their mark on the Scottish accordion scene.

Bands like Gunna Sound, Skipinnish, Skerryvore and new up and coming band, Trail West are established west coast ceilidh bands, all with one thing in common – they have Tiree accordion players at thee heart of their sound

Trusadh: Tiree – Outside the Box is a compellingly attractive programme looking at the accordion music scene and digging to try to identify the secret to their success.

gordon connell

Much of that success is down to the influence of one man -  self taught box player, and island tutor, Gordon Connell, who won ‘Music Tutor of the Year’ at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2010.

Already with a strong, established musical heritage, Tiree’s popular dance scene played its own vital part in the rise of the accordion. Gordon himself has inspired many different generations and, as we hear from some of his ex pupils throughout the programme, he changed the whole mindset of the community.

The programme may, amusingly, be called ‘Out of the Box’ but it could be said that Gordon Connell put Tiree back in the box.

Some of the country’s top box players are t be seen paying tribute to the role of theis mentor which is not widely recognised. Amongst them are Donald Shaw from Capercaille, Angus MacPhail from Skipinnish, Daniel Gillespie from Skerryvore, and Phil Cunningham.

If you miss it on Monday 11th March at 9pm,  you can get it at at 10pm the following evening .

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3 Responses to Outside the box: BBC ALBA celebrates Tiree’s music scene

  1. I’ll defo be watching bbc alba 11th march 9pm.Gordon’s my old school teacher.so nice for Tiree to get the respect it deserves.I now live in Irvine,but Tiree is always home to me.

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  2. what a brilliant programme. All the players were full of joy and humour and my favourite comment was.

    “All music is fantastic for the soul”

    Very special!!!!

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  3. A truly remarkable and thoroughly enjoyable programme that highlighted Gordon Connel’s ability to transform the latent talents of his pupils to their succeeding positions as the leading exponents of in the West Coast style dance and ceilidh music.

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