Brighde Chaimbeul makes BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award final
IRISH folk band The Corrs featured four siblings who took the pop world by storm and sold 40 million albums worldwide.
And now more proof has emerged that musical talent runs in families after a teenage music sensation followed in her sisters’ footsteps to win through to the final of this year’s BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.
Brighde Chaimbeul, 17, is one of five siblings who attend – or have previously attended – the city’s prestigious St Mary’s Music School.
The semi-finals in Kendal, Cumbria, saw ten young musicians compete in this category, either as individuals or in groups. And Brighde, who is studying piping and piano, played her Hamish Moore Smallpipes and was chosen as a nominee.
Three other recent pupils of St Mary’s – Padruig Morrison, Pete Thornton and David Swan – known as the Causeway Trio also reached the final, which will take place at the Folk Awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London on April 27.
Brighde’s younger brother, Eosaph, 13, and sister Ciorstaidh-Sarah, 15, are also keen traditional musicians and regularly join Brighde in the school’s Traditional Group.
And their oldest sisters are 22-year-old Màiri, now in her final year studying jazz, world music and composition at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and 21-year-old Steaphanaidh, who is studying harp at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
Màiri was given the Berklee College of Music American Roots Music Award in 2015 and has performed at concerts across the USA. She is a member of several bands, including the Aerialists, who release their first EP in May and is due to tour Scotland with friend and fellow musician from Berklee, fiddler Jenna Moynihan.
She was also twice a finalist, along with her sister Steaphanaidh, in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards.
Ciorstaidh-Sarah has also just been selected as one of four young musicians sponsored by the Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh.
They are all Gaelic speakers brought up in Sleat on the Isle of Skye, though the family has been living in Kyle of Lochalsh for several years. Their proud parents are the writer and actor Aonghas Phadraig Caimbeul and Liondsaidh Chaimbeul, who is a sculptor.
Aonghas said: “All of them have worked extremely hard. They love music and have absorbed Gaelic song and traditional music from a very young age, and have combined that beautifully with their classical music studies.
“I know some folk say that it’s hard to listen when children are learning musical instruments, but it has always been a joy to us.
“It’s great when everyone is at home and pipes, a guitar, drums, a saxophone, a couple of clàrsachs, an accordion, whistles, a clarinet and a various assortment of other instruments appear. We then sing, in the hope that our voices will be masked by the instruments.”
Dr Kenneth Taylor, headteacher at St Mary’s, said: “Everyone at the school is very pleased Brighde has reached the final of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award and we will be wishing her all the very best for the final in London.”