2019 Awardee: Tallulah Molleson

"I am so grateful for my Dewar Arts Award as the support has enabled me to pursue my dream to study jazz in a world class institution and continue to develop my creative ideas and find constant inspiration from a vibrant music scene."

Biography

Originally from Edinburgh, Tallulah Molleson grew up in a musical family and became involved with music and performance from a young age. She attended St Mary’s Music School as a chorister and at age 11 began studying saxophone, which led her to discover an interest in jazz. She went on to play in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra where she further developed this focus.

Whilst playing with big bands, Tallulah developed personal projects merging jazz, neo-soul and hip hop. With fellow musicians Max Carsley, Euan Crawford-Mckee and Mark Sandford, she recorded ‘Marzi’ an EP of original music and jazz standards. With this group, she performed at various venues in Edinburgh and at the Kelburn music festival.

In September 2019, Tallulah began studying Jazz Saxophone at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam where she continued to explore her musical ideas, fusing her singing and saxophone playing with inspiration from the many other talented students. Finding the environment stimulating, Tallulah developed her compositional skills, drawing from jazz, hip hop and groove music along her musical journey.

How the Award Helped

Tallulah’s award enabled her to attend the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where she was able to learn from world-class tutors and receive support to grow as a professional artist and musician.

"I am so grateful for my Dewar Arts Award as the support has enabled me to pursue my dream to study jazz in a world class institution and continue to develop my creative ideas and find constant inspiration from a vibrant music scene."

2019 Awardee: Daniel Toderas

"The Dewar Arts Award not only helped me financially, but also gave me the chance to pursue one of my biggest dreams...without having to worry about financial problems...words can’t tell how grateful I am for their help"

Biography

Born in Romania, Daniel began to take piano lessons when he was 8 and played his first concert aged 9. At that point he decided that performing was his ‘in his blood’ and it became his dream to play professionally. Daniel began taking part in bigger competitions such as Romania Music Olympics, in which he achieved First Place.

When he was 13, Daniel moved to Scotland and started working with Peter Evans. He was given the chance to perform Prokofiev’s 1st Piano Concerto with an orchestra, and this opened doors to him.  This included an invitation to play Gershwin’s Concerto in F with the Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra in May 2020.

Daniel’s goal is to become a well-known performer, and an inspiration to others. He wants to show that everyone is capable of following their dreams and that anything is possible with hard work.

How the Award Helped

In 2019, Daniel was accepted into the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, to continue his studies with Joan Havill. This represented an exceptional achievement and opportunity for him, and the Dewar Arts Awards are proud to have supported this stage of his development.

Since the Award

Romania Music Olympics – First Place

"The Dewar Arts Award not only helped me financially, but also gave me the chance to pursue one of my biggest dreams...without having to worry about financial problems...words can’t tell how grateful I am for their help"

2019 Awardee: Symone Hutchison

"I will forever be grateful to Dewar for giving me the chance to fulfill my dreams and further my career in music."

Biography

Originally from Raploch, Stirling, Symone started playing trombone at the age of 10 with the programme ‘Big Noise Raploch’ in 2011. Big Noise is part of the larger charity, Sistema Scotland, who works with challenged communities throughout Scotland to give children opportunities they wouldn’t gotten the chance to have.

In 2015, Symone gained a place at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior Department where she studied with Nigel Cox and gained additional musical experience as part of the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Orchestra and Brass Ensembles. She also performed as part of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, and the Clackmannan District Brass Band as Solo Trombonist.

Symone has a great passion for performing as well as teaching younger musicians. She wants to ‘give back’ to others, believing that all young people should have the chance to learn a musical instrument and gain the life skills that come along with it.

In 2019, Symone gained a place at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tutelage of Lance Green. This enabled her to develop her technique on the trombone as well as alto trombone as her second study. Symone’s future ambitions are to graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and teach at an organisation like Big Noise while also working freelance.

How the Award Helped

Symone’s Award enabled her to buy a professional trombone and supported her living costs during her studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

"I will forever be grateful to Dewar for giving me the chance to fulfill my dreams and further my career in music."

2019 Awardee: Kirsty Craig

"I am truly grateful to the Dewar Arts Awards for their tremendous generosity. Their belief and support has enabled me to take the next step in my career and fulfil my potential at a prestigious training establishment. From the bottom of my heart, thank you."

Biography

Kirsty Craig grew up in Glasgow and is a passionate dancer with strong determination.

Kirsty began attending The Studio in the West End of Glasgow in 2007 and continued through to her Award in 2019. During this time, Kirsty danced lead roles and achieved exceptional marks in her examinations, up to and including the Advanced 2 vocational Cecchetti Classical Ballet exam. She also worked towards her teaching Diploma in Dance Education (accredited by the ISTD).

