It was another great night in Coulter at the semi-finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award. Twelve young musicians from Skye to the Borders all performed fantastically well trying to get through to the finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award on February 2nd 2014 at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival. The six finalists are:
Alistair Iain Paterson – piano (Bishopton)
Ian Smith – accordion (Tiree)
Jack Badcock – guitar, song (Edinburgh)
Mhairi Marwick – fiddle (Fochabers)
Neil Ewart – fiddle (Kilchoan)
Robyn Stapleton – Scots song (Stranraer)
All six musicians (more information below) will now head to Glasgow for a weekend of workshops and rehearsing getting ready to perform at the City Halls at 5pm on the 2nd February 2014. The finals will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Scotland and will go out on TV in days after 2nd February on BBC ALBA. The lucky winner will get lots of performance opportunities in 2014 including performance at the Scots Trad Music Awards and various festivals. All the finalists will also take part in the TMSA Young Trad Tour.
More information on the finalists.
Jack Badcock (Edinburgh) song, guitar
Jack Badcock is a singer and guitarist living in Edinburgh as a self employed musician. Born in Dublin, he spent the first ten years of his life in Kilkenny, Ireland before moving to Leeds where he developed an interest in traditional music. After moving to Edinburgh, Jack immersed himself in the Scottish and Irish session scene and now performs regularly with various musicians and bands.
Neil Ewart (Kilchoan) fiddle
Neil from Ardnamurchan was taught from an early age where he competed in the local and national mods. At 14 Neil was accepted into the National Centre of Excellence in traditional music in Plockton, where he studied for 4 years. Neil moved to Glasgow not long after, where he studied music at Strathclyde University. Neil currently plays with Iain Copeland’s Sketch and the Jim Jam ceilidh band, he has also made appearances over the years with Skippinish and Skerryvore.
Mhairi Marwick (Fochabers) – fiddle
Having grown up immersed in the culture of Scottish Traditional Music, Mhairi was hugely inspired to play the fiddle. Her first teacher was James Alexander MBE who was, and still is, a great influence and inspiration. Playing with the Fochabers Fiddlers directed by James widened and developed her tradi- tional style. Mhairi has just received a First Class Honours in BA Applied Music at Strathclyde Univer- sity and was taught by Alistair McCulloch throughout her degree.
Alistair Iain Paterson (Bishopton) – piano
Alistair is a piper and pianist from Bishopton. He recently graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was fortunate to be awarded three scholarships during his studies, notably the Martyn Bennett Memorial Award in 2012. His tutors at RCS were Mary McCarthy and James Ross, but it was the playing of his Gran, Nan Maciver, that first sparked an interest in traditional music. Alistair plays with the folk band ‘Barluath’, winners of the Danny Kyle Open Stage at Celtic Connections in 2012. He has recently performed solo at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and toured with the National Theatre of Scotland production “A Little Bird Blown off Course”, based on the life of eminent folklorist Margaret Fay Shaw.
Robyn Stapleton (Stranraer) – Scots Song
Robyn graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she studied on the Scottish Music course, specialising in Scots song with tutors Gordeanna McCulloch, Rod Paterson and Anne Neilson. Whilst studying for her degree, Robyn spent a year as an exchange at the University of Limerick. There she studied traditional Irish music, with singing lessons from Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh. Some of her recent performances have included singing for the Prince of Wales at Dumfries House and an appear- ance on BBC Scotland’s ‘Take the Floor’ with Robbie Shepherd. Robyn is currently pursuing a career in singing in both performance and community music.
Ian Smith (Tiree) accordion
Ian Smith is from the Isle of Tiree in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. He began learning the accordion at the age of five under the tuition of Gordon Connel and is currently studying on the BA Scottish Music Course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he receives tuition from renowned dance band leader Ian Muir. He is also a founder member of the well known ceilidh band Trail West, who are in high demand throughout the UK and who have just released their highly anticipated debut album ‘One That Got Away’.