Sheena Wellington was born in Dundee into a family of singers and factory weavers. Her repertoire covers everything from Burns to ballads to the best of contemporary songwriting, drawing from the rich Scottish tradition passed from musician to musician through the ages.
A passionate and articulate advocate for traditional music, she has played a leading role in the fight for recognition, status and improved funding for Scotland’s traditional arts.
“..she can lay fair claim to being chiefly responsible for the seriousness with which her branch of the arts is now taken …” The Herald (Glasgow)
Honours bestowed on her for her work include Doctorates from the Universities of St Andrews (2000) and Dundee (2006)) and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama (2007), The Heritage Society of Scotland’s award for her outstanding contribution to Scotland’s culture, the UK-wide Association of Speakers Clubs Speaker of the Year 2001 and the coveted Herald Archangel for her Edinburgh International Festival’s series of traditional song programmes “Work, Sex and Drink”.
She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, an Honorary Life Member and Patron of the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (TMSA), Vice-President of the Voluntary Arts Network and Patron of Voluntary Arts Scotland, Patron of Lung Ha’s Theatre Company and is a trustee of the Scottish Arts Trust.
Sheena was made an Honorary President of Greenock Burns Club (The Mother Club) in January 2006, when she became the first woman in the Club’s 204 year history to be invited to give The Immortal Memory.
In November 2009 she was installed in the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame joining such luminaries as Jimmy Shand, Aly Bain, the Corries and Sheila Stewart.