From 2016 to 2019, Kirsty attended Dance Studio Scotland at Anniesland College and achieved an A grade in her HND Dance Artists course. Her versatility and skillset were broadened, including jazz, tap, contemporary and choreography skills. She also began tuition in singing and acting, enabling her to be a multi-faceted performer in preparation for auditions.

Alongside her many dancing commitments, Kirsty sustained a part-time job in retail to help her save money. A keen student, Kirsty was Head Girl at school and achieved 5 As in her Highers. She has also taken part in volunteering, completed both the Duke of Edinburgh Award and the Youth Philanthropy Initiative, and raised thousands of pounds for charity.

In Spring of 2019, Kirsty successfully auditioned for a competitive BA (Hons) Professional Dance and Musical Theatre course at Bird College in London. The panel (including the Principal and Artistic Director) were so impressed, she was offered a place on the day, without waiting the customary three-week period to hear an outcome.

Bird College offers excellent performance opportunities, world class facilities and leading industry professionals who equip their students with a plethora of skills and connections with the industry. Through studying at Bird College, Kirsty aims to achieve her dream of becoming a professional performer.

How the Award Helped

Due to the intense financial demands of studying in London, Kirsty applied for grants to alleviate the pressure. Without the help of the Dewar Arts Award and her teachers in Scotland, Kirsty says she would not have been able to train at her dream college.

"I am truly grateful to the Dewar Arts Awards for their tremendous generosity. Their belief and support has enabled me to take the next step in my career and fulfil my potential at a prestigious training establishment. From the bottom of my heart, thank you."

2019 Awardee: Luke Gallagher

"I don’t come from an arts background, but my working class Glaswegian upbringing has given me the belief that what’s for me won’t go by me. My ambition is to get to the top of my field and enjoy the journey along the way. I have benefited greatly from receiving this award"

Biography

An actor from Glasgow, Luke comes from a family of tradespeople. He is the first in his family to pursue a career in the arts.

Luke was a member of the ‘Young Co.’ at Citizens Theatre.  He proved himself to be committed and conscientious, and took part in a production that toured around Glasgow Secondary Schools.

Luke has been described by his tutors as having an excellent natural instinct for performance and an edge that makes him interesting to watch.

As an aspiring actor, Luke applied to Rose Bruford College in London.  He felt that the focus on both theatre and film offered a good fit for his personality, style and ambitions.  He was successful in his application – a mark of his strong skillset and potential.

Over the longer term, Luke aims to move back to Scotland to support the development of the Scottish theatre sector.

How the Award Helped

Luke received an Award to support his Foundation Studies in Acting course at Rose Bruford College.

"I don’t come from an arts background, but my working class Glaswegian upbringing has given me the belief that what’s for me won’t go by me. My ambition is to get to the top of my field and enjoy the journey along the way. I have benefited greatly from receiving this award"

2019 Awardee: Karah Pollock

"The Dewar Award has afforded Karah the opportunity to pursue her dream, an opportunity that would not otherwise have been available to her"

Biography

Born in Glasgow in 2002, Karah started her dance career in competitive freestyle at the tender age of three.   Showing a natural flair and talent from the outset, Karah won every major title she set her sights on throughout an impressive ten-year career.  She was scouted to participate in a Channel 4 documentary following her dance lifestyle.

Karah retired from competitive freestyle to pursue a dance education at the prestigious Dance School of Scotland, and after a successful audition was one of only nine students selected from thousands of auditionees to attend.

While at the Dance School of Scotland, Karah gained Adv 1 Ballet and Adv 1 Modern with Distinction.  She also earned the opportunity to tour Scotland with Scottish Ballet and was the youngest inductee of their Youth Exchange Programme touring New York and performing in the Joyce Theatre.

Karah then auditioned for the best Dance and Musical Theatre Colleges in the UK and was accepted for both Laine Theatre arts and the Urdang Academy.

How the Award Helped

Karah decided to continue her technical training at the Urdang Academy. She received a Dewar Award to support her studies on the BA (Hons) course in Musical Theatre and Dance.

"The Dewar Award has afforded Karah the opportunity to pursue her dream, an opportunity that would not otherwise have been available to her"

2019 Awardee: Liam Bonthrone

"I enjoy using my voice not only through performance, but through enriching the lives of others"

Biography

Scottish tenor Liam Bonthrone was born in Perth, where he attended the High School and received free musical tuition as a member of the Perth Jambouree Singers. He credits the choir’s director Edna Auld for his musical inspiration, and his first singing teacher Fiona Brownsmith for nurturing his voice and musical ear from the age of 11.

