A musical ‘shoot-out’ is being funded to the tune of £1,500 by three of Scotland’s oldest sporting and cultural bodies.
Musicians have been set the challenge to come up with an original composition in a contest organised by the Royal Celtic Society (RCS), which is this year celebrating its 200th anniversary. It is supported by the Glasgow Celtic Society and shinty’s governing body the Camanachd Association, as well as Tulloch Homes.
The competition has been organised to mark the absence of shinty from this summer’s sporting calendar and look forward to the return of play.
The RCS had originally intended that the winner of the competition would have performed at the post-match Final Fling at this year’s Camanachd Cup Final in September.
However, with the flagship match postponed until next year due to the pandemic, the best three entrants will fight it out for the top prizes on final day.
The winner will get £750, second place £500 and third place £250.
RCS chairman Alan Hay said: “We were all very keen to find a way of answering the challenge of the postponement of this year’s show-piece shinty event and the RCS did not want to lose the opportunity of marking our 200th year as we would have wished.
“We have come up with a unique collaboration which will offer the country’s musicians a significant challenge with a major prize and using all the technology at our disposal, we believe we have come up with a format which will appeal to everyone and have a dramatic conclusion.”
Musicians are being asked to record their compositions on their phones or cameras and send them to a selection panel led by award-winning musician and former Scotland shinty captain Gary Innes.
Gary, who plays with the group Mànran and is presenter of BBC Scotland’s ‘Take the Floor’ radio programme, said: “This competition, with such substantial prizes, comes at a hugely important time for musicians.
“Most are effectively redundant with public events having been cancelled for the foreseeable future. They will be very interested in entering a prestigious competition which has originality and a final performance at its core.”
Gary will be joined on the panel by representatives of the Glasgow Celtic Society and the Camanachd Association.
Glasgow Celtic Society president Donald Fletcher said: “While the Society in modern times has concentrated on the promotion of the game of shinty, its origins lie in the preservation and promotion of the language, literature, music, poetry, antiquities and athletic games of the Highlanders.”
Camanachd Association president Keith Loades said: “Music and sport and the Gaelic language have been intertwined and represented in our work over all these years and we are sure this will be reflected in the quality of entry we will see and hear.
“We may not be getting the Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup Final we wanted on September 19, but we will at least now have a musical final to look forward to and we wish the entrants all the best in their endeavours.”