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Arts / Folk festival programmer lands Scottish trad music award

Mhari McLeman said the award is an ‘accolade for the festival’

Cheers! Mhari McLeman was one of the winner's at this weekend's Scots Trad Music Awards.

A SHETLAND Folk Festival stalwart is celebrating after picking up a prize at the weekend’s Scots Trad Music Awards.

Mhari McLeman was named ‘Traditional Music Enabler of the Year’ at the event in Dundee on Saturday.

The folk festival programmer was not there in person due to gigging commitments with her band Laeverick at their album launch on the same night in Burra.

Laeverick excited to bring harmonious album back home to Burra

But she said she was “very chuffed” to win the award, which has been newly introduced this year.

There were a number of Shetland nominations on the night, including the Cullivoe Band and Arthur Nicholson. Fiddler Jenna Reid, originally from Quarff, tasted success with her group Blazin’ Fiddles, who won the Scottish Folk Band of the Year prize.

The winners were voted for by the public.

McLeman has been volunteering with the Shetland Folk Festival for three decades, joining the committee in 2005.

She has been doing programming for the popular, volunteer-run event for nearly ten years.

Speaking about her award win, McLeman told Shetland News: “So many folk work tirelessly behind the scenes to facilitate and enable opportunities for traditional musicians from Scotland – and that includes a huge amount of volunteers who are passionate about our music and culture.

“I’m incredibly proud of what our entire volunteer team deliver year in, year out and I very much see this award as an accolade for the festival and all that we enable.”

McLeman added that she only became aware of the news during the interval at Saturday’s concert, when she switched on her phone to find messages of congratulations “flooding in” from friends in attendance at the Dundee prizegiving event.

Meanwhile preparations continue for the 42nd Shetland Folk Festival, which is scheduled to take place in early May next year.

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