MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards shortlist unveiled

PRS for Music sponsors Composer of the Year

Scots Trad Music Awards logo

Shortlisted nominations for the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards 2017 have been announced today (Tuesday 7 November).

Heralded as the most prestigious award ceremony in the traditional music calendar, the winners will be revealed during a glitzy award ceremony on Saturday 2nd December, at Paisley’s Lagoon Centre as Paisley bids for UK City of Culture 2021.

Organising body Hands Up for Trad today unveiled the shortlist via Facebook live, and will hand out a total of sixteen awards to the best trad talent throughout Scotland’s bustling industry. Voting for the shortlisted acts will be open from today, Tuesday 7th November, until 24th November and votes can be cast online via  

The night will be jam-packed with live performances from The Shee Big Band, who are roping in honorary Shees from throughout their eleven years to join them on stage, as well as performances from nominees Elephant Sessions and Siobhan Miller, making it a must-see event. Tickets are available now, and can be purchased by calling 0300 300 1210 or visiting They can also be bought directly from Paisley Arts Centre.

The Album of the Year (sponsored by Birnam CD) is one of the most sought-after awards and competition is stiff this year, with 10 nominees all vying for the top spot including Elephant Sessions, Mànran, and Ímar, alongside Ryan Young who last year won the Up and Coming Artist of the Year award.  

Oban Live and the Killin Music Festival are among the nominees for the Event of the Year category (sponsored by VisitScotland), while Community Project of the Year (sponsored by Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust) nods to Tiree Songbook and EPL Events, among others. 

Elephant Sessions, Ímar, Tide Lines and Skippinish make up the shortlist for Live Act of the Year (sponsored by Greentrax), and Gnoss, Hò-rò, Heron Valley, Inyal and Brighde Chaimbeul all compete for the Up and Coming Artist of the Year (sponsored by the Royal Scottish Conservatoire) category. A full list of nominees is below.  

Hands Up for Trad which is supported by Creative Scotland exists to promote Scottish traditional music through education, information and advocacy to artists, audiences and participants throughout Scotland and beyond.


A massive congratulations to all of our shortlisted nominees – we can’t wait to welcome them to Paisley for the ceremony. We want to say a huge thanks to everyone who has voted – with such a wealth of amazing Trad talent in Scotland, we’re sure it wasn’t an easy task.  Hands Up for Trad are dedicated to showcasing the level of talent in this country, and the awards are a real highlight in the calendar each year. We can’t wait for an unmissable night of live music on Saturday 2nd December – make sure you get involved!

Simon Thoumire, event founder and promoter

The MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards showcase Scotland’s world-class musical talent. We at MG ALBA are immensely proud to support that - and delighted that Scotland’s talent gets the broadcast platform it deserves on BBC ALBA.

Murdo MacSween, Communications Manager for the event’s title sponsor, MG ALBA

We are thrilled to be welcoming the MG ALBA Scots Trad Awards to Paisley for the first time for what I am sure will be a memorable evening. The town already has really strong links with the Scottish trad scene - several of the shortlisted acts played sell-out shows at our annual Spree festival this October, and we recently found out we are due to welcome the Royal National Mòd back to Paisley in either 2021 or 2022. December's awards night couldn't come at a better time for us - with the announcement over whether we will be named UK City of Culture 2021 expected later that month. Our congratulations go to everyone who has made the shortlist and we look forward to offering a warm Paisley welcome.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron

At home and abroad, this has been a fantastic year for Scotland’s traditional music scene.  Our finest artists have had festival tents jumping and radio airwaves buzzing, winning awards and embracing new audiences everywhere they go.  Stars of the future have taken big leaps forward while the veterans who paved the way have enriched our culture even further. The sheer breadth of their talent is celebrated at the Scots Trad Music Awards, which Creative Scotland is delighted to support through Hands Up For Trad. Best of luck to all the nominees.

