Three of Scotland’s oldest and most significant sporting and cultural bodies are coming together to offer a major set of prizes for an original musical competition marking the absence of shinty from this summer’s sporting calendar and looking forward to the return of play.
Led by the Royal Celtic Society (RCS), which is this year celebrating its 200th anniversary, and in partnership with the Glasgow Celtic Society and shinty’s governing body the Camanachd Association, supported by Tulloch Homes, the competition is offering three prizes totalling £1,500 for an individual to compose an original competition.
The RCS had originally intended that the winner of the competition could have performed at this year’s Camanachd Cup Final at the post-match Final Fling. That game has recently been postponed until next year, but the intention now is to have a musical shoot-out on that very date in September 2020, between the three best entrants, who will then share the prizes. The winner will get £750, second place £500 and third place £250.
Speaking on behalf of the RCS, Chairman Alan Hay said: “We were all very keen to find a way of answering the challenge of the postponement of this year’s show-piece shinty event and the RCS did not want to lose the opportunity of marking our 200th year as we would have wished. We have come up with a unique collaboration which will offer the country’s musicians a significant challenge with a major prize and using all the technology at our disposal, we believe we have come up with a format which will appeal to everyone and have a dramatic conclusion.”
Individual musicians are being asked to submit their compositions, by recording them on their phones or cameras, to a selection panel led by award-winning musician Gary Innes of Mànran, the BBC Scotland Take the Floor presenter and former shinty captain of Scotland. He said: “This competition, with such substantial prizes, comes at a hugely important time for musicians. Most are effectively redundant with public events have being cancelled for the foreseeable future. They will be very interested in entering a prestigious competition which has originality and a final performance at its core. We want the entrants to mark the fact that there will unfortunately be no shinty season this year, but that, as it has done in the past, shinty will rise to the challenge and be at the front of our minds in the not too distant future.”
Gary will be joined on the panel by representatives of the Glasgow Celtic Society and the Camanachd Association, who will be represented by Claire Delaney of Lochaber Camanachd.
Glasgow Celtic Society President Donald Fletcher said: “The Glasgow Celtic Society are delighted to play a part in such a prestigious and important competition in celebration of our culture. While the Society in modern times has concentrated on the promotion of the game of shinty, its origins lie in the preservation and promotion of the Language, Literature, Music, Poetry, Antiquities and Athletic games of the Highlanders, it is fitting in this year when we cannot host what would be the 116th Scottish Sea Farms Glasgow Celtic Society Challenge Cup Final, we are able to support this instead.”
The Camanachd Association, which has re-scheduled the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final for Kingussie in September 2021, has also welcomed he competition. President Keith Loades said: “The three bodies involved in this have been cumulatively supporting cultural and sporting events throughout Scotland for nine years short of 500. Music and sport and the Gaelic language have been intertwined and represented in our work over all these years and we are sure this will be reflected in the quality of entry we will see and hear. We may not be getting the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final we wanted on September 19, but we will at least now have a musical final to look forward to and we wish the entrants all the best in their endeavours.”
Issued by the RCS, CA, GCS on Wednesday June 10
For further information about this News Release and the competition please contact Hugh Dan MacLennan, at email@example.com or on 07515287040 Interviewees in Gaelic and English are available and images can be supplied.
2020 Shinty composition competition
Guidance and rules for entrants
1 The competition will be for a solo artist to compose an original piece of music which marks the current situation of no shinty being played for this season; the fact this has happened only twice before, during WWI and WWII; and reflects a sense of optimism for renewal of the game in coming year(s).
2 The composition should be between 5 and 10 minutes long and entrants should offer a description of the piece of no more than 100 words.
- Entrants will have 8 weeks to compose the tune and submit a phone recording on video to RCS for assessment (details will be posted on the organisations’ respective websites).
- The three best tunes will be chosen by the judging panel, and the composers invited to a live play-off (on-line unless circumstances change) to decide the winner and he prizes.
- The selection of finalists would be made by a panel comprising RCS representative, Gary Innes (Chair), Claire Delaney, Lochaber Camanachd Club and a representative of the Glasgow Celtic Society.
- The winner will undertake to perform the piece live in the future at an event or in circumstances to be agreed with RCS such as a shinty related dance/event or some other suitable traditional music event.
Planned Timetable planned:
News Release. Wednesday June 10
Entries to be in to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, August 5
Selection to be done by Wednesday August 26
Finalists announced Friday August 28
Final shoot to be held on Saturday, September 19 (arrangements to be confirmed)
For further information about the competition, or images, please contact Hugh Dan MacLennan, at email@example.com or on 07515287040