A vibrant and talented cast of nominees have been announced for the 21st MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards, with over 110 artists and organisations in the running across 22 categories, showcasing the abundance of talent in Scotland’s traditional music scene.
Fans of the genre can vote now for who they think deserves to take home each coveted prize, with the winners announced at the annual glittering award ceremony at Caird Hall in Dundee on Saturday 2nd December 2023.
Celebrating its 21st edition this year, the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards has grown steadily over the past two decades to reflect the flourishing tapestry of Scotland’s traditional music scene.
With the genre experiencing an impressive resurgence, reaching wider audiences with new festivals and events popping up year after year, the awards – organised by Scotland’s traditional culture, music and arts organisation Hands Up For Trad – stand as a testament to the trad scene’s enduring appeal.
From new history-making events and festivals to the very best trad bands and composers in the country, the successful nominees represent the past, present and future of Scotland’s traditional music scene and are located right across the length and breadth of the country.
Voting opens today and closes on Sunday 19th November. Votes can be cast at www.scotstradmusicawards.com.
The nominees are:
Album of the Year, sponsored by Birnam CD
- Dialogues by Su-a Lee
- Awakening by Ìmar
- Haar by Lauren MacColl
- DIAD by Tim Edey & Ross Ainslie
- Tempus by Skerryvore
- Decemberwell Decade by Mike Vass
- Fàs by Breabach
- Dusk Moon by Rura
- I See A World by Peatbog Faeries
- Black Cuillin by Duncan Chisholm
Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year, sponsored by Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland
Club of the Year
Community Project of the Year, sponsored by Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland
- Fèis Rois Ceilidh Trail
- The TAM Sessions – Claire Gullan and Kirstie McLanaghan
- A Tune For The Foodbank, Inverness
- School of Dàimh at the Arisaig Hotel
- Angus Mackenzie / Eilean a’ Cheòl
- Mull Music Makers
- Lismore Dance Band
Composer of the Year, sponsored by PRS for Music
Event of the Year, sponsored by VisitScotland
- Orkney Folk Festival
- Hoolie in the Hydro
- Eilean Dorcha Festival (EDF)
- NYC Tartan Day
- Glasgow Fèis
- The Reeling, Glasgow
Gaelic Singer of the Year, sponsored by Highland Society of London
Live Act of the Year, sponsored by Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust
Music Tutor of the Year, sponsored by Creative Scotland Youth Music Initiative
Musician of the Year, sponsored by University of the Highlands and Islands
Original Work of the Year, sponsored Musicians’ Union
- The Hearth by Tom Oakes
- Quarterdays by Gavin Marwick
- Rose Window by Grace Stewart-Skinner (Commission for Spirit:360)
- The Swim by Jeneric (Jenn Austin and Eric Linklater)
- The Clearances Again by Donald Francis MacNeil and Skipinnish
Scottish Dance Band of the Year, sponsored by National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs
Scottish Folk Band of the Year, sponsored by Threads of Sound
Scottish Pipe Band of the Year, sponsored by National Piping Centre
- The Peoples Ford Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band
- Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band
- Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band
Trad Music in the Media, sponsored by Glasgow Caledonian University
- Craig Irving’s Guitar Instrumentals
- Gary West’s Enjoy Your Piping Podcast
- Deirdre Graham’s Gaelic Song Stories Podcast
- Fiona McNeill’s Celtic and Folk Fusions
- Travelling Folk, BBC Radio Scotland
Up and Coming Artist of the Year, sponsored by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- The Shands
- Donald and Peigi Barker
- Lucie Hendry
- Elie McLaren and Ciar Milne
- The Madeleine Stewart Trio
Venue of the Year
A raft of industry awards will also recognise individuals and organisations which support the creative pipeline of the sector. Those finalists are:
Traditional Music Enabler
- Lisa Whytock, Active Events / Showcase Scotland
- Craig Corse, CCM Live
- David Francis, Traditional Music Forum
- Mhari McLeman, Shetland Folk Festival
- Moray Munro, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh
- Stirling Tolbooth Technical Team
- Gary at the Ceilidh Place
- Mike Adkins, An Lanntair
Sue Wilson New Writer Award, sponsored by Songlines Magazine
A number of special prizes will also be awarded on the night, selected by a panel of esteemed industry judges, for services to traditional music and culture.
John Urquhart will receive the Services to Gaelic Award, sponsored by Bòrd na Gàidhlig; Donald Smith will be presented with The Hamish Henderson Services to Traditional Music Award, while Frieda Morrison will receive The Janet Paisley Services to Scots Language Award, sponsored by Creative Scotland.
The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards champion top Scottish traditional musicians of all genres and this year’s ceremony is set to celebrate and showcase Scotland’s flourishing music scene in style.
A host of incredible performances will delight audiences on the night, from legendary Skye folk-fusion group Peatbog Faeries, acclaimed Gaelic songstress Joy Dunlop and her band, and Celtic party-starters Mànran.
Fresh from her Young Traditional Musician of the Year win, the Amy Laurenson Trio will also take to the Caird Hall stage, as well as the inimitable fiddle genius Duncan Chisholm and a host of other widely celebrated performers.
Simon Thoumire, organiser of the MG ALBA Scots Trad Awards said: “Reaching the milestone of the 21st edition of the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards is a remarkable testament to the enduring legacy of traditional music in Scotland. Over the past two decades, we’ve witnessed the industry evolve, with a surge of emerging talent and exciting new events and festivals dedicated to our rich musical heritage. It’s heartening to see the abundance of exceptional nominees this year, showcasing the immense talent within our vibrant trad music community.
“As we celebrate this significant anniversary, I am thrilled to invite all fans of the genre to cast their votes for their favourite artists. Your participation is crucial in recognising and celebrating the exceptional contributions to the traditional music scene in Scotland and there’s still time to join us for the special celebrations this December.”
Margaret Cameron, Director of Content at MG ALBA said: “The way in which the MG ALBA Scots Trad Awards has grown and developed over the past 21 years has exceeded all the expectations of everyone involved in the project, and once again this year’s nomination list is an outstanding reflection on all that is great within the Scots Trad Music scene. The Caird Hall is a tremendous venue for the awards and the MG ALBA team is delighted to be in a position to continue to sponsor the event and fund the BBC ALBA commissioned live programme showcasing the event once again.”
Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said: “Scotland’s traditional music continues to thrive because our heritage, which draws from rich indigenous languages, is passed on from generation to generation. That’s why Creative Scotland is particularly proud to sponsor the Janet Paisley Services to Scots Language Award and, through the Youth Music Initiative, the Music Tutor of the Year Award. This is the music that pulses through Scotland’s lifeblood, from community halls to international stages. As the nominations are unveiled for this year’s awards, it’s time to cast your vote for the music that matters to you.”
As well as all category sponsors and the event’s headline sponsor, this year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards are taking place with huge thanks to funding from The Northwood Trust and Dundee City Council.
The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards will take place at the Caird Hall, Dundee on Saturday 2nd December. Voting closes on Sunday 19th November 2023 and tickets for the event are on sale now, with a friends and family discount available for nominees.
To vote for the nominees you think deserve to win in their categories, visit: www.scotstradmusicawards.com.