2006 Awardee: Roisin Hughes


Roisin Anne Hughes is an extremely talented multi instrumentalist, who can perform to a very high standard on fiddle/violin, flute, whistle, accordion, mandola and mouth organ. She’s also a cracking singer.

Still only 17, Roisin has enjoyed an almost intimidating level of success in championships, including in fiddle, Scottish Champion eight times and British Champion once, and in mouth organ, British Champion seven times. Not surprisingly, Roisin has performed at Celtic Connections, as well as at many other Scottish and Irish traditional music showcases, with one of the bands she regularly plays with, ‘La’.

Roisin’s interest in both Scottish and Irish traditional music stems from her background. Her mother is Irish, and her father’s family have a long tradition with Clyde shipbuilding, near where Roisin was brought up. As well as being an exponent of traditional music, Roisin started playing classical violin at the age of 9. It shows character and talent to master both techniques well, and by fifth year, Roisin became leader of the Glasgow Schools Symphony Orchestra.

For some time, Roisin has wanted to have a performance standard fiddle. She had her eye on a George Duncan fiddle, but had competition from a fiddle collector who spied it for his show cabinet. George Duncan was a Glasgow fiddle-maker who won gold medals for his fiddle-making – he and Roisin have a lot in common.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award provided the money for Roisin to buy the George Duncan fiddle, to release it to be played rather than sit on a shelf and gather dust.

Since the Award

Roisin has had a great deal of success with her new fiddle. In 2007 and 2009 she reached the All-Ireland finals in the Comhaltas competitions. Her band Yuptae has also enjoyed success, playing at the Danny Kyle Open Stage as part of the Celtic Connections and reaching the semi-finals of the Live and Unsigned UK in Newcastle.