Congratulations to Fiona McNeill’s Celtic & Folk Fusions radio show who have been nominated in Trad Music in the Media sponsored by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2020. Vote here! Vote now!
We asked Fiona McNeill of Fiona McNeill’s Celtic & Folk Fusions radio show the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
Fiona McNeill –
Radio presenter, musician, voiceover artist and sound designer.
I have been producing and presenting my radio programme Celtic & Folk Fusions for over 7 years, which airs on 4 different stations on a Tuesday evening 6-8pm (UK time) – Celtic Music Radio, Dunoon Community Radio, TD1 Radio and River Radio.
I love interacting with my listeners who are located all over the globe by bringing them the best (in my opinion) celtic and folk music from all over the world, especially Scotland.
At the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, I set up my own studio in the garage to carry on broadcasting Celtic & Folk Fusions in order to help people forget what a mess the world was in.
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
I am involved in Scottish music because I absolutely love it and its many forms – from Niteworks to Andy Stewart!
I’m also a member of Scottish folk rock band Reely Jiggered as their guitarist and front woman, bringing Scottish music to many parts of the world and at home festivals, such as headlining Eden festival 2019 and festivals abroad in Pakistan, Japan, Mexico, Germany and Italy.
From a young age, I’ve always had a passion for Scottish music as my granddad was a world champion piper. He taught me folk tunes and Scottish trad music.
Scottish music is ever evolving and I want to share it with as many people as possible through my radio programme.
Any particular career highlights?
I was awarded the Bronze Female Presenter of the Year at the Community Radio Awards 2019 in Barry, Wales. I was the only Scottish radio presenter nominated in that category.
Fiona McNeill’s Celtic & Folk Fusions was also shortlisted in the Community Radio Awards 2019 for my Islay Whisky festival Feis Ile 2 hour radio documentary special – I interviewed Ciaran Ryan from Dallahan, Felipe from Rhythm n Booze Project (formerly The Blueswater), Trail West, The Coaltown Daisies, tourists, local Islay people and distillery workers in order to bring a bit of the Feis and Scotland to my listeners.
Throughout my broadcasting years, I have had the pleasure of interviewing Duncan Chisholm, Donald Shaw, Skerryvore, Brendan Monaghan, the JSD Band and Donnie Munro to name but a few.
Over lockdown, I set up a studio in my garage to carry on broadcasting my radio programme. I was able to interview artists based in Scotland and abroad – Jamie McGeechan in St Louie (American Scottish Foundation/ Little Fire Music), Scottish born Stewart Bell in Canada (Hewson Gray), John Condron from Kilmacolm… all via phone link.
You can also hear me on the telly – I’m very proud to say that I am the first female to voice the opener of BBC Scotland’s Sportscene TV programme in early 2020.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future include –
Bringing my listeners the best celtic and folk music and to promote up and coming bands and artists via Fiona McNeill’s Celtic & Folk Fusions on a bigger platform and to expand my listener reach.
There is a wealth of talent within Scotland and abroad which remains undiscovered.
Therefore, I want to be a major force within the music industry, promoting and uncovering these bands, up and coming talent and artists with and without representation.
The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, Na Trads 2020, will be broadcast on BBC ALBA on 12th December 2020 at 9pm where the award winners will be announced along with specially recorded music performances. During the day on Saturday the 12th, you will be able to watch from 1pm til 9pm a day of live Scottish trad music including Kinnaris Quintet, Dallahan, Inyal, Paul McKenna Band, Ryan Young and Jenn Butterworth and many more here https://youtu.be/amByvVzxl5E. Keep up to date with all the latest information by joining the Hands Up for Trad newsletter at https://handsup.link/Newsletter or use the hashtags #natrads #HUFTonline.
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