Proving that music can offer a much-needed escape from everyday struggles, bagpiper Calum Lawrie was delighted to be named the Entertainment Champion at this year’s virtual awards.
Giving up his free time to provide entertainment to lift the spirits of the north-east, Calum offered a popular “chat and tune” service throughout lockdown.
The talented bagpiper made more than 100 calls a month, performing via FaceTime, WhatsApp or Skype to brighten up days of those who needed to self-isolate.
Calum said it was incredibly rewarding to see he was able to make someone’s day by surprising them with a message from friends and family and performing music wearing a full highland dress.
While the bagpiper didn’t charge anything for the calls, he encouraged callers to make small donations to charities or the NHS.
Calum, who watched the awards ceremony with his wife and two sons, said he was delighted to virtually pick up his award.
He said: “It was brilliant to hear more about my fellow finalists across all of the categories and congratulations to them all.
“It was particularly warming to see the differences people have made to others during the pandemic and made me proud to be an Aberdonian – that’s for sure.
“To be ranked among the other award winners is extremely humbling and is definitely one of my proudest moments.
“With the nature of the awards there are no ‘winners and losers’ in my opinion as everyone has carried out an act that benefits the lives of others, so we can all be very proud of that.”
Evening Express editor Craig Walker said: “Judges wanted to honour Calum with this award because what he did typifies what many people did during lockdown – giving away his skills and time, free of charge, to make the lives of those less fortunate that little bit brighter.”
Alan Moir, partner at Fyfe Moir & Associates, which sponsored the Entertainment Champion category, said: “It was a pleasure for our firm to be associated with the awards.
“In Calum Lawrie we believe there was a very worthy winner chosen by the judges in the entertainment category.”