Back in the day…

I’m just thinking back to when I was 19. I had gone through my teenage years telling everyone I was going to be a professional musician and everyone smiled and said I would enjoy working in a record shop! I hadn’t had too many opportunities to hang out with similar minded musicians (outside the Accordion Clubs) and it wasn’t really until I was 18 when I entered the BBC Radio 2 Young Tradition Award that I met other like minded musicians. I’m sure they were all English as well. I can’t remember any other Scots there in the first year of the competition.

Do you know anyone who would like to enter the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award? Great opportunities could lie ahead!!

I entered the BBC Radio 2 Young Traditional Award twice. I lost the first time to Rothbury accordionist Lynn Tocker but met guitarist Ian Carr so I reckon I really won! I did win the second year in 1989 (aged 19) complete with a pair of brown and tan spats shoes. I remember walking the next day with piper Becky Taylor through London with this massive brown plate (which I got for winning) thinking could they have not just given me a quaich or even better a cheque…

After this I went straight to university (I had been working for three years at Heriot Watt University) to study Physics but unfortunately my concentration was gone. I had had a taste of the music and I wanted more. I also had a little of cash in my pocket and was already buying expensive jackets… I was also about to get a phone call from Jim Sutherland to come down the new Tron pub which would change my life forever…

Simon Thoumire

BBC Radio Scotland Young Trad Award 2014 – Now Open. Get Your Entries In!

Picture: Donald MacLeod, The Scotsman

The 14th BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award launches today! We’re looking for young traditional musicians and singers who love to perform. All you have do is to complete our application form, send in a 10 minute recording of your playing and singing, a biography, and a paragraph explaining your commitment to a career in traditional music. Click on this link to download an application form

The BBC Radio Scotland Young Trad Award launched in 2000 and the inaugural winner was Gillian Frame. Since then the semi-finals have remained in South Lanarkshire and the finals at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival. The 2013 winner was Glasgow’s Paddy Callaghan who has had a busy year so far. Read about all our previous BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award winners.

Below is a the 2014 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Award 2014 leaflet. Please download it and share it amongst your friends and colleagues.

BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award 2014 leaflet

Full Time Apprenticeship Opportunity at Fèis Rois

Fèis Rois is offering an exciting opportunity for a young person aged 16 – 20 to join its team as a Project Co-ordinator.

The successful candidate will be offered a 1-year full-time contract at Fèis Rois, as well as having the opportunity to work towards a nationally recognised qualification in Community Arts Management through the Creative Apprenticeship scheme.

The apprentice will have the opportunity to work on a number of Fèis Rois projects, including residential courses, the Ceilidh Trail and the national Fèis Rois schools programme.

The successful candidate will also receive numerous professional development opportunities, including:
- Mentoring from experienced members of the Fèis Rois staff team;
- First aid and child protection training from external providers;
- In-house CPD opportunities, including social networking, IT, and creative courses.

We are looking for someone who is passionate about the arts and who has an interest in traditional music. You will have excellent communication and organisational skills and the ability to work as part of a small team.

Salary: £8,500 – £12,500
Term: Fixed Term (One Year)
Deadline: Friday 31st May 2013

For more information and an application form, please visit