Scots Trads / RSDG’s Remembrance performance


The distinct lack of piping activity this year has been reflected in the nominations to the 2020 Scots Trad Music Awards.

There’s less than a handful of pipers among the acts nominated this year. Voting is open until midnight next Sunday (November 15).

Ross Miller’s recording, The Roke is up for Album of The Year. The Linlithgow-born piper was a Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalist in 2019. Ross was Pipe Major of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and since 2016 has been a member of Inveraray and District Pipe Band. Before that, he was a member of Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band. We love the idea that Miller, as the Town Piper of the town, plays together with a drummer at 06:00am on the Tuesday after the second Thursday of June every year in a procession march through the streets of the West Lothian town. It’s a lovely throwback to the days when most of Scotland’s lowland towns employed a Town Piper (bellows) to do this and to perform at various civic occasions.

Malin Lewis, the young Skye-born piper, is also up for an award (Up and Coming Artist of the Year) while Ceòl Mòr Style by Calum MacCrimmon has been nominated in the Trad Video of the Year category. If you haven’t seen Calum’s humorous take on canntaireachd, here it is here to kickstart your week:

The full list of nominations is:

Music Tutor of the Year – Rua MacMillan, Rachel Hair, Josie Duncan, Lauren MacColl, Corrina Hewat, Laura-Beth Salter and Louise Douglas.

Gaelic Singer of the Year – Fionnag NicChoinnich, Joy Dunlop, Rachel Walker and Raymond Bremner

Album of The YearAll 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 and Coming Artist of the Year – Benedict Morris, Rebecca Hill, Malin Makes Music, Avocet.

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

Event of the Year Award – 365 stories + Music, 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 and Coastal Connections (Celtic Connections)

Scots Singer of the Year – Siobhan Miller, Claire Hastings, Adam Holmes and Allan & Rosemary McMillan.

Trad Video of the Year – ‘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 – 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 #CovidCeilidh and the Lomond Ceilidh Band’s The Daily Ceilidh,

Original Work of the Year – The Woods by Hamish Napier, Everyday Heroes by Skerryvore, Graham Rorie – The Orcadians of Hudson Bay and Rachel Newton – To the Awe Camhanaich (Dawn) by Mhairi Hall

Trad Music in the Media – Marie Martin, Ewan Galloway and Derek Hamilton, Fiona McNeill, Sruth na Maoile and Anna Massie.

Musician of the Year – Tim Edey, Peter Wood, Anna Massie, Jenn Butterworth, Ailie Robertson and John Carmichael.

The online award ceremony takes place on December 12 on BBC Alba.

Click here to vote.

We, like you, were impressed with the sound of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards at yesterday’s Remembrance Prarade in London, England. The coverage was broadcast by the BBC.

Pipe Major Ben Duncan’s corps had a splendid, ‘full’ sound and played superbly. We couldn’t help but wonder what drone reeds the band was playing. The tunes played were Skye Boat Song and Flowers of the Forest. Elsewhere, the latter is usually played solo and this was the first time in many years we had heard a band rendition.

We believe it’s the first time the RSDG has played at this ceremony. If you missed it, you can watch and listen here (the piping kicks in at 3:33 then again at 8:33):

Earlier, a short clip was shown of Sovereign’s Piper, Pipe Major Richard Grisdale playing at the grave of the Unknown Warrior inside Westminster Abbey.