Young Borderers collect national Burns awards

Jedburgh fiddler Eryn Rae collects her award from immediate past president of RBWF and Ian McIntyre, senior vice president of RBWF.
Jedburgh fiddler Eryn Rae collects her award from immediate past president of RBWF and Ian McIntyre, senior vice president of RBWF.

The best laid schemes of three Borders students turned out perfectly at the weekend as they each picked up top awards at the Robert Burns World Federation’s national championship.

Jedburgh’s Eryn Rae and Hannah Wyness both took home awards for their fiddle-playing, and Euan Welsh, of Hawick, won a prize for his verse at the secondary school national finals in Carluke on Saturday.

Hawick's Euan Welsh collects his award from immediate past president of RBWF and Ian McIntyre, senior vice president of RBWF.

Hawick's Euan Welsh collects his award from immediate past president of RBWF and Ian McIntyre, senior vice president of RBWF.

Eryn,16, a finalist in the Radio 2 Folk Awards earlier this month, was named best instrumentalist in the S5-S6 category, as well as taking the prize for best overall instrumentalist.

She will now go on to perform at the society’s annual Westsound Burns supper next year and earned herself the title of young Burnsian of the year.

She has competed at the annual competition each year for over six years, previously picking up trophies at the primary school national competition too.

Alongside her the last few years has been fellow Jedburgh fiddler Hannah, named best instrumentalist in the S3-S4 catergory on Saturday.

Jedburgh's Hannah Wyness.

Jedburgh's Hannah Wyness.

Eryn said: “Hannah and I have been competing in the Burns competition nearly every year since agoes eight and nine, so it has always been a good experience and has taken us all over Scotland for the finals.

“It’s always stiff competition against the other three contenders for the Young Burnsian, so it’s really great to have won overall this time.”

In the spoken verse competition, Hawick’s Euan picked came top in the S3-S4 category of the competition for his rendition of Tae a Louse.

The annual competition draws together finalists from across Scotland who have previously won regional heats in verse speaking, singing, instrumental and bagpiping categories.

Hannah Wyness and Eryn Rae of Jedburgh Grammar School.

Hannah Wyness and Eryn Rae of Jedburgh Grammar School.

Hawick Burns Club honorary life member David Scott, a past president of the Borders Association of Burns Clubs, was delighted with the efforts of all three young Borderers.

There in a judging capacity, he said: “Gifted – that is how the judge of the instrumental section described Eryn and Hannah.

“I think that view was reflected by the hundreds in the audience who were tapping their feet and bouncing in their chairs when Eryn competed in the play-off.

“I have had the great pleasure of listening to these girls play on a number of occasions.”

He added: “Euan delivered Tae a Louse just as all imagined Robert Burns himself would have recited it.”

A spokesperson for the competition added: “Once again, a fantastic group of talented youngsters participated on competition day.

“Those in attendance were thoroughly entertained by a fabulous group of pupils competing in the four disciplines.”