BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award finalists announced

youngtradoutsideOn Saturday 4th October twelve young musicians from across Scotland came together to compete to win through to the finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award 2015. It was a brilliant concert with each of the semi-finalists performing at Coulter Hall, Coulter. Each musician had ten minutes in which to impress the five judges. After much discussion the 2015 finalists are:

Ryan Young – fiddle (Cardross)
Claire Hastings – Scots song (Dumfries)
Heather Downie – clarsach (Dunblane)
Ainsley Hamill – Gaelic song (Cardross)
Gemma Donald – fiddle (Shetland)
Seamus O’Baoighill – fiddle (Skye)

The finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award will be held on Sunday 1st February at the City Halls, Glasgow as part of the prestigious Celtic Connections festival.

Simon Thoumire, creative director of Hands Up for Trad said “This has been yet another fabulous year for Scottish traditional music. It gets harder and harder to choose between the young musicians entering the young trad award. The future of trad music is so exciting.”

The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award is managed for BBC Radio Scotland by Hands Up for Trad and exists to encourage young musicians to keep their tradition alive and to maximise their musical potential by the pursuit of a career in traditional music. Each year the winner is provided with high profile performance opportunities and the necessary tools and advice they require to launch a career in traditional music.

The ‘Award’ takes the form of a competition which includes a fun residential weekend in October at Wiston Lodge, South Lanarkshire for 12 semi-finalists. The weekend includes workshops and advice on all aspects of working in the traditional music business plus a public concert with performances by the semi-finalists. From this concert, six finalists are chosen by a panel of judges to go forward to the grand final. This is held each February at a prestigious concert at Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow where one of the six is judged to be BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award winner for that year.

Ends

BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award website is www.youngtrad.scot

If you like to interview any of the finalists please Hands Up for Trad at info@handsupfortrad.scot

The 2014 winner was Robyn Stapleton www.robynstapleton.com

Hands Up for Trad was formed in 2002 and exists to increase the profile and visibility of Scottish Traditional Music through Information, Education and Advocacy. Hands Up for Trad’s primary aim is to promote excellence, visibility and developing talent within Scottish traditional music through our key projects; Scots Trad Music Awards, BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award, Scotland Sings, FolkWaves, Distil, Tinto Summer School and the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. Follow us @handsupfortrad, www.handsupfortrad.scot, www.facebook.com/handsupfortrad

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Not long now to the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award semi-finals!

I can’t believe it! It is nearly time for the semi-finals of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award! Are you coming? The semi-final concert is on Saturday 4th October in Coulter Hall, Coulter, South Lanarkshire. As always it will be a brilliant night. Tickets are £10 (£6 conc). You can buy them here or turn up on the night. http://projects.scottishcultureonline.com/youngtrad/events/bbc-radio-scotland-young-traditional-musician-award-semi-finals-2/

The semi-finalists are:

Lucie Hendry – clarsach (Laurencekirk)
Ryan Young – fiddle (Cardross)
Claire Hastings – Scots song (Dumfries)
Heather Downie – clarsach (Dunblane)
Rhoda Naomi Welsh – voice / piano (Stornoway)
Grant McFarlane – accordion (Paisley)
Ainsley Hamill – voice (Helensburgh)
Louise Bichan – fiddle (Orkney)
Gemma Donald – fiddle (Shetland)
Alexander Levack – whistle /pipes (Maryburgh)
Suzanne Houston – piano (Golspie)
Seamus O’Baoighill – fiddle (Skye)

From this final 6 musicians will win through to the final held at Celtic Connections festival, Glasgow on Sunday 1st February.

Applications now open for Future Leaders Programme 2014/15

Creative and Cultural Skills are about to launch our fifth Future Leaders Programme,created specifically for emerging leaders in the Creative & Cultural sector.

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Please read the Future Leaders flyer for more information and contact Mandy Lothian for an application form.

