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Top young traditional musicians tour Scotland

Published: 23 Jul 2019

Young Traditional Tour Group

Some of Scotland’s finest young folk musicians are set to visit their home areas and release an album after a performance at Celtic Connections earlier this year – thanks to the TMSA (Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland).

The current TMSA Young Trad Tour group comprises of Hannah Rarity from West Lothian, winner of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Competition, joined by finalists: Rory Matheson, piano (Drumbeg); Amy Papiransky, voice (Keith); David Shedden, bagpipes and whistle (Glasgow); Luc McNally, guitar and voice (Dipton) and Charlie Stewart, fiddle and double bass (Perthshire - 2017 winner).

The annual TMSA Young Trad Tour and album is always a great opportunity to showcase the rising stars of Scotland’s traditional music scene- Fiona Campbell

Audiences are treated to a mix of new material written and composed by these outstanding young musicians as well as innovative arrangements of traditional tunes – supported by Project Musical Director, Anna Massie – one of Scotland’s foremost guitarists well known for her work with the likes of Blazin’ Fiddles. Anna was a former winner of the BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award back in 2003 and toured with the TMSA Young Trad Tour in 2015 as an accompanist.

TMSA convener, Fiona Campbell, said: “The annual TMSA Young Trad Tour and album is always a great opportunity to showcase the rising stars of Scotland’s traditional music scene. The release of their collaborative album and forthcoming tour is really exciting for the young musicians and I have no doubt the group will act as fantastic ambassadors for both the future of traditional music and the TMSA.”

The tour is supported by Creative Scotland. Kirsty MacDonald, Traditional Arts Officer at Creative Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting once again the TMSA Young Trad Tour and associated album. TMSA provides these young musicians of the highest calibre with the opportunity to tour in their local areas, and to create an album which helps raise their profile at this critical early stage of their music career.”

The album was recorded and mixed by Angus Lyon at Gran’s House studio in South Lanarkshire before being mastered at the renowned Castlesound Studios, Pencaitland, East Lothian. Competition finalist, Ali Levack, playing whistles and pipes (Maryburgh) is not able to make the tour but does appear on the CD that has been recorded and will be available at the gigs and online.

For tickets, or further information on the tour, visit www.tmsa.org.uk or contact the TMSA national office, at office@tmsa.org.uk or tel: 0792 253 3915.

Tour dates and locations

*Tuesday 6 August - Royal Hotel, Keith
*Wednesday 7 August - Village Hall, Croy
*Thursday 8 August - MacPhail Theatre, Ullapool
*Friday 9 August - St. Margaret Hall, Linlithgow
*Sunday 11 August - Village Hall, Allendale
Workshops are being organised at some of the locations listed above – see www.tmsa.org.uk for details.

For further information on the tour, or for accompanying images, please contact the TMSA Young Trad Tour’s project manager, Grant McFarlane, on 07595175099 or grantmcf@me.com.

Notes to editors:

1. The Traditional Music & Song Association (TMSA) of Scotland, set up in 1966, is a membership organisation whose core aim is to foster and promote Scotland’s unique musical traditions. Members include music enthusiasts, amateur and professional performers, tutors, and academics. The TMSA encourages both widespread popular participation and individual artistic excellence. Its branches provide opportunities for universal participation by running festivals, ceilidhs, concerts, workshops and competitions. The branches sustain the specific cultural traditions of their area, as well as those of Scotland generally as grassroots participation in traditional music and song involving all parts of the traditional community is fundamental to the continued authentic voice of professional performers and to the very cultural identity of Scotland itself. The TMSA also creates an annual hard copy traditional music Event Calendar supported by website listings and is currently running a programme ‘Grow Your Own Music Sessions’ of sessions organised by young people, funded by the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Youth Development Fund (administered by Creative Scotland). The TMSA celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016 working with Collins to re-publish Norman Buchan’s 101 Scottish Songs’ (or ‘The Wee Red Book’), collaborating on the opening concert of Celtic Connections, a ‘Back to Blairgowrie’ concert in August and a number of local branch events. It recently helped Collins launch a revised reprint of The Scottish Folksinger as the ‘Little Book of Scottish Folk Songs’ at Celtic Connections. More details at tmsa.org.uk

2. Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit creativescotland.com. Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

Biographies of participants

Hannah Rarity – Voice (West Lothian)
Hannah joined the National Youth Choir of Scotland aged eight and honed her trad music style until beginning the Scottish Music course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2012. Since graduating, she has toured internationally with Irish-American traditional group Cherish The Ladies, appeared as a soloist on BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay Live 2014 and 2016 and performed a debut sell-out show at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe. She released her debut EP Beginnings in November 2016, with a debut album in 2018.

