Saturday, January 18, 2020
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Congratulations have poured into SEALL after their weekend success at the Scottish Trad awards where they won Community Project of the Year sponsored by Skippinish for their Festival of Small Halls 2018.

Seall said: “We are absolutely delighted. Small Halls is all about the communities, the musicians and the Islands. Thanks so much to the Trad Awards and to everyone who voted for us.”

Reacting to their win Rachel Newton said on Twitter:“Woohoo! Loved my time at Festival of Small Halls this year. Congratulations to the brilliant team @SEALLEventsSkye!”

The photograph shows another full house for another SEALL Festival of Small Halls this time in Elgol with Duncan Chisholm, Jarlath Henderson Innes Watson and Rachel Newton.

The winners of the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards emerged at Aberdeen Music Hall in a live-broadcast ceremony honouring the year’s most exceptional traditional musical talent.

The biggest award, The Belhaven Bursary for Innovation in Scottish Music in association with Showcase Scotland Expo supports the winner to progress unique ideas and empower creation.

Financially matched only by the Mercury Prize, the prestigious fund of £25,000 was awarded to Kinnaris Quintet, making them the first all-female band to win the prize.

Breabach were presented with the Album of the Year Award for their sixth album, Frenzy of the Meeting.

Presenter on the night Mary Ann Kennedy scooped up Gaelic Singer of the Year sponsored by The Highland Society of London.

Adding to her list of Trad Award accolades Jenna Reid won Composer of the Year battling against an all-female shortlist. Jenna’s group Blazin’ Fiddles were also awarded Folk Band of the Year. In 2005 Jenna won best up and coming artist and two years later she was nominated for best instrumentalist.

Following ten consecutive sell outs, Tiree Music Festival picked up the award for Event of the Year. The popular and deserving winner has contributed £6.4 million to the small island economy.

Dubbed by Rolling Stone as ‘forward-thinking folk music’, Man of the Minch took home The Up and Coming Artist of The Year award, which recognises fresh and promising talent.

After a whirlwind year of wowing crowds at Belladrum and preparing to kick off 2020 with sold-out shows across the UK, Stornoway trio Peat &Diesel picked up the award for Live Act of the Year.

Club of the Year went to Sutherland Sessions, a newly formed organisation who provide opportunities for young local musicians to play live music and bring local, national & international musicians to Sutherland.

The sought-after Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year sponsored by Traditional Music and Song Association went to Steve Byrne.

The evening also included a number of exclusive recognitions including The Hamish Henderson Services to Traditional Music Award Sponsored by Edinburgh Folk Club where Dr. Peter Cooke was praised.

The Services to Gaelic Award, Sponsored by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, was presented to Anne Soutar.

The Janet Paisley Services to Scots Language Sponsored by Scots Radio was presented to Sheena Blackhall, well known for her poetry.

SEALL (Skye Events for All) is a community-focused rural touring arts promoter delivering a diverse and eclectic programme of events to rural communities via a year-round touring programme, the Skye Festival in July and the SEALL Festival of Small Halls in November each year.

Up until last year, SEALL events were mainly concentrated in venues in the south of Skye. “We developed the SEALL Festival of Small Halls to redress the imbalance of access to our events around the Island and to bring back the importance of the rural community hall as a place to gather and celebrate our strong music culture in the traditional way.

“We chose a winter festival to provide communities and visitors with a new cultural experience which included social activity and a sense of winter well-being during what is often a bleak time of year.”

SEALL has a long tradition of supporting and developing the Island’s young musical talent in a safe and nurturing environment. Over the eras, Skye has built up a strong reputation for producing some of the world’s best traditional musicians and it is our aim to continue this tradition by supporting the genre’s rising stars by offering them performance and mentoring opportunities at concerts and workshops with their heroes in schools and public spaces.

The SEALL Festival of Small Halls has also been a true highlight in SEALL’s development. Taking big music to small halls across Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh we have made new connections and partnerships with communities and local businesses. Last year’s festival was a true celebration of the halls, their communities and their locality and exceeded all expectations.

“We were bowled over by the enthusiasm and pride with which each community embraced this new project and we are excited about future festivals.

Other past highlights were SEALL’s MG Alba award for Venue of the Year in 2015 and SEALL’s Founder Duncan MacInnes’ induction into the Hall of Fame in 2018.

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