Steven Blake

ARTFORMS: Music , Pipes


Edinburgh-born Steven has been a music scholar at Stewart Melville’s College for seven years, the first piper to receive such a scholarship. He started learning the Highland bagpipes at a young age, winning many solo competitions, including the Stirlingshire Mod and the Lothian and Borders solo contest, culminating in becoming the Scottish Schools’ Piobaireachd Champion three years’ running. He was the Pipe Major of the School’s band for several years.

More recently Steven learned the Scottish Smallpipes and formed a band within the school to play contemporary traditional music, and then later started to learn the low whistle. When he reached the semi-final stage of the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year Steven decided to progress to the Uillean pipes, which draws together his piping and whistle playing skills. The following year he reached the final stage of the prestigious competition. Steven also plays the piano.

Steven is considered to be one of the most talented young pipers in Scotland. He is equally at home with traditional piping, contemporary folk music and composition and possesses a unique style of playing which sets him apart from his peers. He intends to make music his career and has recently been accepted onto Glasgow’s RSAMD degree course in Scottish Piping.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award enabled Steven to buy a set of Uilleann pipes.

I am extremely excited at the thought of immersing myself in this whole other dimension of piping, expanding my musical experiences and knowledge and really cannot describe my gratitude for your help.