The voting is now open for the Scots Trad Music Awards

Public voting has opened today for nominees in the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards.

Na Trads 2020 will be broadcast on BBC ALBA on December 12 at 9pm where the award winners will be announced along with specially recorded music performances.

Murdo MacSween, communications manager at title sponsors MG ALBA, said: ‘It gives us particular pride at MG ALBA to be title sponsors in this especially testing year.

‘We’ve seen fantastic collaborations and innovation – all reaching audiences in ever unique and inspiring ways. These awards give us an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the creative pioneers and incredible wealth of talent we have in Scotland, and we’re delighted to be able to join with Hands Up for Trad to enable this once more.’

Featuring performances from leading trad musicians, the highly regarded annual awards give recognition to excellence within Scotland’s thriving traditional musical culture.

Encompassing all aspects of making and playing from composing, Gaelic song, folk and Scottish dance music to pipe bands and a host of others in between, each year sees a lively and enthusiastic crowd enjoying some of the biggest names as the industry and audiences join to honour singers, instrumentalists, composers and songwriters, and this year sees the Awards, in a different format broadcast on BBC ALBA.

Margaret Cameron, commissioning editor and head of creative collaborations added: ‘We’re delighted that Na Trads will be on air this year, albeit in a changed format. It was important to BBC ALBA to keep faith with the event and to find a safe, innovative and engaging way to reflect on the incredible fortitude and creativity of the sector, both behind and in front of the camera.’

Stuart Fleming, senior membership manager Scotland and Northern Ireland, PRS for Music said: ‘We’re delighted to be supporting the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards once again. It has without doubt been an incredibly difficult year, but Hands Up for Trad has risen to the challenge to offer support for the Scottish traditional music community, showing resilience, creativity and innovation in these trying times.

‘Congratulations to all the nominees, in particular those nominated for Original Work of the Year and we look forward to celebrating with the winners virtually in December.’

Anna-Wendy Stevenson, programme leader, BA (Hons) Applied Music University of the Highlands and Islands confirmed: ‘The University of the Highlands and Islands is delighted to continue to support the Musician of the Year Award, in what has been an incredibly challenging year for the musical and wider artistic community.

‘It is more important than ever to celebrate the contribution and positive impact our musicians have on our wellbeing, culture, communities and economy. It has been incredible to witness the adaptability and resilience of many musicians, skillsets we actively impart to our students, and we value the role of this event MG ALBA Scots Traditional Music Awards, in bringing together organisations across music in Scotland to support the development of and recognise the work and talent of our musicians.’


Tweaked for 2020 to reflect the pivot the entire industry has made due to Covid-19, this year’s twelve Awards are:

Music Tutor of the Year, sponsored by Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative: Rua MacMillan, Rachel Hair, Josie Duncan, Lauren MacColl, Corrina Hewat, Laura Beth Salter and Louise Mackenzie.

Gaelic Singer of the Year, sponsored by The Highland Society of London: Fionnag NicChoinnich (Fiona MacKenzie), Joy Dunlop, Rachel Walker and Raymond Bremner.

Album of The Year, sponsored by Birnam CD: All Is Not Forgotten by Siobhan Miller; Banjaxed by Ciaran Ryan; Bayview by Project Smoke; Eye of the Storm by Tide Lines; Light My Byre by Peat & Diesel; Shhh I’m on the phone by Innes Watson; Steall by Ewen Henderson; The Ledger by Gillian Frame, Findlay Napier and Mike Vass; The Roke by Ross Miller; and The Woods by Hamish Napier.

Up & Coming artist of the Year, sponsored by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland: Benedict Morris, Rebecca Hill, Malin Lewis and Avocet.

Community Music Project of the Year, sponsored by Greentrax Recordings: Campbell’s Ceilidh, Tunes in the Hoose, MacGregor’s Live at Five, Hands Up for Trad Strathspey and Reel Society, Joy Dunlop’s Covid Choir, Carry On Streamin and Comhairle Cèilidhs (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar).

Event of the Year Award sponsored by VisitScotland: 365 stories + Music (Aidan O’Rourke and James Robertson), Virtual Edinburgh International Harp Festival, Fèis Rois Adult Feis Weekend Online, Tional Gaelic Online Music Festival, BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award 20th Anniversary Concert (Celtic Connections) and Coastal Connections (Celtic Connections).

Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year, sponsored by Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA): Siobhan Miller, Claire Hastings, Adam Holmes and Allan & Rosemary McMillan.

Trad Video of the Year, sponsored by Threads of Sound: Erica’s by Balter, Calum Dan’s Transit Van by Peat & Diesel, Deep Dark Beast by Twelfth Day, Moorlough Shore by ELIR, Ceòl Mòr Style by Calum MacCrimmon and Taste the Rain by Tide Lines Choir.

Online Performance of 2020, sponsored by Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust: Sandy on Sunday Show (Sandy Brechin), Live from The Lounge with Paul Anderson and Shona Donaldson, Pete Clark from the shed, Tide Lines Virtual World Tour, Skerryvore Live Across The World, Duncan Chisholm’s Covid Ceilidh, amd Lomond Ceilidh Band’s The Daily Ceilidh

Original Work of the Year, sponsored by PRS for Music: ‘The Woods by Hamish Napier’, Everyday Hero by Skerryvore, Graham Rorie – The Orcadians of Hudson Bay, Rachel Newton – To the Awe and Camhanaich (Dawn) by Mhairi Hall.

Trad Music in the Media, sponsored by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig: Marie Martin – Box and Fiddle Magazine, Ewan Galloway and Derek Hamilton – RadioGH, Fiona McNeill – Celtic & Folk Fusions Radio Show, Sruth na Maoile (BBC Radio nan GĂ idheal and RTÉ RaidiĂł na Gaeltachta) and Anna Massie – Black Isle Correspondent.

Musician of the Year, sponsored by the University of the Highlands and Islands: Tim Edey, Peter Wood, Anna Massie, Jenn Butterworth, Ailie Robertson and John Carmichael.

Morag Macdonald, Youth Music Initiative Manager, Creative Scotland added: ‘The Youth Music Initiative is delighted to support the Music Tutor of the Year Award that recognises the ongoing dedication and enthusiasm of music tutors who contribute so much to the music ecology of Scotland. This year more than ever we have witnessed musicians going the extra mile to ensure that children and young people have opportunities to engage with music making and we look forward to celebrating the commitment of some of these individuals.’

Within the programme three pillars of the Scots Trad Music community will be recognised through special awards; the Janet Paisley Services to Scots Language Award sponsored by Creative Scotland, the Services to Gaelic Award sponsored by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, and the Hamish Henderson Award for Services to Traditional Music.

This year the annual Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame is sponsored by Fèisean nan Gàidheal, with special plans to be announced in December.


Duncan Byatt, president of the Highland Society of London, said: ‘The Highland Society of London is delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Gaelic Singer of the Year Award at the 2020 MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards. Music continues to be an important factor in lifting spirits and supporting communities during this difficult year, and we are extremely grateful to Hands Up For Trad and BBC Alba for (amongst their many other fantastic initiatives) providing this platform to recognise so many creative and inspiring musicians – particularly those that perform in Gaelic.’

In addition to the broadcast, during the day of December 12 you will be able to watch live Scottish trad music from 1-9pm presented by Singer & Songwriter Findlay Napier, with confirmed artists including Kinnaris Quintet, Dallahan, Inyal, Paul McKenna Band, Ryan Young and Jenn Butterworth and many more on Hands Up For Trad’s Facebook.

Organising body, Hands Up for Trad funded by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, was formed in 2002 and exists to increase the profile and visibility of Scottish traditional music through information, advocacy and education to artists, participants and audiences.

Hands Up for Trad’s creative director Simon Thoumire thanked all involved: ‘Since lockdown it’s been a huge team effort to process everything that’s happening with Covid-19, and provide musicians and crew with the support needed due to cancelled launches, gigs and tours, as well as provide audiences with entertainment and culture, much needed during these troubled times.

‘Thanks to all the people who nominate and vote, and to the artists, media and our sponsors and partners for their flexibility and passion for making the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2020 possible.’

This year the event was set to take place in Dundee’s Caird Hall, which has been held for a mix of digital and physical in 2021. With live music and event restrictions in place for the foreseeable future, Hands Up for Trad has been working hard since March to support artists and provide alternative platforms for musicians to reach their audiences, fundraise and sell tickets online.

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