Mhairi Catherine Mackinnon from Perth is a finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2020. The finals will be held at Celtic Connections Festival on 2nd February 2020 at 5pm. Buy a ticket here or listen live on BBC Radio Scotland or watch on BBC ALBA.
We asked Mhairi the following questions:
How did you get involved in Scottish music?
I started learning trad music from an early age – it was all around me growing up with my parents listening to lots of Scottish music & my grandad playing the accordion… I had an interest in it and my granny bought me the My First Ceilidh Collection Tune book for my 10th birthday… the year after, I began playing with the Dunkeld and District Strathspey and Reel Society!!
Why did you enter BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award?
I entered this competition to push myself – to play and learn new music, as well as to encourage myself to perform on a solo platform which I find quite nerve wracking!! Stepping out with my comfort zone and pushing myself to try new things and present myself at a professional level is so important to me right now in my career as not only a musician, but as a teacher too… I need to continue to push myself and develop my own playing in order to inspire and teach the next generation!
What do you hope to gain from the experience?
I hope to gain a little bit more exposure within the music scene – I hope people will hear my playing and want to collaborate with me, on whatever level that may be – session musician recording work, strings ensemble work, teaching & general music performance!!
Do you have any particular musical highlights?
I have so many that I’m incredibly grateful for!! Playing at the Scots Music Trad Awards with the Scott Wood Band, Playing at the London Olympics with Cherrygrove, playing at Festival de Ortiguiera and the BBC 1 Hogmanay Show with the Scott Wood Band, playing as a soloist on BBC Radio Scotland’s Take the Floor with Robbie Shepherd, as well as all the amazing festivals I’ve been fortunate to perform at!!
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future are to keep pushing myself musically, to be creative, to get involved, to collaborate, to perform, to continue my teaching and develop my techniques as well as continuing to compose my own music with the hopes to one day creating my very own debut album!!