Alexander (Ali) Levack—Whistles/Pipes (Ross-shire)
Ali became hooked on the pipes when a family friend began teaching him at the age of nine. At 14, he began his studies at the National Centre of Excellence for Traditional Music and spent the next four years working with some of the country’s best tutors while also gaining accolades in various competitions. In 2012, he began studying Piping at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and became heavily involved in the Feis movement. Ali currently lives in Glasgow and has enjoyed working with artists including Dougie Maclean, Mischa Macpherson, Edwyn Collins and previous Young Trad winner Charlie Stewart.

Rory Matheson – Piano (Drumbeg, Sutherland)  
Heavily influenced by pipe music and Gaelic song, Rory’s love of trad music was cemented playing at ceilidhs all over Scotland on both piano and accordion. Now studying Traditional Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, he is taught by James Ross and Mary McCarthy, two of the top pianists on the traditional music scene. He enjoys bringing elements of jazz and blues to his music. His playing experience includes being part of the Fort George Military Tattoo in 2015 and also playing with 20-piece regional ensemble ‘Snas’ as well as energetic modern trad outfit Trip.

Luc McNally - Guitar and Voice (Dipton)
Luc McNally is a guitarist and singer from Dipton, County Durham. His work has taken him all over the UK and to Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and the Czech Republic. Having been introduced to traditional music by 4 years with Kathryn Tickell’s Folkestra Youth ensemble, he went on to study Scottish Music for two years at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. As well as teaching guitar and playing multiple Scottish/Irish music sessions around Glasgow, he plays with new rock/traditional band Dosca, with electronic/Celtic group Sketch, and in a songs and tunes duo with piper and whistle player Eddie Seaman and acoustic trio Snuffbox. Having recorded his first EP in the summer of 2015, Luc has been working on a debut album featuring some of Scotland’s finest young musicians.

Amy Papiransky – Voice (Keith)
Amy, who also plays piano and violin, began singing lessons at 11 and never looked back. As a teenager, she toured America, Canada and Germany with the Strathspey Fiddlers and went on to gain her BMusEd Music Teaching Degree from the University of Aberdeen. She now works part-time as a high school music teacher in North Lanarkshire while studying for a Masters in Scottish Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Performance highlights for Amy include BBC Radio Scotland’s ‘Take The Floor’, Roddy Hart’s BBC Quay Sessions, The Lotus Temple New Delhi and BBC Proms in the Park. Amy’s debut album Read Me Write will be released in September 2019.

David Shedden – Bagpipes (Glasgow)
David began playing pipes at the age of nine, went on to graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a first-class honours degree in Scottish Music in 2015 and now makes a living playing and teaching traditional music. He was taught by the late Donald MacPherson, whom many regard as the best piper of the 20thCentury, and counts him as one of his biggest influences. David has played at the highest level of competitive piping and has played in many top pipe bands over the years, including the Scottish Power pipe band, with whom he performed at one of the Celtic Connections opening concerts at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. This year David performed with his band ‘Farrland’ at Celtic Connections, and released an album in early 2018 with new band Assynt.

Plus 2017 Winner: Charlie Stewart – fiddle (Perthshire)
Charlie studied Jazz Bass and Traditional Fiddle at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He won Young Traditional Musician of the Year in 2017, as well as a Danny Kyle award playing alongside Ross Miller, and has reached the semi-finals of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards in 2016 playing with harpist Becky Hill. Charlie can be found performing with the bands Dosca, Sketch and Snuffbox as well as other projects.