Sheena first appeared on stage aged two, when she sang Stephen Foster's Beautiful Dreamer at a diddling competition. The Scottish folk 'revival' of the early 1960s introduced her to the singing of all-time greats Jeannie Robertson and Belle Stewart. This and her own background influenced her style and choice of material. A spell in the Wrens, the women's branch of the Royal Navy (RN), and marriage to a sailor took Sheena round Britain. But family commitments kept her out of the active folk scene until husband Malcolm left the RN. They bought a guest house in St Andrews, where she became involved as resident singer and compere at the St Andrews Folk Club and had a weekly folk programme on Radio Tay in Dundee for several years.
She now broadcasts frequently for the BBC and is in demand as lecturer, writer, song teacher and consultant on traditional music. She has sung at all the major clubs and festivals in Scotland, including the Edinburgh International Festival, appeared at major festivals throughout Europe and has toured in the USA and Canada. Her recordings have received widespread international acclaim. Her show My Ain Countrie devised for Glasgow's prestigious Celtic Connections and featuring the cream of Scotland's women traditional artists, was voted Best Scottish Performance at the 1996 Festival.
Sheena is a passionate and articulate advocate for traditional music. As an activist in the Traditional Music & Song Association of Scotland (TMSA) she has played a leading role in the fight for recognition, status and improved funding for Scotland's traditional arts. In 1992 she became the first traditional musician to be appointed to the important Music Committee of the Scottish Arts Council. In recognition of her achievements, Sheena has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of the TMSA and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. In November 1997, she received The Heritage Society of Scotland's annual award for the outstanding contribution she has made to Scotland's cultural life.