Musician Amy targeting Trad success

A University of Aberdeen music graduate will fight for the title of BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the year this weekend.

Amy Papiransky, 24, from Keith, graduated in 2015 with a bachelors in Music Education and has since been working as a music teacher in schools as well as undertaking her Masters and recording her first EP of her own work.

But on Sunday January 28 her sole focus will be on producing the performance of her life in front of a packed out Celtic Connections festival at Glasgow’s City Halls.

“I am really nervous to be honest. Super excited but nervous. I definitely think this will be my most important performance yet,” Amy says.

“It’s been a goal of mine to enter the competition ever since a friend of mine reached the final in 2009. A group of us went to see him perform in the final and I thought, ‘I would love to be in this!’. Since then it has been one of my goals to enter and even just get accepted into the semi-finals, I never dreamed I would reach the finals with such an amazingly talented line-up. There really are a crazy number of young traditional players and singers out there now. I am just going to pretend it isn't a competition and simply just a concert. Winning is not even a thought for me but I guess I should never say never!

“So far the competition experience has been amazing. I have met new friends in my fellow competitors and gained more knowledge on useful organisations such as PRS. I have also made many more contacts that will hopefully help me to get my name out there in the folk scene.”

Amy says the support and training she received at the University of Aberdeen has played its role in her ongoing success.

“I absolutely loved studying at Aberdeen. I met friends for life - both fellow students and tutors. I was so lucky to receive an extremely high standard of tuition in classical voice and piano at the University and I thank Blair Cargill and Gillian Jack so much for this.”

Since graduating, Amy has moved to Glasgow where she has been teaching at schools in the North Lanarkshire area. Last year she started her Masters in Scots Song at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

“It has been fun so far, very much self-taught, as in, the majority of the course is performance-based so I have been working on my own individual projects. Right now I am in the middle of recording my first EP and the plan is to have my first album consisting of my own songwriting out either at the end of this year or the start of next.

“I also head to India in March to sing and play with an organisation called 'Ethno'. I would be one extremely happy young woman if I could continue working in songwriting/Scots song and performing at festivals locally and internationally whilst keeping my High School music teaching on the side along with tutoring privately and singing and playing at weddings.”