Oban teen internet piping sensation lands Oban Live slot

Gregor MacDonald. Picture: Kevin McGlynn/Contributed
Gregor MacDonald. Picture: Kevin McGlynn/Contributed
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A 13-year-old who became an online hit after performing live on a transatlantic flight to New York is to be a special guest artist to open Oban Live, Argyll’s biggest music event.

Gregor MacDonald was en-route to take part in New York’s Tartan Week with his school’s pipe band when he performed a couple of solo piping tunes to passengers.

A recording of the event was later posted by the school on social media and the video was a hit, achieving over 150,000 hits.

Gregor will take to the stage for a solo piping performance which will open Oban Live on 2 June. He will also return on the second day of Oban Live alongside his band mates in Oban High School’s Novice Juvenile A Pipe Band to play with headliners and Celtic rock band Skerryvore.

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Gregor said: “I knew I would be playing with Oban High School Pipe Band but to be asked to play solo is quite a privilege.

Teenage piper Gregor MacDonald. Picture: Kevin McGlynn/Contributed

Teenage piper Gregor MacDonald. Picture: Kevin McGlynn/Contributed

“I am looking forward to it. I’ve never played at anything like Oban Live before so it will be a great experience.

“I’ve still not decided what I’m playing yet but I am practicing a bit more than usual in preparation for the event.

“My family and friends will all be coming to watch. It’s a great local event and we have all been to it in the past.”

The event has also announced that the talented 23 year-old Gaelic singer, Kim Carnie, from Oban, will open the event on 3 June.

Kim Carnie. Picture: ObanLive/Contributed

Kim Carnie. Picture: ObanLive/Contributed

The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2017 finalist is also a TV Presenter for BBC ALBA.

Kim has performed at festivals and prestigious events across the UK, including Orkney Folk Festival, Hebridean Celtic Festival, Celtic Connections and Cambridge Folk Festival.

Kim is a current member of ‘Air Falbh Leis na h-Eòin/Away with the Birds’, a vocal piece exploring the relationship between Gaelic and bird song.

At Oban Live 2017, Kim will be joined by Euan Burton on stage, an award-winning composer, bassist, producer and one of the leading musicians to emerge from Scotland in the last decade.

Signed to Whirlwind Recordings, he has released two internationally acclaimed albums with them: “Occurrences” (2012) and “Too Much Love” (2014).

Performing constantly with the UK’s foremost musicians he’s played with an endless list of acclaimed musicians such as Julian Arguelles, Martin Kershaw, Kit Downes and Tom Gibbs.

Currently, Kim and Euan are working on Kim’s debut EP, alongside Megan Henderson and Innes White, to be released later this summer.

Daniel Gillespie, Managing Director of Oban Live said: “We are excited that two young rising stars, who both hail from Oban, will be our special guest artists to open each day of Oban Live this year.

“With Gregor at the beginning of his music journey and Kim who is thriving on the Gaelic scene, both artists are a true reflection of how influential Oban’s traditional music culture is for young aspiring musicians.

“We can’t wait to see them on the Oban Live stage this year.”

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Held at Oban’s famous shinty ground, Mossfield Stadium, Oban Live is the biggest live music event in the region of Argyll & Bute.

Last year’s inaugural event attracted 7,800 people to Oban, a pretty coastal town in the West Coast of Scotland.

The line-up this year includes legendary household names Hue And Cry and Toploader as well as a number of Scottish and Irish traditional music stars and Celtic rockers such as Skerryvore, Skipinnish, Tide Lines, We Banjo 3, Trail West and more.

Tickets are available at www.obanlive.com.