Comhairle nan Eilean Siar present
Dìleab: Air a’ Chuan
@ Celtic Connections 2020

Dìleab: Air a' Chuan, brings together school pupils and musicians from across the Western Isles to celebrate our rich connection with the waters which surround us through music and song, as part of the 2020 Year of Coasts and Waters. Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band, the Sir E Scott school choir and soloists, musicians and choral singers from the four secondary schools in the Outer Hebrides will be joined by Willie Campbell, Ceitlin Lilidh and Padraig Morrison and other island musicians in this special one-off performance which promises to be an excellent evening of entertainment. The evening will be hosted by former pupil of Sgoil Lionacleit, Linda MacLeod.

Willie Campbell, has been involved in the Dìleab project since its inception and as part of his performance on the evening will showcase two new specially commissioned songs, as part of Dìleab: Air a’ Chuan 2020. Several other new commissions have been produced for this event and will be performed by both our professional musicians and the talented young people of the Western Isles.

What is Dileab?

The Dìleab project started in 2018, with different events happening in our schools in the Western Isles. Our pupils researched different subjects connected to the history of the islands. The schools were given a different theme related to the island, Barra and emigration, Uist remembering World War 1, Harris with protest and politics and Lewis remembering the Iolaire Disaster. The pupils worked with local musician Willie Campbell to produce 5 original compositions on these themes.

This began as an idea of our Education, Skills and Children’s Services Director, Bernard Chisholm, at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. The pupils did fantastic work throughout the islands to put on a series of concerts, including the biggest concert in the Lewis Sports Centre in December 2018, commemorating the Iolaire Disaster – an unforgettable night, with people coming together from throughout the isles. There have been opportunities during the project for pupils to work with the local Historical Societies, professional musicians, and different Comhairle officers, in order to find out more about their own history. We also recorded an EP that is available on streaming platforms and CD. We had always hoped that this could be an enduring project, and it’s turned out to be the case – we held another concert at the end of November 2019, in Stornoway where island pupils came together with Skippinish, Tumbling Souls and Face the West to put on wonderful night of music. On the 17th January 2020 we are taking nearly one hundred pupils from the islands down to Glasgow for Celtic Connections where our Dìleab: air a’ Chuan concert will take place. The theme for this concert is related to Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters and will explore the relationship the island has with this through music and song. It’s going to be an amazing night!

Meet some of our pupils

Tha Innes Begg bho Sgoil MhicNeacail an Eilean Leòdhais air bhioran airson Dìleab: Air a’ Chuan aig Celtic Connections an ath sheachdain! Taing Innes!

Tha Alice Macmillan bho Sgoil Mhicneacail air Eilean Leòdhais a’ coimhead air adhart gu Dìleab: Air a’ Chuan aig Celtic Connections! Taing Alice!

Tha Hamish Scott bho Sgoil an Tairbeirt anns na Hearadh a’ coimhead air adhart gu Dìleab: Air a’ Chuan aig Celtic Connections! Taing Hamish!

Innes Begg from the Nicolson Institute on the Isle of Lewis is excited for next week’s Dileab: Air a’ Chuan at Celtic Connections! Taing Innes!

Hamish Scott from Sir E Scott School on the Isle of Harris is looking forward to Dìleab: Air a’ Chuan at Celtic Connections! Taing Hamish!


  • Willie Campbell

    Willie Campbell was born in Tolsta, Isle of Lewis and lives in his home village with his wife and two children. He is highly regarded as one of the finest singer and songwriters in the country. Willie came to widespread attention co-fronting Astrid and also in the Reindeer Section. More recently he has featured in the Open Day Rotation and The Tumbling Souls. Willie has been an integral part of the Dìleab project since its inception.

  • Ceitlin Lilidh

    Ceitlin Lilidh is a Scottish Gaelic singer brought up in Ness on the Isle of Lewis. She is a member of Sian and features on Niteworks’ notable single Air Fàir an Là. Her vocals also star on Netflix’s Outlaw King, and Skipinnish’s album The Seventh Wave. As a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, winner of the Mòd Traditional Gold Medal and with a Danny Kyle award under her belt, Ceitlin has a wealth of experience performing all over the world as an ambassador for Gaelic song.

  • Padraig Morrison

    Pàdruig Morrison, a native Gaelic speaker from Grimsay in Uist, is an in-demand performer and composer, writing music for screen and classical ensembles, as well as performing with Beinn Lee and Causeway Trio. He has performed and taught at festivals across Scotland and Europe, while also worked with and writing music for The Hebrides Ensemble, the Hard Rain Ensemble, and members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He is currently studying a PhD in Composition with Maynooth University (Ireland), and is a finalist in the 2020 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year.

Live Stream

If you can't make the night
please join us for the live stream.

Please click here for the live Stream


Tickets can be purchased from the Celtic Connections website
or the Royal Concert Hall directly.

Dìleab: A Legacy CD

A lovely high quality product and a must have for your music collection! The beautiful Dìleab EP artwork was produced by the Comhairle’s Multimedia Unit and features the lyrics to the five specially commissioned songs alongside photographs taken on the recording day and background information on the Dìleab project. Siuthadaibh, ceannaich e - cha ghabh sibh aithreachas sam bith!