Hannah Knight’s name was called out as the winner of the Traditional Gold Medal and her joy was obvious as the Carloway lass’ face spread with an enormous grin.
But Hannah says that grin was a mixture of delight and surprise as she had convinced herself she was out of running, telling herself she hadn’t done enough to land the prestigious Traditional Gold Medal.
“When the scores went up I had no clue that I had won,” she said.
“I honestly didn’t know, I couldn’t work it out. I hadn’t even listened to the other competitors as I was so sure I hadn’t won. I went and tried to relax instead.”
Having qualifed from a very strong field in the morning’s competitions Hannah still didn’t feel too confident after a difficult couple of years competing in the Traditional.
“No I wasn’t very confident coming into the final as to be fully honest, I wasn’t too sure of my words,” she explained.
“When I was practising I kept getting one verse wrong so I had to work really hard on that. So I was quite unsettled coming into tonight.
“I concentrated so hard on getting this one verse right that once I got that over and done with I relaxed a little. I thought I ruined it actually and didn’t think I had a chance of winning so I decided to just give it my all and see where it took me.”
She added: “I’ve done the Traditional a few times before but I usually get so nervous and geuinely the last few years has been really tough.
“I get so nervous and stressed but coming in here was kind of a celidh kind of atmosphere and we had been out for dinner before hand with the Carloway Choir, who were all here tonight too, so I had great support which helped.”
Hannah’s fears proved to be unfounded as she hit all the right notes to land the prestigious medal while fellow Hebridean singer John Joe MacNeil won the male equivalent.
John Joe from Barra is the current Head Teacher of Lochaber Gaelic Primary School and his triumph ensured a historic one-two for singers from home shores.