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Robyn Stapleton to sing at Proms in the Park

Robyn-Headshot-smallerGreat news! BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award 2014 winner Robyn Stapleton is to perform at BBC Scotland’s Proms in the Park on Saturday 13th September (7.30pm – c.10pm). She will be appearing alongside Katherine Jenkins, mezzo soprano, Noah Stewart, tenor, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and more to be announced.

Families and all music lovers are invited to bring picnics and deck chairs to enjoy the atmosphere and help make this a special night of celebrations.

To book your tickets, click here.

Booking Fee Information

Online: a transaction charge of £1 applies to all online bookings.

Phone: a transaction charge of £1.50 applies to all phone bookings.◦Counter/ In Person: there are no transaction charges for in person bookings.

Postage: if you wish to have your tickets posted, there is a £1 fee for delivery to UK addresses. Unfortunately we cannot post tickets to non-UK addresses.

Event supported by People Make Glasgow

BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award Semi-Finalists Announced

BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award 2015The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award 2015 semi-finalists have been announced. As usual we have a fantastic lineup of young musicians from all over the country. The finalists are:

Lucie Hendry – clarsach (Laurencekirk)
Ryan Young – fiddle (Cardross)
Claire Hastings – Scots song (Dumfries)
Heather Downie – clarsach (Dunblane)
Rhoda Naomi Welsh – voice / piano (Stornoway)
Grant McFarlane – accordion (Paisley)
Ainsley Hamill – voice (Helensburgh)
Louise Bichan – fiddle (Orkney)
Gemma Donald – fiddle (Shetland)
Alexander Levack – whistle /pipes (Maryburgh)
Suzanne Houston – piano (Golspie)
Seamus O’Baoighill – fiddle (Skye)

Each semi-finalist will perform for 10 minutes in Coulter Hall, Coulter, South Lanarkshire on October 4th. Their performance will be listened to by 5 music professional judges and 6 musicians will be chosen to go through to the finals at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival on Sunday 1st February. Buy a ticket for the semis here.

Simon Thoumire, Creative Director of Hands Up for Trad says “As every year passes I’m always astounded by the amount of talented musicians we have in Scotland. This year is no different and the judges are going to have the hardest time ever trying to separate 6 musicians for the 2015 finals.”

If you would like to feature any of the semi-finalists in your media please contact us and we will pass their details on to you.

The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award exists to encourage young musicians to keep their tradition alive and to maximise their musical potential by the pursuit of a career in traditional music. Each year the winner is provided with high profile performance opportunities and the necessary tools and advice they require to launch a career in traditional music.

The ‘Award’ takes the form of a competition which includes a fun residential weekend in October at Wiston Lodge, South Lanarkshire for 12 semi-finalists. The weekend includes workshops and advice on all aspects of working in the traditional music business plus a public concert with performances by the semi-finalists. From this concert, six finalists are chosen by a panel of judges to go forward to the grand final. This is held each January at a prestigious concert at Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow where one of the six is judged to be BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award winner for that year.

The competition is organised and run by Hands Up For Trad for BBC Radio Scotland. Hands Up for Trad are an organisation dedicated to increasing the profile and visibility of Scottish traditional music through information, education and advocacy.

Ends

This is the fifteenth year of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award.

A list of the previous winners can be seen here http://projects.scottishcultureonline.com/youngtrad/previous-winners/

Singer Robyn Stapleton (2014 winner) will be performing at the BBC Scotland Proms on the 13th September.

For more information contact Hands Up for Trad, Melville House, 70 Drymen Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 2RH 07775854572 info@handsupfortrad.co.uk

How to make a website

One of the most important things you can do as a musician is have a website. Your website is your store front. Facebook and twitter are all well and good but they are trends and at sometime will disappear. Having a yourname.com website will always be there with your music, biography, discography, news, techspecs etc. It also looks good to send promotors to your website when they are looking for information.

A few years ago you had to know lots of html code to make a website but while having some html knowledge helps you don’t need it nowadays. You can use WordPress (this site is wordpress) or Wix is also popular (check out www.findlaynapier.com or www.paddycallaghan.com). There are plenty of other options as well if you look.

