Eilidh Mackenzie is a song leader for Scotland Sings. Read more about her.
Born into a family of singers, Eilidh was brought up on the Isle of Lewis but now lives on the Black Isle near Inverness. Her formative years were immersed in close harmony singing among her father’s family – Gaelic songs interspersed with a good dose of covers of American acts like Peter, Paul and Mary.
After studying for a degree in Music and Celtic Studies at the University of Glasgow, Eilidh was awarded a scholarship to study and teach at St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia.
At the age of 20 she won the An Comunn Gaidhealach Gold Medal and in 2010 was the recipient of the MGAlba Scots Trad Award Gaelic singer of the Year.
In the 1990s she performed in the band Mac-talla and still sings alongside two of her sisters in the band Mackenzie.
As well as performing traditional material Eilidh has been writing songs since her teenage years. In 2009 she released an album of self-penned songs based on the novel Bel Canto by American author Ann Patchett and the following year was commissioned by Blas Festival to write a song cycle based on happy news stories. The resulting show, Saoghal Sona was broadcast on radio and is due for digital release…soon!
She has been tutoring Gaelic song for 25 years and in 2005 devised, co-wrote and produced the first ever Gaelic musical. Taigh Màiri Anndra, celebrating the life and work of American folklorist Margaret Fay Shaw. It was performed by all 99 children at the Gaelic school in Inverness to a capacity audience in Eden Court’s Empire Theatre.