Renewing the Tradition, devised by Hands Up For Trad as part of their ongoing Scotland Sings activities began in 2015 with a vision to remember and celebrate Robert Burns’ work within the context of Scotland’s choral and harmony singing network. Over the next four years some of Scotland’s most prominent traditional songwriters were commissioned to look at Robert Burns’ life and work, take inspiration from it and write a fresh, new contemporary song that would carry it into the 21 st century.
Alongside this, Scotland Sings also ran a commissioning programme to create simple, contemporary Gaelic songs for harmony singing; songs that would be straightforward for people approaching the language for the ﬁrst time.
These songs were then taught in workshops in 5 chosen areas of Scotland: Argyll & Bute, Ayrshire, Highlands, Perth & Kinross and Scottish Borders. Each area had one workshop each year where the new Burns songs and Gaelic songs were taught and another workshop where the songs were chosen by the workshop leader. These workshops had the function of keeping the momentum of the project going and continuing to build a strong singing community in each area.