MacPhail – week 47

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Voting for the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards comes to an end tomorrow (November 23) and as always, excitement is building for the awards night, which this year will take place in the Perth Concert Hall on Saturday  December 1.

The winners will be announced live on the night and as with each event since 2008 it will be broadcast live on BBC Alba.

Since 2003 when the first “Trads” took place, these awards have been a major event in the calendar of the Traditional Music world and over that time their existence has done a huge amount to raise the profile of the entire scene.

There is no doubt the competition element of it does not sit too comfortably against the backdrop of cooperation and camaraderie that exists on the scene. However, it is recognised by all that while it is exciting and beneficial to be nominated and to win in a given category, it is the effect on the over-all industry that is important.

Over the years Skipinnish have been lucky to have been nominated in various categories in our different guises and were delighted to win a few times.  The process of being voted for was always good fun and being named as winner of this or that in the different years was very gratifying but never taken too seriously.

The pressure of canvassing for votes is off our shoulders this year as we’ve not been nominated for anything but it is still exciting to view the categories, to vote and to ponder who might win!

The music scene in Scotland has grown vastly since the first awards event and this can be seen in the number of new bands and artists who appear in the categories this year along with many old stalwarts.  This mix of old and new faces is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the awards night itself with everyone coming together for one night in one place.

This is, in fact, one of the great attributes of the entire project – bringing so many in the music world together for a night of celebration!

There are 17 categories covering nearly all aspects of traditional music and I would urge readers to get online and vote, and by doing so help to continue to enhance the presence of this important endeavour.

From Music Tutor of the Year to Venue of the Year and Composer of the Year to Community Project of the Year, the awards cover a vast area of the industry are very important in giving acknowledgement to many who do vital “behind the scenes” and volunteer work.

The general public is also welcome to attend the awards night and with some top entertainment throughout in an excellent venue, this is well worth going to.  Playing on the night between awards will be Eabhal, Mànran, Karine Polwart, The Gordon Duncan Experience, Croft No 5, Hannah Rarity, Kannaris and more yet to be announced.

Good luck to all nominees!