BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award finalists announced

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.

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For more information contact Simon Thoumire, Hands Up for Trad, Melville House, 70 Drymen Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 2RH [email protected] http://www.youngtrad.co.uk Tel 07775 854572

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’.

Young Trad is nearly here!

bbc radio ScotlandIt’s hard to believe that it is one year since the last BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award Semi-Finals. In a few hours time the semi-finalists will convene for a weekend that could change their musical lives. Throughout the weekend we’ll be rehearsing, eating and taking part in workshops on Creative Scotland, and being a self-employed musician. Everyone will be hanging out as well playing tunes and having a lovely time :-) Why not come down and support the semi-finalists? The concert is in Coulter Hall, Coulter, South Lanarkshire (about 45 minutes south of Glasgow and Edinburgh) and starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 (£6 conc) available on the door).

The semi-finalists are:

Alistair Iain Paterson – piano (Bishopton)
Edward Seaman – pipes, whistle (Edinburgh)
Graham MacKenzie – fiddle (Inverness)
Ian Smith – accordion (Tiree)
Jack Badcock – song, guitar (Edinburgh)
Kirsty Law – song (Borders)
Kirsty Watt – song (Isle of Lewis)
Mhairi Marwick – fiddle (Fochabers)
Neil Ewart – fiddle (Kilchoan)
Pippa Reid-Foster – clarsach (Kilcreggan)
Robyn Stapleton – Song (Stranraer)
Suzanne Houston – piano, song (Golspie)

What makes a great musician?

20130917-093725.jpgWhat makes a great musician? Is it sparkling technique or an ability to play slow airs like Aly Bain? Or is it someone who can play a mixture of styles with ease and fit into any situation? Is experience key – can a young musician be great?

As we head into the semi-finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award on the 5th October these are the thoughts that our judges have to make as they listen to the young musicians. They then have to argue their points to the other 5 judges who more than likely will have their own opinions on what they’ve just heard.

Judging the Young Trad Award is a really difficult job and the judging sessions after the semi-finals are finished are getting longer and longer. What usually happens is that each judge comes in with their top 6 from the night which is then discussed. If they are lucky they will agree on 2 or 3 finalists. Then the discussion really begins. It is amazing how as a judge you go into the ‘chamber’ thinking that your fellow judges must see things your way because the result is obvious (to you). So many times your jaw drops at what other judges say!

The judges for the 2014 Semis are:

Dave Francis
Brian Miller
Duncan Lyle
Kristan Harvey
Kirsten Smith, BBC Producer
Steven Blake

Good luck!

If you would like to come along to the semi-finals of the Young Trad Award and make your own mind up it’s on Saturday 5th October at 7.30pm start. Tickets are £8 (£6 concessions) available online or at the door.

Hannah Dickson presented with David Roberts Memorial Plate

Emma & Hannah Dickson

Hannah DicksonIn 2006 Hands Up for Trad announced the David Roberts Memorial Plate in memory of David Roberts, an early supporter of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award. The Award celebrates young traditional musicians in the Lanarkshire area who are doing really well and making a name for themselves. In 2013 we are very happy to present this award to Hannah Dickson of Dolphinton near Biggar.

Hannah will be presented with her award at the semi-finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award in Coulter Hall, Coulter on Saturday 5th October. At this concert musicians from all over Scotland (aged between 16 and 27) will compete for a place in the Young Trad finals which take place in Glasgow in January 2014.

Hannah Dickson started playing fiddle was aged seven under the tutelage of Angus Ramsay. She attended the RSAMD junior academy, becoming a member of the orchestra and choir, and attaining a Grade 5 theory.  She is a member of the popular youth band KODA run by her dad Keith Dickson and enjoys playing gigs with the band including one at T in the Park! Hannah has also performed at several traditional music festivals including NAAFC festival, Perth Accordion Festival, Auchtermuchty Festival and the Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival. She also performs regularly at Biggar Accordion and Fiddle Club. She is currently tutored by Gill Simpson and working towards achieving a Grade 8 violin. At weekends, she enjoys working as an assistant at Edinburgh Young Musicians.

If you would like attend the semi-finals of BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award you can buy tickets here http://projects.scottishcultureonline.com/youngtrad/events/bbc-radio-scotland-young-traditional-musician-award-semi-finals-concert/

For more information on David Roberts Memorial Plate please visit http://www.scottishcultureonline.com/groups/david-roberts-memorial-plate/

For more information on Hands Up for Trad and their projects please visit http://www.scottishcultureonline.com/hands-up-for-trad/

Semi-finalists announced for BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award 2014

bbc radio ScotlandIt’s been another great year for Scottish Traditional music and the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award. More musicians are performing around the world than ever and talent is soaring amongst the musicians entering the profession.

