Congratulations to Rebecca Hill who has been nominated in Up and Coming Artist of the Year sponsored by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2020. Vote here! Vote now!
We asked Rebecca Hill the following questions.
Tell us about yourself
I am lever harpist from the West Coast of Scotland. My musical interest was initially sparked at the local Fèis then in 2013 I was drawn to Glasgow’s vibrant folk scene. In 2017 I graduated with a First-Class Honours degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Traditional Music programme. I released my debut EP ‘The Airing’ at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections 2020.
“The Airing is an essay of musical focus and empathy between musicians and respectively their instruments. Lovely.” Allan Wilkinson, Northern Sky
Why are you involved in Scottish music?
From a young age I was encouraged to participate in local Ceilidh events that were regularly organised by my Great Uncle and Aunty, Neil and Sheila Sinclair as well as my cousin Sileas Sinclair. Constant encouragement from them coupled with a very strong sense of community linked to Traditional music meant that my interest was captured from a young age.
Another influential person was my first teacher Toni Russell who encouraged a wave of young harpists at the time to take up individual and ensemble lessons. Coming from Oban I was also inspired by many of the other artists from the local and surrounding area who were playing professionally.
Any particular career highlights?
Back in 2016 I was a semi-finalist of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award alongside fiddler Charlie Stewart. I was fortunate enough to reach the finals of the Princess Margaret of the Isles Senior Clàrsach Competition in 2019 and the semi-finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2020.
Last Summer I decided to release some of my own music in the form of an EP ‘The Airing’ which was launched at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival 2020 in the Tron Theatre. This EP showcased my mix of influences from my upbringing around Traditional music in the West Coast of Scotland to my compositional styles developed during my time in Glasgow. For the launch I joined forces with the aforementioned Stewart on fiddle, fiddle/mandolin player Graham Rorie and pianist Joseph Peach. This was a special evening for me to be a part of, not only to mark the release of the EP but also to be a part an evening that was showcasing the harp in particular with sets from Sarah McNeil and Gillian Fleetwood as well.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m excited to continue writing, playing and collaborating as much as this year will allow. I’ve been working on some new compositions that I look forward to releasing in the near future!
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.
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