Fèis in Scottish Gaelic means “festival” or “feast.” Over the past three decades, the word Fèis has become synonymous with the Fèisean movement (Fèisean is the plural of Fèis). It has come to mean a tuition festival, usually for children and young people, which celebrates the music and song culture connected with the Gaelic language.
Rois is the Gaelic word for Ross-shire, the home area in which they are based.
The first ever Fèis Rois took place 1986 after Christine Martin (strings instructor) teamed up with Kate Martin, a local Community Education worker at the time. Together, they secured the support of Jock Watt and Neil McKechnie at Ross & Cromarty District Council and Jean Urquhart at the Ceilidh Place in Ullapool.
Around 50 young people from P5 – S6 attended the first Fèis. The numbers grew every year until, in 1990, a decision was made to hold two separate events for primary and secondary pupils. In 2009 we had a total of 277 pupils attend Fèis Rois Oigridh (for primary pupils) and Fèis Rois nan Deugairean (for secondary pupils).
The work of Fèis Rois now takes place year-round and extends well beyond Ross-Shire. In addition to an extensive programme of music tuition in Local Authorities across Scotland, their local young musicians tour across Scotland, the UK and internationally.
Fèis Rois is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. The organisation is run by a voluntary Board of Directors.