Alan Morrison, Head of Music, Creative Scotland


Album of the Year sponsored by Birnam CDs

  • Afterlight by Ímar
  • All We Have Is Now by Elephant Sessions
  • An Dà Là - The Two Days by Mànran
  • An Dàn - Gaelic Songs for a Modern World by Mary Ann Kennedy
  • Bere by Saltfishforty
  • Fiddle + Guitar by Ross Couper + Tom Oakes
  • Mac Ile by The Islay Sessioners
  • Room with a View by Old Blind Dogs
  • Ryan Young by Ryan Young
  • Strata by Siobhan Miller

Community Project of the Year sponsored by Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust

  • EPL events (Angus) 
  • SCaT (Aberdeen)
  • Fun Fiddle (Edinburgh)
  • Tiree Songbook

Composer of the Year sponsored by PRS for Music

  • Adam Sutherland
  • Ailie Robertson
  • Lauren MacColl
  • Angus MacPhail
  • Aidan O’Rourke

Live Act of the Year sponsored by Greentrax Recordings

  • Elephant Sessions
  • Ímar
  • Tide Lines
  • Skipinnish
  • Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year sponsored by Traditional Music and Song Association
  • Hannah Rarity
  • Iona Fyfe
  • Siobhan Miller
  • Claire Hastings
  • Blue Rose Code

Up and Coming Artist Award sponsored by Royal Scottish Conservatoire

  • Gnoss
  • Hò-rò
  • Heron Valley
  • Inyal
  • Brighde Chaimbeul

Music Tutor of the Year sponsored by Creative Scotland

  • Emma Tomlinson
  • Keith Dickson 
  • Dave Martin
  • James Alexander
  • Pippa Reid-Foster

Gaelic Singer of the Year sponsored by Macmeanmna

  • Mary Ann Kennedy
  • Alasdair Whyte
  • Calum Alex MacMillan
  • Robert Robertson

Folk Band of the Year sponsored by Threads of Sound

  • Fara
  • Josie Duncan and Pablo Lafuente
  • Routes Quartet
  • Talisk

Dance Band of the Year sponsored by National Association of Box and Fiddle Clubs

  • Duncan Black Band
  • James Coutts Scottish Dance Band
  • John Carmichael Ceilidh Band
  • David Halcrow Band

Scottish Pipe Band of the Year sponsored by The Glenturret Single Malt Whisky

  • Inveraray & District Pipe Band 
  • Royal Mail Burgh of Annan Pipe Band
  • Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band 
  • Dollar Academy Pipe Band

Club of the Year sponsored by Tradition Arts and Culture Scotland

  • Edinburgh Folk Club
  • Arc Sessions (Fochabers)
  • Clydesdale Accordion Club (Lanark)
  • Campsie Accordion & Fiddle Club

Instrumentalist of the Year sponsored by Royal Scottish Country Dance Society

  • Jennifer Wrigley
  • Roisin Ann Hughes
  • Paul Anderson
  • Gary Innes
  • Maeve Gilchrist 

Event of the Year sponsored by VisitScotland

  • Killin Music Festival
  • International Harp Festival (Edinburgh)
  • Oban Live
  • A Night For Angus (Shooglenifty at Celtic Connections)
  • Wind Resistance (Karine Polwart)
  • Trad Music in the Media sponsored by Skipinnish 
  • BBC Radio nan Gaidheal A' Mire ri Mòir
  • BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards
  • TradTV
  • Seirm (Bees Nees Media)

Venue of the Year sponsored by Musicians' Union

  • An Lanntair (Stornoway)
  • Tolbooth (Stirling)
  • Knoydart Community Hall
  • Glassel Hall (Aberdeenshire)

About MG ALBA 

MG ALBA is the operating name of Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig (Gaelic Media Service). MG ALBA works in partnership with the BBC to deliver BBC ALBA. Find out more about MG ALBA and the partnership at or visit for scheduling and programme information.

About Creative Scotland 

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

Fios mu MG ALBA 

Is e MG ALBA ainm-gnìomh Sheirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig. Tha MG ALBA ag obair ann an co-bhanntachd leis a’ BhBC airson BBC ALBA a’ libhrigeadh. Airson barrachd fiosrachaidh mu MG ALBA agus mun cho-bhanntachd faic no tadhal air airson fiosrachadh mu chlàran agus phrògraman

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For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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