How did you get involved in Scottish music?
I grew up surrounded by traditional music in Orkney and wanted to be a part of it! Everyone seemed to play the fiddle so I wanted to be different and was drawn to the clarsach. Playing with school fiddle group Hadhirgaan really solidified my love of Scottish music and inspired me to take it further. I went on to study traditional music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where I was taught by Wendy Stewart and Hannah Phillips.
Why did you enter BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award?
I thought it would be a great opportunity to get my name out there as a young musician, and would push my playing as a soloist. I also thought, why not?!
What do you hope to gain from the experience?
I just feel honoured to be part of such a prestigious competition and I am looking forward to playing with such fantastic accompanists. The competition has really made me think about myself as a performer not just a musician, so I hope that my confidence and stage chat improves.
Do you have any particular musical highlights?
I have been lucky enough to travel and perform as far as Canada with my clarsach as well as perform for the likes of HRH Prince Charles, former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond, and Prime Minister David Cameron.
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to continue performing and teaching the clarsach and would like to start my own band sometime in the near future. I am also working on publishing a collection of new tunes written by Orcadian composers which will hopefully be released in 2016.
Why not buy a ticket to hear Jessica Burton or any other of the finalists at the Grand Finals on Sunday February 1st at 5pm. The finals are part of Celtic Connections festival. If you can’t make it along the event will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland between 5 & 8pm and on the iPlayer afterwards.
Catch BBC Music at Celtic Connections http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p039tgwn
and visit their Young Trad 2016 page