30th November 2023

VOTING OPEN NOW – MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards


Public voting is now open for the 21st MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards! This year’s awards sees 110 artists and organisations nominated across 22 categories, a strong reminder of the vibrance and variety at play across Scotland’s folk and traditional music scene.

Voting is open now and closes on Sunday 19th November. To vote, please head to:

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
– Iona Fyfe
– Arthur Nicolson
– Claire Hastings
– Chloe Matharu

Club of the Year
– Edinburgh Folk Club
– Glassel Gigs, Aberdeenshire
– Letham Nights
– The Gaitherin South Sessions, Glasgow

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
– Kenneth I MacKenzie
– Rebecca Hill and Charlie Stewart
– Graham Mackenzie
– Catriona Price
– Heidi Talbot

Event of the Year, sponsored by VisitScotland
– Orkney Folk Festival
– Hoolie in the Hydro
– Eilean Dorcha Festival (EDF)
– Tartan Day, New York
– Glasgow Fèis
– The Reeling, Glasgow

Gaelic Singer of the Year, sponsored by Highland Society of London
– Donald Francis MacNeil
– Muriel Urquhart
– Gillebrìde MacMillan
– Eilidh Cormack
– Joy Dunlop
– Lana Phaeton

Live Act of the Year, sponsored by Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust
– Elephant Sessions
– Trail West
– Talisk
– Niteworks
– An Dannsa Dub
– Valtos
– Ryan Young

Music Tutor of the Year, sponsored by Creative Scotland Youth Music Initiative
– Amy Lord
– Domhnall Bàn MacDonald
– Louise Hunter
– Rachel Hair
– Jenna Reid

Musician of the Year, sponsored by University of the Highlands and Islands
– Esther Swift
– James Lindsay
– Julie Fowlis
– Graham Rorie
– Euan McLaughlin
– Rory Matheson

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
– Iain MacPhail
– Cullivoe Band
– Crynoch Ceilidh Band
– Sandy Nixon

Scottish Folk Band of the Year, sponsored by Threads of Sound
– Blazin’ Fiddles
– Assynt
– Rachel Walker and Aaron Jones
– Gnoss
– Dallahan
– Beinn Lee
– Trip

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
– Cala
– Lucie Hendry
– Elie McLaren and Ciar Milne
– The Madeleine Stewart Trio

Venue of the Year
– The Tolbooth, Stirling
– The Caird Hall, Dundee
– Lyth Arts Centre
– Breasclete Hall, Lewis

A raft of industry awards will also recognise individuals and organisations which support the creative pipeline of the sector. Those finalists are:

Graphics Designer
– Somhairle MacDonald
– VanGill Media
– Loom Graphics
– Elly Lucas

Traditional Music Enabler
– Lisa Whytock
– Craig Corse, CCM Live
– Dave Francis, Traditional Music Forum
– Mhari McLeman, Shetland Folk Festival

– Marc Marnie
– Euan Robertson Photography
– Paul Jennings
– Eion Carey

Venue Technician
– 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
– Alana MacInnes – Uist Beò
– Angus MacPhail – Oban Times
– Alan Murray

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.



TMF seeking new trustees for Board of Directors


Text provided by the Traditional Music Forum.


The Traditional Music Forum (TMF) is seeking new trustees to join the organisation’s Board of Directors.

The main responsibilities of the Board include governance, advocacy, strategic direction, as well as ensuring the legal and ethical commitments and standards of the organisation are met.

Meetings are held quarterly and are either online or in person. In person meetings are usually held in Perth, as it is suitable for all our current trustees’ domestic locations.

The role of trustee is voluntary and the TMF will refund any reasonable travel costs to attend Board meetings.

We are a welcoming and friendly organisation and information about the current trustees, staff and the work of the TMF can be found on our website.

Who we are looking for
The TMF is looking for applicants who are passionate about traditional music in Scotland. Applications from those willing to learn about the sector are also welcome.

To ensure we have a diverse range of knowledge represented on the board, we are particularly keen to hear from people with skills in any of the following areas:

  • Finance / accounting
  • Human resources
  • Policy planning
  • Economic development
  • Scottish charity law
  • Local Government policy knowledge
  • Social care

We would also welcome applications from those aged between 18-30 years old.

How to apply
Please send an email stating your interest in being a TMF trustee and the skills and/or knowledge you feel you will bring to the Board to:

TMF Board Secretary, Laura Harrington
Email address: lauralockyer@hotmail.com


The TMF is an equal opportunities organisation. If you wish to have an informal discussion, prior to submitting an email of interest, please contact:

TMF Board Chair, Lori Watson
Email address: lori@loriwatson.net


For more information about the Traditional Music Forum, please check out our website and social media channels:

Live Music Music

Hit The Road open for applications


Hit The Road open for applications. Hit The Road is a touring project in Scotland for 14-19 year old aspiring performers who are at an early state in their music career. The project organises 3 tours of Scotland, each themed by music genre. Acts of all genres will be involved in training and rehearsing before the tour. Participants are given the opportunity to attend training workshops covering all aspects of touring and training opportunities are also available for young people keen to work in support roles sound engineering and stage technicians.

Online registration is open now for young people aged 14-19 yrs, involved in any kind of music making & living in Scotland. For more information and to apply please visit: Hit The Road



Merry Xmas & Happy New Year


Merry Xmas & Happy New Year – We’re closed from 5pm today (23.12.21) and open on Wednesday 5th January. We hope that you all have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year wherever you are. Stay safe and we look forward to working with you in 2022.

