Tuning up for 2021 RCS music competition

Ewen Henderson impressed the judges last year.

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The musical composition competition which marked the celebration last year of the 200th anniversary of Royal Celtic Society activities and the fact that shinty was not played last summer, is to be repeated in an enhanced and changed format.

Lochaber’s Ewen Henderson, one of Scotland’s finest musicians and composers
emerged as the winner of the 2020 competition, the success of which  has now led to the launch of a newly expanded format for 2021 with increased prizes and a new section for musicians aged under-18.

The competition also sees two new collaborators joining the supporting groups – Shinty Memories Scotland and Fèisean nan Gàidheal.

This year’s main prize winner will receive £800, second place £600 and third place £300, while the best entry in the under-18 section will be awarded £250 and a further £250 to donate to a Fèis of their own choice.

Under-18s should enter the young people’s competition only, and be under 18 on the closing date for entries, Monday August 2.

Composition entries must be original and can be of any length and entrants
should offer a short explanation of the relevance of the piece and the location,
as part of the recording.

The selection of finalists will be made by a panel comprising RCS chairman Gary Innes along with representatives from Camanachd Association, Fèisean nan Gàidheal, Shinty Memories Scotland and Glasgow Celtic Society.

Full details of the competition will be published in due course and it is anticipated that entries will open from June 1. Entries will be submitted to newly created email address by Monday, August 2.

Speaking of behalf of the judges Gary Innes said: ‘Last year’s competition presented us with a hugely challenging set of circumstances and a really interesting competition which attracted a significant number of fantastic entries.

‘The variation in the competition this year is bound to present us with a new set of challenges, and I look forward to seeing how the young musicians in particular perform, as we were greatly encouraged by their efforts last year.

‘At the end of the day Ewen’s melody was key to his success but we cannot speak highly enough of the effort everyone put in.’

It had originally intended the winner of the 2020 competition could have
performed at the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final at the post-match Final
Fling. That game has now been re-schedule for Kingussie in September 2021
and winning entrants will again be scheduled to appear there.

Royal Celtic Society Chairman Alan Hay said: ‘We learned a lot from last year’s challenging circumstances against the background of a global pandemic, at a significant moment in our own and shinty’s history.

‘This is reflected in the changes we are making this year and I am very much looking forward to seeing how the whole event unfolds, hopefully in happier circumstances for us all.’

For further information about the competition, contact Hugh Dan
MacLennan, at hughdan1@hotmail.co.uk or on 07515 287040.