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Winners Announced For MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards 2016

It was a triumph for traditional music tonight (Saturday 3rd December), as Hands Up for Trad celebrated the 14th year of the prestigious MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards with a glittering ceremony held in the Caird Hall, Dundee. Full list of winners below.

Broadcast live on BBC ALBA, BBC Radio Scotland and globally through the BBC ALBA website, the distinguished awards saw stars of the Scottish music scene take to Dundee’s Caird Hall, for the second year in a row, to celebrate and honour the very best of traditional talent. With performances from TheScott Wood Band, Mohsen Amini, Dallahan and many more, the event further showed why it’s hailed as one of the biggest events in Scotland’s cultural calendar.

This year’s notable winners include Breabach, who scooped both the coveted Album of the Year award, sponsored by Birnam CD, for their fifth studio album ‘Astar’, and ‘Folk Band of the Year’ sponsored by Threads of Sound.  The band have certainly clocked up the air miles this year, as they travelled to Germany, Italy, Canada and around the UK promoting the album, which has received impressive reviews.

Piping Live! Glasgow’s International Piping Festival scooped the Event of the Year award, after it brought over 40,000 people from around the world to Scotland for a week-long celebration of traditional music in August.

Other winners on the night included songstress, Ellen MacDonald, who beat off tough competition from Callum Ross, Joy Dunlop and Kaela Rowan to clinch the Gaelic Singer of the Year award.  Ellen has amassed a huge following for her solo performances as well as her role as the frontwoman of Gaelic band Dàimh, who won Scottish Folk Band of the Year at the 2015 awards.

Greentrax Recording’s Live Act of the Year went to trad heavyweights, Skerryvore, off the back of their Decade celebrations and a string of sell-out shows.  The band have recently returned from a tour of the US and Europe and are set to close the year with a number of performances around the UK.

Pipe Band of the Year, sponsored by The Glenturret Single Malt Whisky, went to North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band, crowned the Novice A winners at this year’s World Pipe Band championships held in Glasgow Green, beating ten other bands in front of 35,000 fans.


Simon Thoumire, Event Founder and Hands Up for Trad Creative Director, said: “Tonight was, once again, a celebration of the best traditional music talent in and around Scotland. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted and congratulations to all involved in tonight’s ceremony. Tonight showed it’s an exciting time for the Scottish traditional music scene, with a wealth of artists and performers, old and new, being honoured this evening.

“We would also like to thank the Caird Hall for being such fantastic hosts, Dundee City Council for their overwhelming support over the past two years and MG ALBA for their ongoing contribution to the awards and allowing the whole world to tune in and experience the evening with us – we can’t thank you enough for your continued support.

“The exciting news for 2017, we’re delighted to announce that the 2017 Scots Trad Music Awards will be hosted by Paisley, currently bidding for the UK City of Culture title in 2021, home of The Spree, and the birth place of some of Scotland’s finest musical talent.”

The unmissable evening saw performances from some of the biggest names in Scottish traditional music, including The Scott Wood Band, Songs of Separation, Tryst, Mohsen Amini – who was crowned BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician 2016 – and international folk band, Dallahan, before the night was concluded by a brilliant ceilidh.

Iseabail Mactaggart, MG ALBA’s Director of Strategy and Partnership, said: “Tonight’s winners demonstrate the extraordinary richness of the Scottish Trad scene, and we are proud at MG ALBA to enable that to be celebrated, and through BBC ALBA for this talent to be showcased here in Scotland and across the world.”

Stuart Fleming, Senior Manager of event sponsors PRS for Music of PRS for Music, said: “We’d like to congratulate all the PRS members who’ve been honoured tonight in Dundee, and in particular Kris Drever who won our Composer of the Year Award. Once again, the MG Alba Trad Awards have showcased the exceptional and diverse range of musical talent in Scotland”

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland, said: “Congratulations to all of tonight’s winners, and to a superb set of nominees as well. Across every category there’s living proof that Scotland’s long-standing traditions are being taken forward by world-class talent – no more so than by Breabach, whose double whammy of wins puts them at the top of their game on the stage and in the studio. A special round of applause too for Jim Hunter, our new Creative Scotland Youth Music Initiative-sponsored Tutor of the Year, for dedicating more than 25 years to music education.”


The full winners list for this year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards:

Album of the Year – Sponsored by Birnam CD
Astar by Breabach

Club of the Year – Sponsored by Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland
Stonehaven Folk Club

Composer of the Year – Sponsored by PRS for Music
Kris Drever

Community Project of the Year – Sponsored by the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust
Feis Rois Life Long Learning Project

Event of the Year – Sponsored by VisitScotland
Piping Live! Glasgow International Piping Festival

Gaelic Singer of the Year – Sponsored by Macmeanmna
Ellen MacDonald

Instrumentalist of the Year – Sponsored by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society
Rachel Newton

Live Act of the Year – Sponsored by Greentrax Recordings

Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year – Sponsored by the Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland
Lori Watson

Scottish Dance Band of the Year – Sponsored by the National Association of Accordion and Fiddle Clubs
Trail West

Folk Band of the Year – Sponsored by Threads of Sound

Scottish Pipe Band of the Year – Sponsored by The Glenturret Single Malt Whisky
North Lanarkshire Schools Pipe Band

Trad Music in the Media – Sponsored by Skipinnish
BBC Radio Scotland’s Take the Floor

Music Tutor of the Year – Sponsored by Creative Scotland Youth Music Initiative
Jim Hunter

Up and Coming Artist of the Year – Sponsored by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Ryan Young

Venue of the Year – Sponsored by the Musicians’ Union
The Glad Café, Glasgow