Category: Radio 2
Bodega, a six-piece band of highly talented music students from the north of Scotland, have won the 2005/6 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards.
Following a final in a packed house at The Sage, Gateshead, Bodega were presented with the award by Radio 2's Folk Musician of the Year, Kathryn Tickell.
"We are so pleased to win this award," said vocalist Norrie MacIver from the Isle of Lewis. "It really means a lot to us."
"They were superb," said presenter Mike Harding, whose weekly folk and acoustic show on Radio 2 showcases the UK-wide search for the best young traditional musicians.
"I loved the unusual blend of clarsach, fiddle and djembe, with Norrie's powerful Gaelic singing adding a huge impact to the songs."
Highlights of the night, including the winning performance by Bodega, can be heard on Mike's Radio 2 show on Wednesday 14 December between 8.00 and 9.00pm.
"This competition gets tougher and tougher each year," said John Leonard, one of the night's five judges and executive producer of Mike's Radio 2 show.
"Bodega showed they had that rare combination of superb playing, an instinctive feel for their tradition and the dynamic qualities as a band to showcase their talent."
Bodega's prize is a year of musical opportunity. They will record a session for Mike's Radio 2 programme and play to crowds of 35,000 people at the Cambridge and Cropredy festivals, two of the biggest summer gatherings in folk's live music calendar.
In addition they'll play the Towersey Village festival and appear at the Association of Festival Organisers' conference, which brings together 150 of the country's festival organisers.
Together with a year's membership of the Musicians' Union, this represents a flying start to their musical careers.
Bodega met at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music, Plockton, Scotland, in 2004. They comprise:
Gillian Chalmers (17), pipes and whistle;
Ross Couper (17), fiddle;
Tia Files (16), acoustic and bass guitar;
Sandie Forbes (18), fiddle and vocals;
Norrie MacIver (18), accordion, guitar, djembe, vocals;
and June Naylor (17), clarsach and piano.
Gillian Chalmers, from Aberdeenshire, is studying for a BA in Scottish Studies (Piping) at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, since leaving Plockton's National Centre of Excellence this year.
Ross Couper, from Shetland, is a student on the BA Folk and Traditional Music course at Newcastle and plays guitar, drums and fiddle.
From Oban, Tia Files has played in many festivals and competitions, including Celtic Colours in Canada, and The Royal National MOD. She is still studying at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music.
Sandie Forbes is a classically trained violinist who began playing traditional music when she was 14 and has now played at many festivals and clubs throughout Scotland and Europe. She is a student at Strathclyde University, studying for a BA in Applied Music.
Eighteen-year-old Norrie MacIver, from the Isle of Lewis, plays accordion, guitar and djembe and has won awards for his Gaelic singing. He is also studying for a BA in Scottish Music at the RSAMD.
June Naylor has been playing clarsach for five years. She's won many awards for her playing during this time and is in much demand as a soloist. She's also studying for a BA in Applied Music at Strathclyde University.
Now in its eighth year, the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards are open to folk and traditional musicians across the UK aged between 15 and 20.
This year, 47 acts comprising a total of 79 musicians entered from across the UK.
Fourteen acts were selected by competition organisers Folkworks to go through to the semi-final.
The final, featuring six acts selected by a panel of judges, was held last Friday 9 December at The Sage Gateshead, in front of an audience of 1,500.
The judging panel was: John Leonard, executive producer of the Mike Harding Show and the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards; Steve Heap, director of Mrs Casey Music folk agency, Towersey Village Festival and the Association of Festival Organisers' conference; Eddie Barcan, director of Cambridge Folk Festival; Simon Thoumire, an accomplished musician and founder of Foot Stompin' Records and Hands Up For Trad; and Kathryn Tickell, composer, arranger, one of the world's finest Northumbrian pipers and holder of the Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year.
The Radio 2 Young Folk Awards are a Smooth Operations production for Radio 2.