Very best wishes

The Birnam Team

Awards Awesome

MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards 2021


Nominations are open for MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards 2021. The Trad Music Awards provide an opportunity to highlight and promote Scotland’s rich traditional music scene. The Nominations and Voting processes are in two stages: This nomination stage will close on Sunday 17th October with the voting period opening online on Monday 1st November through to Sunday 14th November.

The Awards ceremony is due to be held in Glasgow on 4th December 2021.

To vote for your favourite band, album, musician, organisation please visit: ScotsTradMusicAwards

Awesome Funding

Youth Music NextGen Fund


The Youth Music NextGen Fund offers young creatives grant funding of up to £2,500 to make their ideas happen. The fund is open to 18-25yr olds (and under 30s who identify as Disabled) and aims to help emerging musicians/people working towards a career in the music industries, but who lack key contacts, resources, funding, for example: Musicians, Producers, Engineers, DJs, MCs, Rappers, Songwriters, Managers, Promoters, A&Rs, Agents, Activists and campaigners who are transforming the music industries.

NextGen Fund aims to support people to take their first steps into the music industries. Successful applicants will use the money to launch a creative project, idea or business, for example:  A creative music project: a Single, EP or contribution towards an album campaign. A music-based business: starting a record label or music platform. A platform that supports underrepresented voices and perspectives.

For more information please visit: https://youthmusic.org.uk/nextgen/nextgen-fund

The deadline for Round 1 is 17:00 on Friday 9 July 2021.

Awards Creative Music

Scottish Awards for New Music 2021 – Nominations now open.


Scottish Awards for New Music 2021 – Nominations now open.  New Music Scotland is a network of artists, ensembles, orchestras, composers, creators, music educators, sound artists, musicians, producers, promoters and anyone who believes in the importance and value of creating new music in Scotland. The New Music Awards provide an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the wide range of innovative, experimental, creative work taking place across Scotland.

New Music is broadly defined as including (but is not limited to): Acoustic Ecology / Avant-garde music / Co-improvisation / Contemporary chamber music / Contemporary opera / Contemporary orchestral music / Contemporary vocal and choral music / Computer music / Electroacoustic music / Electronica Experimental music / Experimental world music / Experimental folk music / Free improvisation.

Nominations can be submitted by anyone from Wednesday 14th April until 11pm on Wednesday 12th May 2021.

For more information please visit: Scottish Awards For New Music 2021

Awesome Fabulous Music

Global Music Match – open for applications


Global Music Match is now open for applications.  Global Music Match (GMM) launched in 2020 as a pilot initiative.  Recognising the many COVID-19 challenges, GMM aims to raise the profile of artists across international markets using social media and peer-to-peer collaboration. It supports opportunities and networks for export-ready artists internationally and encourages cross border artist collaboration by connecting musicians from around the world, creating new audiences for artists in a range of international locations and providing a groundwork for future international touring development.

The initiative is a collaboration between founding partners Sounds Australia, Showcase Scotland Expo and East Coast Music Association (ECMA), along with export organisations and showcase events from around the world. The 16- week programme is designed to establish real life connections between export-ready artists. Artists will be selected from around 18 countries and placed into groups or “Teams” made up of teams from different countries or regions from around the world. Each team will be led by a team “Coach” who will guide the artists in weekly group meetings and provide support to ensure project activities and timelines are met.

For more information including specific application criteria please visit: Showcase Scotland Expo

The deadline for applications is Friday 16th April.

Awesome Fabulous Music

The Gordon Duncan Experience looking for talented young musicians


The Gordon Duncan Experience is looking for talented young musicians and budding composers from all over Scotland to take part in a brand new composition project. Young Musicians are invited to audition for the Gordon Duncan Experience Composition Project by Sunday 14th March.

Scotland’s Celtic Big Band is inviting musicians aged 14-21 of intermediate level and above, on any instrument and from any musical background who want to develop their composition skills, to audition to join its free Online Composition Masterclasses.

Led by Musical Director Patsy Reid, the 20 successful applicants will work alongside some of Scotland’s top musicians and composers, attending five masterclasses and five one-to-one mentoring sessions online, with the aim of creating a finished piece of music.

Launched by Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre in 2010 in honour of late, great Pitlochry piper Gordon Duncan, The Gordon Duncan Experience plays and creates music rooted in Scottish traditions with influences from jazz, rock, pop, blues and classical. The young musicians who have come through its ranks have performed at high-profile events and shared the stage with some of Scotland’s top artists, with many of them going on to study and make a career in music and performance.

For more information please visit: https://www.horsecross.co.uk/news/young-musicians-invited-to-audition-for-the-gordon-duncan-experience-composition-course

To find out more about the project and how to audition contact Emma Neck, Creative Learning Co-ordinator (Music) eneck@horsecross.co.uk  before the closing date of Sunday 14 March 2021.


Feis Rois Youth Small Grants Scheme


The Feis Rois Youth Small Grants Scheme: Folk and Traditional Music fund opens for applications on Friday 29th January. The Youth Small Grants Scheme is part of a Scottish Government Covid-19 Funding Package aimed at supporting the arts. Feis Rois, one of several organisations awarded funding through the Small Grants Scheme, has a fund budget of £40,000 and is inviting applications from freelance musicians living anywhere in Scotland and working in folk and traditional music.

Applicants can apply for between £500 – £5,000. The grants aim to create work opportunities for freelance musicians and at the same time provide arts activities for children and young people, especially those most affected by Covid-19.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 14th March.

For more information please visit:  https://www.feisrois.org/what-we-offer/funding-opportunities/