TRIBUTES have flooded in for Gaelic singer Kirsteen MacLennan who has died aged 49.

The passing of the Dingwall musician, who was also a conductor and teacher, comes following a 15-month battle with cancer.

She is survived by her husband Jamie MacLennan – a former Beauly Shinty Club player - and sons Finlay and Hector.

MacLennan – described as a “shining light” in the Gaelic choral community - was the daughter of legendary conductor Hamish Menzies, who died two years ago.

She followed in his footsteps by conducting the Dingwall Gaelic Choir and later set up the Black Isle Gaelic Choir.

As a singer she won the highest accolade for learners – the Silver Pendant – at the Royal National Mòd in Airdrie in 1993 and then in 2002 she won the Gold Medal at the Largs Mòd.

She was also an inspirational music teacher at Dingwall Academy.

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The Black Isle Gaelic Choir said: "We are heartbroken after losing our founder, conductor and great friend Kirsteen, who passed away today.

“Kirsteen’s talent knew no bounds as a teacher, musician and as a conductor, and she was recognised as one of the best conductors in Gaeldom. We are privileged to have experienced this talent first hand.

“She was a beautiful and kind person who was always thinking of others, with her family very much at her core. She leaves behind a precious legacy in the world and also in our own hearts.

“We are thinking, in particular, of Jamie, Finlay, Hector, Janet, John and the rest of her family.

“‘Nach truagh an staid sam biodh mi nan siùbhladh tu bhuam, a ghràidh.

"S tusa thug dhòmhsa rian, ’s acair is caladh dham bhàt.’”

MacLennan conducted the Dingwall choir to success in Lovat and Tullibardine in 2002, and she led the Black Isle choir to almost immediate success in their inaugural Mòd in Perth in 2022 by winning the Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy.

The Royal National Mòd said: “Everyone at An Comunn Gàidhealach is shocked and saddened by the recent death of Kirsteen MacLennan (nee Menzies). A wonderful singer. A shining light in the Gaelic choral community.”

MSP Kate Forbes said: “We were devastated to hear this news. Kirsteen was beautiful, gentle and kind, she was generous with her time and talent.

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“She touched so many lives at Dingwall Academy and across Scotland. Thinking of Jamie and the family.”

Broadcaster and singer Joy Dunlop, who conducts the Alba Choir MacLennan sang with, said: “She always had a twinkle in her eye, she and Hamish were always up for mischief.

“We’re still coming to terms with the loss of our wonderful soprano.

““Kirsteen was not only a beautiful singer, inspiring conductor and talented arranger but also a true friend to so many of us.

“Her musicality was only rivalled by the warmth and kindness that she showed to all.”

Beauly Shinty Club said it was missing their “late convert” to the sport.

In a tribute online, a spokesman said: “Her love affair with shinty became deep and strong, with Jamie proposing marriage to Kirsteen at the Cliffs of Moher, on the club trip to Ennis, County Clare in 2008.

“To prove her dedication to Beauly Shinty Club she even went through the Camanachd Association Foundation Coaching certificate and coached the u-14 team in 2022 so that Hector and his peers didn’t miss out on this important development stage.

"Kirsteen was immensely proud of both Finlay and Hector, and the representative honours both boys have achieved in their short careers, and was delighted that both boys have chosen the sport of their forebears of their own volition.”

Her funeral will take place on Saturday at St Clements Church, Dingwall from 10:30, then on to Mitchell Hill Cemetery before the wake at the British Legion, Dingwall.

Attendees are encouraged to wear a flash of tartan or a splash of pink as per Kirsteen's request. Kilts very welcome.