We are very glad to announce the latest batch of semi-finalists entering the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award. As usual they range from all Scotland and show the wide range of talent our island produces. They are:

Alistair Iain Paterson – piano (Bishopton)
Edward Seaman – pipes, whistle (Edinburgh)
Graham MacKenzie – fiddle (Inverness)
Ian Smith – accordion (Tiree)
Jack Badcock – song, guitar (Edinburgh)
Kirsty Law – song (Borders)
Kirsty Watt – song (Isle of Lewis)
Mhairi Marwick – fiddle (Fochabers)
Neil Ewart – fiddle (Kilchoan)
Pippa Reid-Foster – clarsach (Kilcreggan)
Robyn Stapleton – Song (Stranraer)
Suzanne Houston – piano, song (Golspie)

Simon Thoumire, Director of Hands Up for Trad says

“Again we have another brilliant lineup of talented young musicians. The semi-finals are always a great concert showcasing Scotland’s young talent.”

The musicians will convene in Coulter Hall, Coulter, South Lanarkshire on Saturday October 5th and each perform for 10 minutes to a live audience and a panel of judges. 6 of the musicians will go through to the final at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival. The final will be broadcast live on BBC Radio Scotland.

The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award exists to promote traditional music as a career and to give the musicians the opportunity to add to their knowledge of the business. Prizes include a recording session with BBC Radio Scotland, performance at the Scots Trad Music Awards, membership of the Musicians’ Union and the TMSA, to take part in the TMSA Young Trad tour and many more opportunities come the winners way.

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More information at http://www.youngtrad.co.uk

Contact Hands Up for Trad, Melville House, 70 Drymen Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 2RH [email protected]

The Awards are now in their 14th year. The 2013 winner was Glasgow’s Paddy Callaghan

Congratulations to…

Generic babyCongratulations to Gillian Frame and Findlay Napier on the birth of their first child Lucy Grace Napier! “She is a wee star and Fin and I are over the moon!”

I was thinking – Is Lucy Grace the first Young Trad baby? Well no the first Young Trad baby  is Cammy – son of Emily Smith (2002 winner) and Jamie McLennan born in May 2013.

It’s all very exciting! Why don’t you enter the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award and you could have your first child in 10 years time :-)

The very first Young Trad Award

Original Young Trad logo

Original Young Trad logo designed by Sarah McFadyen

I remember the very first Young Scottish Traditional Musician Award well. Myself, Clare McLaughlin and Elspeth Cowie had got together to discuss the possibility of starting an award that would help young Scottish musicians become professional musicians.

Enter the 2014 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award

I had just been a judge at the Radio 2 Young Folk Awards which was also maybe in its first or second year and I really loved the format of it. Basically a semi-finals where all the musicians get together, hang out, learn some things, play a concert (where they’re judged with 6 musicians getting through to the final but not being told) and come back to the hostel for a big party. The reason we didn’t just join up with the Radio 2 Young Folk Award was because their upper age limit was 20 and for a musician to make a decision about becoming professional we felt the upper age limit should be 25.

We booked Wiston Lodge for the semi-finals, held a meeting with Colin Hynd and Celtic Connections to host the final (to which they were amazing about – and still are) and then set out to tell folks all about the opportunity that had arisen.

As is well documented the winner January 2001 was Gillian Frame and I remember being in a bar on Glasgow’s High Street at Finlay MacDonald’s Pressed for Time album launch and saying to Gillian “We’ve started a new Young Trad Award would you like to enter?”. We did this with lots of young musicians come October 2000 we had 12 semi-finalists. We asked professional musicians to come along and share their experiences with the youngsters and Malcolm Stitt and Dave Milligan were our first accompanists.

The semi-finals concert was held at Biggar Corn Exchange and the six musicians –   fiddler Patsy Reid, flautist Kevin O’Neill, piper and accordionist Mairearad Green, Scots singer Steve Byrne, fiddler Gillian Frame and banjo player Celine Donohue made it through to the finals of January 2001.

It’s amazing to think we are now in the 14th year. We’ve met so many brilliant young musicians over the years and hope to meet lots more!! Don’t forget to enter this years BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award.