A PRESTIGIOUS Scots music prize has been won by an all-female band for the first time.

The Kinnaris Quintet scooped the £25,000 award – a financial sum matched only by the Mercury Prize in the UK music industry – for innovation in Scottish music.

The Belhaven Bursary, in association with Showcase Scotland Expo, will support Fiona MacAskill, Laura Wilkie, Aileen Reid Gobbi, Laura-Beth Salter and Jenn Butterworth to develop their unique musical ideas. Butterworth was also voted Musician of the Year at this year’s MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards.

Gordon Muir, marketing controller at Belhaven Brewery, said the company was “thrilled” the award had been won by the Kinnaris Quintet.

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“Their musical range, innovative arrangements and vibrant stage presence stood out among an amazingly talented shortlist,” he said.

“Since coming together in 2017, Kinnaris Quintet have brought a fresh energy to the trad scene and we look forward to the bursary helping them spring to the next level.”

Other prize winners included Jenna Reid who battled against an all-female shortlist to win Composer of the Year.

More accolades followed when Reid’s group Blazin’ Fiddles were voted Folk Band of the Year. Reid is a previous award winner having won best up-and-coming artist in 2005.

Mary Ann Kennedy, who hosted the ceremony at Aberdeen Music Hall on Saturday night, won Gaelic Singer of the Year, while Breabach’s sixth album, Frenzy Of The Meeting, won Album of the Year.

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Following 10 consecutive sell outs, Tiree Music Festival, which has contributed £6.4 million to the small island economy, picked up the award for Event of the Year and the sought-after Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year went to Steve Byrne.

Man of the Minch, dubbed by Rolling Stone magazine as “forward-thinking folk music”, took home the Up-and-Coming Artist of The Year award, which recognises fresh and promising talent.

After a whirlwind year of wowing crowds at Belladrum Festival and preparing to kick off 2020 with sold-out shows across the UK, trio Peat and Diesel picked up the award for Live Act of the Year.

Club of the Year went to Sutherland Sessions, a newly formed organisation which provides opportunities for young local musicians to play live music and brings local, national and international musicians to Sutherland.

Trad Video of the Year was won by Tide Lines for Heroes, with Iain Ruari Finlayson of Skye Schools winning Music Tutor of the Year and An Tobar on Mull scooping Venue of the Year.

The Community Project of the Year award went to Seall Festival of Small Halls, while the Cruickshank Family Band won Scottish Dance Band of the Year and Inverary Pipe Band was named as Scottish Pipe Band of the Year.

The evening also included a number of special recognitions such as the Hamish Henderson Services to Traditional Music Award which was won by Dr Peter Cooke.

The Services to Gaelic Award was presented to Anne Soutar while the Janet Paisley Services to Scots Language went to poet Sheena Blackhall.

Event founder and promoter, Simon Thoumire said it had been another “fabulous” year for Scottish Trad music.

“Our scene is in good shape,” he said.

Alan Morrison, head of music at Creative Scotland said the awards proved Scotland has an age-old music which “lives and breathes” in the 21st century.

“This year’s winners include grassroots heroes and international stars, acts who have blazed a trail for decades and others who are just starting out on a promising career,” he said.

“Congratulations to them all – and to every one of the nominees who make our music the envy of the world.”

The evening was broadcast live on BBC ALBA and unseen footage can be seen on a special highlights show on December 27 at 9pm.