WordPress
As said above this is what all Hands Up for Trad websites are based on.
Wordpress offers you a backend database option which means that you have a backend of your website that controls what the public side looks like. It sounds complicated but is actually very easy. There are two kinds of WordPress – WordPress.com and WordPress.org. The difference is that wordpress.com is a free service (Wix offer this as well) and your website is hosted on their servers. Your website domain would look like handsupfortrad.wordpress.com. It is slightly limited in terms of plugins and widgets compared to wordpress.org.

WordPress.org is wordpress hosted on your own domain. To make this work you would go to a hosting company like Bluehost.com and buy your preferred domain. You would then install wordpress on the domain. Again this sounds very complicated however hosting companies like Bluehost make this very easy. You just go to your control panel and install WordPress. In my opinion this is the better way to go as your website will have lots of functionality. You can download themes to make it look the way you want it, install plugins and widgets to make it do things you want it to.

Here is a wordpress.com tutorial made by Scottish firm Inner Ear. It’s very good and the same techniques work for a wordpress.org website as well.
http://www.slideshare.net/mobile/innerear/build-your-own-portfolio-website

Wix.com offers drag and drop functionality. Findlay Napier said when designing www.findlaynapier.com that he just dragged the widgets he wanted on to the page.
http://www.wix.com

Whatever website type you choose the most important thing you can do is tell people about it. After you have written about yourself, uploaded some music etc you need to let people see it. This is where social media comes in handy. What I would do is write a blog post and then share it on FaceBook or Twitter or Tumbler or anything else current trying to get people to click on the links back to your website. When people visit your website you want to try and collect their email address. This way you don’t have to rely on them coming back to read your news. You can just send it to their inbox where they can click on the link and view your news, buy your music etc.

If you would like any more advice please get in touch.

How to make a video

Making a video of your music is a great idea! Uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo means instant worldwide visibility. This is where young people go to watch their music nowadays and you can’t afford to not be part of the crowd. There are people who can make videos for you and if you can afford it that is the best way to go forward. If you are just starting out and don’t have any cash you need to make one yourself.

So I’m often asked is it easy. Well to make a basic video it is especially if you are making a one camera video. Every computer has free video editing software nowadays – iMovie or Windows Movie Maker and there is a lot more than that.

All you have to do is to find a nice light space to record. Borrow a video camera or use your smartphone, record yourself / band (remember and play well!) and import the video on to your computer. Import it into your video editing programme, top and tail it with credits (your name, website, contact details), render it (usually exporting if from your software does this) and upload it to YouTube etc.

If you have more than one camera you might want to record a more complicated and original set up. That’s not difficult either. Just check the help files of your software and it will tell you what to do next!

Sometimes I will use audio software to ‘strip’ the audio of the video. I’ll then EQ it to make it sound nicer, compress it to make the same volume throughout, add reverb to make it sound bigger (depending on the room you have recorded in) and then normalise it to make it louder. I’ll then import this back into the video editing software and replace the audio already there with the new version.

Once your video is uploaded you can embed it into your website, put it on social media and let promotors see you performing. Brilliant! Instant promotion :-)

Don’t wait for other to make a video before you and get the gigs – just go for it you won’t regret it.

A videographer who works for Hands Up for Trad is Martin Forry of http://soilsiuimages.com. Check him out he does a great job.

Also we work with Bees Nees Media who film the Scots Trad Music Awards for MG ALBA. They offer many services and do a brilliant job. http://www.beesnees.tv

Sample CD budget

Below is a link to a sample CD budget. I’ve populated it with figures. They are all realistic but you will notice at the bottom of the spreadsheet that there is still a deficit (ie you still don’t have enough money). Practise playing around with the figures – taking things out / finding cheaper options etc until you get a zero deficit.

What you have to do now is to put in your own financial figures (including income). When they are in play around with the figures until you have a budget that works for you. Any questions please get in touch.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/optrxvsqc0jdhg1/CD%20budget%20template.xlsx