Royal Celtic Society’s unique music competition

Work has begun on processing the twenty entries received for a unique competition which set the country’s musicians the challenge of creating a new shinty composition.

The closing date for entries to the competition was midnight, Wednesday, 5th August.

Three of Scotland’s oldest and most significant sporting and cultural bodies came together to offer a major set of prizes for an original musical competition marking the absence of shinty from this summer’s sporting calendar and looking forward to the return of play.

The Royal Celtic Society, which is this year celebrating its 200th anniversary, in partnership with the Glasgow Celtic Society and shinty’s governing body the Camanachd Association, supported by Tulloch Homes, set up the competition, offering three prizes totalling £1,500 for an individual to compose an original composition.

The RCS had originally intended that the winner of the competition could have performed at this year’s Camanachd Cup Final at the post-match Final Fling. That game has been postponed until next year, but the intention now is to have a musical shoot-out on that very date in September 2020, between the three best entrants, who will then share the prizes.

The winner will get £750, second place £500 and third place £250.

Speaking on behalf of the RCS, council member Hugh Dan MacLennan, who is administering the competition said: “This a unique collaboration which set the country’s musicians a significant challenge with a major prize.

“We are delighted with the level and range of entries in what was an experimental venture for all three bodies.

“Using all the technology at our disposal, we came up with a format which did eventually have a broad appeal, and is reflected in the instruments used – including two played on the clàrsach – the type of compositions and songs offered, and the level of interpretation applied by the various musicians.

“An interesting feature of the entries has been the huge age range involved. Without giving anything away, we have had entries from very young candidates to others who are clearly drawing on a different range of experiences relating to shinty.

“I do not envy Gary Innes and his fellow judges the scale of their task in narrowing their selection down to three finalists.

“The musicians certainly rose to the challenge.”

Gary will be joined on the panel by representatives of the RCS, the Glasgow Celtic Society and the Camanachd Association, who will be represented by Claire Delaney of Lochaber Camanachd.

The Camanachd Association has re-scheduled the 2020 Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final for Kingussie in September 2021.

The judges’ task is now to select three finalists for a musical shoot-out which will take place in September.

That Selection is due to be done by Wednesday 26th August and the three finalists will be confirmed on Friday 28th August.

Final details of the musical shoot to be held on Saturday 19th September, when the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final should have taken place, will be confirmed in due course.