Lismore accordionist hopes he has key ingredient to win BBC final
A FORMER Oban High School pupil has made it to the finals of a prestigious national music competition.
Accordionist Murray Willis, 22, from Lismore, is among six finalists in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2016, having coming through a tough semi-final back in October.
The talented box player now hopes he can put the ‘squeeze’ on the other finalists when they battle it out in the final this Sunday.
A former pupil of Lismore Primary, Murray learned his craft through the strong ceilidh and Mòd culture that exists in the West Highlands and Islands. He went on to study music at Benbecula College on Uist, before moving to Glasgow, where he currently works as a music tutor and, up until recently, a part-time blacksmith.
Murray explained: ‘I’ve seen the competitions over the years as they are normally televised and they are a really good platform for young musicians getting noticed, so I thought, why not apply?”. I was asked to take part in the semi final.
‘I’m delighted to get through to the final as it was a really good standard. It’s a really nice group of people, too, and we all get on great.’
Until recently, Murray was studying music and Gaelic, while working as a blacksmith, but has now made the leap to tutoring music full-time.
The awards, now in their 16th year, are held to try and keep young musicians playing traditional music, to maximise their musical potential, and to help launch the career of young traditional musicians.
Sunday’s final will involve a 15-minute set at the City Halls in Glasgow.
‘I’m a little bit nervous, and excited too,’ said Murray. ‘I’ve got nothing to lose though. It’s a chance to get into the big time, so I’m going to enjoy it and do the best that I can.’
Joining Murray in the final are; fiddle player Hannah Macrae from Lochaber; Jessica Burton, a clarsach player from Orkney; Edinburgh’s Robbie Greig, who plays the fiddle, Mohsen Amini, a concertina player from Glasgow, and fiddle player Ryan Young from Cardross.
For details about the event, including tickets and broadcast information, visit: projects. handsupfortrad. scot/ youngtrad/