As I get older, the years are starting to pass very quickly - and the beginning of this year has been no exception! I can't believe it's the middle of March (Sun, please come out. This weather and snow is so dreich and miserable...) It has been a very exciting time, however - so, without further ado, here's what I've been up to!
Indiegogo Debut Album Campaign Launch
Last week I launched my Indiegogo crowdfunding page to raise funds to help me complete my debut album! The aim of the campaign is to take pre-orders which will help me cover the costs of arranging, recording and producing the album. Those who pledge will receive their copy, or any of the other perks or rewards on offer, prior to public release.
I have two months to achieve my target. I'm so grateful to those who have already contributed - I've received just over £1000 in one week! - and I would love to build on this and reach my goal. Any support at all is greatly appreciated.
To support my debut album or to find out more, Click here.
Save OUr strings - West Lothian council proposes cuts to string & percussion tuition
I would ask that if you value music education for young people from all backgrounds, not just those lucky enough to be able to afford private tuition, then please sign this petition against the proposal to cut string and percussion tuition and ensembles from schools within West Lothian.
Learning an instrument at school and having access to music tuition was what sparked my interest in music. Without the opportunities afforded in schools, many musicians I know would not be where they are today.
To sign, click here.
Celtic Connections 2018
I didn't manage to catch as many gigs as I had been hoping to (in fact, two of my favourite bands at the moment were performing on the same nights I was on stage: Mandolin Orange & I'm With Her). Some of my favourites included Innes White's 'New Voices', which was really fantastic (not that I'm biased...), Rura and the Kinnaris Quintet, Vair and Farrland and the Dick Gaughan Benefit Concert, as well as some Late Night Sessions and nights at the Festival Club.
Of course, I had my own gig on the 24th January in the Strathclyde Suite, supporting Cathal McConnell. The audience were very warm and supportive - huge thanks if you managed to come along! - and I think it may have been one of my favourite gigs to date.
Big thanks to Oak and Thorn for their kind review:
"Her amazing vocal talents really showed on last song, Andy M. Stewart’s “Where Are You Tonight I Wonder.” She took Stewart’s words and imbued them with a sadness that surpassed the original version – hard to believe if you weren’t there to see it."
Massive thanks to the band, and to Euan Burton for joining us on bass.
BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2018
The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition took place on the 28th of January in the City Halls... and I was overwhelmed and delighted to be named the winner for 2018!
Anyone who was there on the night or was listening in will know that the competition really was anyone's game. It was such a privilege to share the stage with the other finalists. You can watch all the performances from the night here. (A massive thank you to John Lowrie and Calum Morrison for their help with my song arrangements for the evening.)
The few weeks that followed were a bit of a surreal blur! The next morning I headed to STV 2 to be interviewed and recorded with the band (Sally Simpson, Conal McDonagh and Innes White), I was on BBC Scotland's Timeline later that week and interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland's 'Travelling Folk' programme, which were all great fun.
A couple of festival announcements have come out for me for later in the year, including Tiree Music Festival and Blazin' in Beauly. It will be my first time to both and I'm so excited to be heading to Tiree and Beauly to perform and do some workshops!
Head to my GIGS page to keep up to date with my bookings for the year!
- Coming up: Scottish Thistle Awards for Visit Scotland on the 15th March and Irvine Folk Club with Innes White on the 28th March.
That's all for now - but I will be keeping you up to date with some music I'm listening to, gig announcements and some song covers over the next month or so.
Cheers! :) x