Robyn set to light up opening night of Keith festival

Robyn Stapleton_
Robyn Stapleton

THE ANNUAL FESTIVAL organised by the Keith Traditional Music and song association (TMSA) is just weeks away and the much anticipated programme is taking shape.

Singing has always been a huge part of Keith Festival for 40 years – this year is no different as TMSA has billed one of the concerts on the opening Friday night as a ‘Bothy Ballads and Other Songs’ event.

The concert at the Plough Inn Lounge is sponsored by Shears and Barbara Anderson Fiddle School, and amongst those performing on the night will be former Bothy Ballad champions Joe Aitken and Geordie Murison as well as other traditional singers such as Doris Rougive and Scott Gardiner.

A new singer appearing at Keith this year is Robyn Stapleton, who won the BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition in 2014.

Robyn performs the traditional songs of her Scottish and Irish heritage, in the Scots, English and Gaelic language. She is described as having one of the finest voices in Scottish music, with a uniquely pure tone, wonderful control and an empathy and sensitivity for traditional songs. She has performed as part of the Commonwealth Games and at the BBC Proms in the Park.

Commenting on the packed opening night the TMSA chair, Kathleen Anderson, said: “Singing has been such a massive part of Keith Festival over the past 40 years that as a committee we are keen to ensure that it remains so.

“We are very excited for the Bothy Ballad and Other Songs Concert. We have such an array of fantastic singers coming once again this year and this concert will be a great exhibition of traditional Scots songs and Bothy Ballads.

“This is a very special year in the history of Keith Festival and we hope that folk will come along and help us celebrate this momentous milestone.”

The 40th Keith TMSA Festival runs from Friday, June 12 to Sunday, June 14 in various venues throughout the town.

Tickets are from Mither Tongue, Mid Street, Keith and also from Sandy McCombie on 01542 882638. For more information log on to the website or join the Facebook page at