Congratulations to The Arc Sessions who have been nominated in Club of the Year sponsored by Trac Scotland in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2017. Vote now!
We asked Mhairi Marwick of The Arc Sessions the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
I was brought up on a farm just outside Fochabers in the Moray area. When I was younger I remember going along to lots of amazing concerts in the Fochabers Institute. It was so inspirational seeing the top Scottish folk musicians playing at our local hall. Looking back, this played a big part towards me pursing a career in music. There have not been regular gigs in Fochabers for years now and I thought I would love to do something about it!
So in 2016, I created ‘The Arc Sessions’, with the aim of bringing some of the best live music acts to Fochabers, showcasing the incredible talent there is in this country. This year we have been delighted to welcome Blazin Fiddles, Old Blind Dogs, Skipinnish, Daimh, Phil Cunningham & Aly Bain, Session A9 and Emily Smith.
A key element of The Arc Sessions, is showcasing local talent and giving young and old a platform to perform as support acts. Thank you to Christy Scott, Fochabers Fiddle Week, Speyfest’s Young Entertainer of the Year Finalists 2016, The Fochabers Fiddlers, Erkia & Briony Stewart, Rosie Winchester, The Rowies and Rockset Choir for providing brilliant music to open the concerts.
I have a huge passion to promote Scottish music to people of all ages and The Arc Sessions provides an exciting opportunity for people of the community to come and see the best of Scotland’s live music on their doorstep.
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
I love playing, teaching and listening to Scottish music and feel so passionate about promoting what’s happening in todays scene. The scene is so vibrant and full of exciting opportunities that I have been fortunate enough to experience and be part of. One particular aspect that I really enjoy is sharing music with other generations and inspiring them for the future.
Any particular career highlights?
Every Arc Sessions gig has been a highlight thanks to the incredible bands/musicians who have performed for us. One particular highlight this year was when Skipinnish played back in May. This was a really special night as local hero and fiddle teacher James Alexander MBE was to be presented with an award from Simon Thourmire; induction into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. To mark the occasion, I asked lots of past pupils of James’ to come together to celebrate his great achievement. Over 60 Fochabers Fiddlers came back to play at the Fochabers Institute that night to surprise James and the audience, some traveling as far as London to be there. It was a brilliant night with a packed out hall of around 400 people and it was a really special night that everyone in attendance will not forget!
What are your plans for the future?
I absolutely love every element of running and organising The Arc Sessions with help from an amazingly dedicated and passionate team. It’s great to bring the community together to collaborate on developing Scotland’s rich heritage of music. I would love The Arc Sessions to continue to grow and inspire other locals in the Moray area to keep Scottish music alive. I hope we can continue to bring lots of incredible bands and musicians to play and hope to give them a great experience of my hometown.
If you would like to come along to the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards in Paisley’s Lagoon Centre call 0300 300 1210 or to buy online visit www.paisley2021.co.uk/events/the-mg-alba-scots-trad-music-awards. Tickets can also be purchased via Paisley Arts Centre. Bands performing on Saturday 2nd December include Elephant Sessions, The Shee Big Band, Siobhan Miller, Tidelines, Paisley Fèis, Snuffbox, The Seamus O’Sullivan Experience, Lori Watson, Jenna Reid and Harris Playfair, Songs of Bàrd Phàislig (featuring Gillebrìde MacIlleMhaoil, Sìneag MacIntyre, Màiri NicAonghais, Seonaidh MacIntyre, Ewan MacPherson, Mhairi Hall, Màiri Nic a Mhaoilein and more to be announced. There will also be a late night ceilidh after the Awards till 1am.