Congratulations to Sutherland Sessions who have been nominated in Club of the Year sponsored by Trac Scotland in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2019. Vote here! Vote now!
We asked Myra Morrison of Sutherland Sessions the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
Sutherland Sessions was set up in 2016 by a small and enthusiastic group of people who share a passion for live traditional music. The idea was to attract to our area some of the great musicians who tour nationally; to create events which would bring together people in remote communities and to provide opportunities for young local musicians to gain performance experience.
So far, Sutherland Sessions has hosted over 50 live performances, welcoming fantastic musicians from all over Scotland and beyond, as well as showcasing a plethora of up and coming local talent.
The area covered by Sutherland Sessions is vast and events are spread over a variety of venues throughout East and Central Sutherland, to ensure that we make our events as accessible as we can. So far, a total of sixteen different venues have been used, which is quite a challenge for our patient light and sound man.
Sutherland Sessions has had great support from local communities from the outset and has established a regular audience – some of whom are so committed that they travel many miles to come to gigs, arrive early to help and stay late to stack chairs and wash dishes!
At least one event takes place each month, usually a concert, but sometimes a ceilidh, work-shop or session. The home baking is already legendary!
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
Sutherland Sessions believes very strongly that Scottish music belongs to the people and aims to provide easier access for all and encourage its continuation and development.
Any particular career highlights?
There have been many highlights including two weekend mini-festivals: The Great Big Easter Weekend. Another huge success was a one day workshop for primary children in Gaelic song, whistle and fiddle led by talented committee members. The annual home-grown Old New Year Ceilidh is now a fixture on the local trad music calendar. And, of course, there have been all the excellent gigs by a veritable feast of bands, as well as duos and solo performers. We have of course had some challenges as we've learnt the ropes – blown fuses, exploding smoke machines and blizzards – but our excellent guest musicians and audiences have coped admirably with all of these!
What are your plans for the future?
Sutherland Sessions recently secured funding to provide workshops and music sessions by visiting musicians in local schools and care homes, in keeping with our belief that traditional music should be readily available to all. This funding will also support music and song evening classes in a variety of locations throughout the winter.
We will programme gigs, ceilidhs, house concerts and sessions over the coming year, and we're planning at least one small festival weekend, aiming to engage a wider audience and have a positive impact on local communities and businesses.
In essence, Sutherland Sessions looks forward to an energetic, inclusive and bright future!
Read more about Sutherland Sessions
If you wish to attend the final ceremony, tickets are are priced £25 (+ Booking Fee), and Concessions are available. To book please call Aberdeen Music Hall Box Office on 01224 641122, or visit: https://www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/whats-on/all-shows/the-mg-alba-scots-trad-music-awards/2734. Bands performing on Saturday 7th December include Skerryvore, Session A9, Benedict Morris (BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award Winner 2019), Heisk, Aberdeenshire Youth Band, Sian, Robyn Stapleton, Mairi Campbell and the Pendulum Band, Susan MacFadyen Scottish Dance Band and more to be announced. There will also be a late night ceilidh after the Awards till 1am.
If you would like to support Hands Up for Trad in their work with Scottish trad music and musicians please consider supporting our Patreon campaign. We have 3 tiers starting at $1 a month and everything helps support us in our work. Read more at www.patreon.com/handsupfortrad