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Twenty-four twinkles on the ceilidh trail

From Applecross to Achiltibuie and beyond, 12 young people from across the Highlands are for the next two weeks continuing to take top billing on a Ceilidh Trail that takes them to new levels - and locations - in their emerging music careers.

Half the group are still at school and learning to perform traditional song and dance on a paid summer "cultural tourism" programme around the village halls under the direction of Feis Rois, the charity doing its best to promote Gaelic and Highland culture.

Rita Hunter, Feis administrator, said visitors loved to see the young people playing and leading ceilidhs.

"It raises the profile of traditional music. They encourage the audience to dance and sing along and they have all been trained in calling for dancing," she said. An initial week of specialist tuition in Ullapool from some of the country's top musicians helped the group reach performance level, including advice on how to set up a public address system. They had all been auditioned beforehand.

The students have given a month-long commitment to the trail and as Ms Hunter notes: "There is a twinkle in all their eyes."

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