Eight of Scotland’s best young folk musicians are touring the country over the next three months to showcase the talent of the finalists and winner of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Competition (2015). Organised by the Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland (TMSA), the tour kicks off in Helensburgh on Thursday 6th October.
The winner of the 2015 competition was Claire Hastings, from Dumfries. Claire’s debut solo album, Between River and Railway, was released in April this year (read our review here) and she’s looking forward to the tour’s five live dates…
“We all get to play in our home towns so not only do we get to visit some of our old stomping grounds we get to show off the local sights to fellow finalists. No doubt there will be some friendly competition to see whose town has the best crowd…oh and the best place to eat!”
In addition to Claire Hastings, the finalists taking part in the tour are:
Shetland fiddler Gemma Donald – winner of every major fiddle competition in Scotland
Clarsach player Heather Downie from Dunblane. With Claire Hastings, Heather is a member of the successful trad quartet Top Floor Taivers.
Cardross singer/songwriter Ainsley Hamill, who recorded a special session for Folk Radio UK ahead of the 2015 MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards (Listen to it here)
Fiddler/piper Séamus Ó’Baioghill, fresh from the very best musical upbringing in the West Coast Gaelic Highland tradition on Skye.
Winner of BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2014, Robyn Stapleton. Robyn’s debut album, Fickle Fortune (Read our review here) has received outstanding reviews and she is looking forward to recording her second album in the year ahead.
Also from Cardross, fiddler Ryan Young is not only a 2015 and 2016 finalist, he has twice been a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards.
This feast of trad talent will be accompanied by the wonderful Anna Massie, best known for her work with Blazin’ Fiddles and as a duo with Mairearad Green.
Expect some brand new material written and composed by these fantastic young musicians, as well as some innovative arrangements of traditional tunes, all of which feature on the album which will be released on the night of the first tour date. The album was recorded at Castlesound Studios, East Lothian with musical direction from renowned composer, singer and harpist Corrina Hewat.
This year sees the 50th anniversary of The TMSA, an organisation whose members seek to foster and promote Scotland’s unique musical traditions. TMSA Convener Fiona Campbell said:
“We are delighted to once again showcase some of the brightest stars in Scotland’s traditional music scene and I continue to be impressed with how such diverse artists work so well together. The album has an amazing range of material which brings out the talents of each of the finalists as well as capturing the spirit of the group so ably coached by Corrina Hewat and Anna Massie. I have no doubt the live performances will wow audiences across Scotland.”
Tour dates & locations
Thursday 6 October – The Tower, Helensburgh www.thetoweronline.com
Wednesday 23 November – Cresset Hall, Dumfries www.locharthur.org.uk
Monday 5 December – Mareel, Shetland www.mareel.org
Tuesday 13 December – SEALL at Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Skye www.seall.co.uk
Wednesday 21 December – Victoria Halls, Dunblane www.victoriahalldunblane.com
For tickets, or further information on the tour, visit www.tmsa.org.uk or contact the TMSA national office, at email@example.com or tel: 0792 253 3915.
The tour has been supported through grants from The Robertson Trust, The National Lottery, and Creative Scotland.