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Royal Conservatoire graduate crowned BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year

Emerging folk singer and Royal Conservatoire graduate, Hannah Rarity, has been awarded the title of 2018 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year.

The 25-year-old performer, who graduated from the Royal Conservatoire in 2016, was the unanimous choice of the judging panel at the final of the prestigious competition on Sunday 28 January, which formed part of the Celtic Connections Festival.

Hannah was joined by a strong field of performers from the Royal Conservatoire, ranked in the world’s top three institutions for performing arts education, during the event at Glasgow’s City Halls including fellow graduate David Shedden (bagpipes) and students Amy Papiransky (Scots singing) and Rory Matheson (piano). Her victory comes a year after the competition was won by Royal Conservatoire student, fiddler and jazz double bassist, Charlie Stewart.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Congratulations to Hannah, who performed so wonderfully to win the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award.

“The calibre of performers in the final of the competition was so high, testament to the flourishing traditional music scene all over the country. That Hannah was joined in the final by several Royal Conservatoire students and graduates demonstrates the high esteem in which traditional music is held at the Royal Conservatoire, as we continue to ensure our traditional musicians are given the platform to flourish in their artistic careers.”

Winning the award is the latest accolade for Hannah, who also receives a recording session with BBC Scotland and one-year membership to the Musicians’ Union.

Since graduating from the Royal Conservatoire with first class honours in Scottish Music, she has toured internationally with renowned Irish-American traditional group Cherish the Ladies, appeared as a soloist on BBC Scotland’s Hogmanay Live 2016, sold out her 2017 Edinburgh Fringe debut and featured in projects for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and BBC Northern Ireland TV.

Hannah was also accepted onto the Live Music Now Scotland charity scheme with her duo partner, Luc McNally, taking live folk music to a diverse range of people throughout Scotland.

Jeff Zycinski, Head of Radio at BBC Scotland, said: “Every year we are amazed at the consistently high standard of young musicians who reach the finals.

“Hannah’s performance particularly impressed the judges – she captivated the audience from the moment she stepped on stage at the City Halls.

“It was an extremely difficult choice, though. Each one of our finalists was magnificent, giving some especially spirited performances and showing exactly the kind of individuality and flair we set out to find when we launched the search for this year’s winner.”

More information about studying traditional music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is available on the RCS website.

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