News Column

Julie Fowlis brings sounds of Scotland to the State

October 25, 2013


Oct. 25--The celebrated Scottish Gaelic artist whose gorgeous voice made the soundtrack of Oscar-winning "Brave" brings her old world styling to Culpeper Sunday night.

Julie Fowlis performs an 8 o'clock show at the State Theatre in the tradition of her native land.

"Her music is just beautiful -- easy to listen to," said Collis Jenkins, head of the programming committee for the State Theatre Foundation. "It's for someone that loves good quality music and that's what we're trying to bring to Culpeper is something a little different, a wide range to show that the State Theatre reaches a wide audience."

Fowlis' sound reached a global audience as a featured singer for 2012's Disney Pixar movie, "Brave," set in Scotland featuring Merida, an impetuous ginger girl of royal blood. Fowlis performed both "Touch the Sky" and "Into the Open Air" for the film that won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature earlier this year.

She sang the songs in English rather than her chosen language.

"That was a nice vote of confidence from Pixar having only heard me sing in Gaelic," Fowlis told the L.A. Times in a June interview last year. "There simply aren't any recordings of me singing in English so they probably didn't really know what I sounded like. I barely knew myself."

BBC Radio said she sounds "like beautiful messages from another world."

Brought up on North Uist in Scotlands's Outer Hebrides, Fowlis is a proud performer of Gaelic music twice winning Gaelic Singer of the Year and Album of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards, according to

She released her debut album, mar a tha mo chridhe (as my heart is), in 2005 and today tours with her husband Eamon Doorley, Dublin's Tony Byrne and Highlander fiddler Duncan Chisholm. The line-up is said to produce emotive, expressive and high-energy shows. Fowlis has performed at London's Barbican, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Mozart Concert Hall in Vienna, Edinburgh Castle and last year played the closing ceremony of the Ryder Cup in Illinois.

Tad and Karen Loving are sponsoring Sunday's show in Culpeper; tickets are are $22.50 and $29.50. Purchase them online at or from the Main Street box office in person or at (540) 829-0292.


(c)2013 the Culpeper Star-Exponent (Culpeper, Va.)

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