A community-based project, the choir performed almost every weekend at local events. Liam was encouraged to develop his stage presence, his capacity as compere, and his ability to accompany other singers on piano. As Liam’s voice changed from treble to young tenor, Edna and Fiona guided Liam’s development.  He went on to successfully audition for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s undergraduate voice programme.

Whilst at the Conservatoire, Liam studied with Scott Johnson and won the Hugh S. Roberton Prize for Scottish Singing, the Leonie Kayser Prize and the Elgar/Spedding Lieder Duo Prize. He continued on to postgraduate study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, under the tutelage of Robert Dean and Adrian Thompson, and won First Prize in the GSMD English Song Competition.

As an Alvarez Young Artist in the Garsington Opera 2019 Season, Liam performed in the choruses of Don Giovanni and as an ensemble soloist in Monteverdi Vespers of 1610.  In September 2019, he made his role debut as Don Ramiro in La Cenerentola with British Youth Opera and won both the Dame Hilda Bracket Prize from Sadler’s Wells and the Basil A. Turner Opera Award for his performances.

Liam has performed in masterclasses led by Sir Willard White, Malcolm Martineau, Ann Murray, John Treleaven, John Mark Ainsley and Roger Vignoles. On the concert platform, solo performances have included Handel Messiah and Samson, Mendelssohn Elijah, Mozart Requiem and Mass in C minor, Haydn The Creation, Bach St John Passion, Finzi For St. Cecilia and the Scottish premiere of Joubert’s St. Mark Passion. He also appeared in various roles in the ensemble for Bernstein’s Candide, with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop, in the Barbican Centre.

Liam is in high demand as a recitalist; in 2019, he performed alongside the Prince Consort at the Wigmore Hall, and in Graham Johnson’s Song Guild at Milton Court. He was a featured soloist in the April 2019 BBC Boulanger sisters’ ‘Total Immersion’ weekend, later broadcast on BBC Radio 3, and he frequently performs in collaboration with pianist Alasdair Hogarth for Classic FM.

Highlights of the 2019/2020 season include an appearance in a concert celebrating the work of composer Julian Philips, Handel’s Samson at Haddo House, and performing his International debut as Bruno in Bellini’s I Puritani with the Rotterdam Operkoor, in De Doelen.

How the Award Helped

Liam received a Dewar Arts Award to support his postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Since the Award

Update 2020:

In February 2020, Liam sang Russian songs as part of an exchange project at the Mariinsky Theatre, in St Petersburg. He also gained the opportunity to undertake training as a Samling Young Artist.

Alongside a classical singing career, Liam appears regularly in theatres across the UK as part of ‘The Two Highland Lads’, a Scottish variety performing duo, with baritone Kenneth Maciver (also a member of Jambouree), Leonard Brown and his All-Star Band. He has since returned to his hometown of Perth to assist Edna Auld in the training of young voices in the choir, and to perform in charity fundraising concerts.

From September 2020, Liam will study at the Royal Academy Opera School, as a recipient of a Bicentenary Scholarship.

"I enjoy using my voice not only through performance, but through enriching the lives of others"

2019 Awardee: Jennifer Bruce

"Receiving this award has allowed me to study at my dream school Bird College...This truly does mean the world to me"

Biography

Jennifer became interested in the performing arts from a young age and began dance lessons when she was 5.  While at high school, she sought out additional opportunities to build her dance/performance skill set, and in 2014 successfully auditioned for the Scottish Ballet Youth Exchange with Singapore School of the Arts.

Continuing to improve her skills, Jennifer gained a place in the National Youth Dance Company of Scotland. This  allowed her to find her own artistry and confidence with improvisation, as well as performing internationally. Jennifer performed in India for the International Dance Bridges Festival, Australia with Yellowwheel Dance Company, and Groupe Grenade in Marseille, France.

Jennifer also expressed an interest in musical theatre, and in 2013 she had chance to perform as part of the Tom Daniels Musicals ensemble in Scotland’s Young Variety Show, followed by their annual musical production and Christmas show. She continued with singing lessons and annual showcases.

In June 2019, Jennifer completed her HND Dance Artists from Glasgow Clyde College. She went on to gain a place on the BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre at Bird College, one of the top schools in the UK to study the performing arts. This brought her another step closer to her dream of being a professional performer.

Jennifer loves the freedom of expression and escapism that performance provides, allowing her ‘to be anyone, anywhere at any time’ and share this with an audience.

How the Award Helped

Jennifer received a Dewar Arts Award to support her studies at Bird College, as well as helping her to buy necessary equipment including character shoes for singing and musical theatre classes, pointe shoes for ballet, and additional uniform and study materials.

"Receiving this award has allowed me to study at my dream school Bird College...This truly does mean the world to me"

2019 Awardee: Irina Vartopeanu

"For this award you offered me, which gives me great support, I am very grateful. My studying has helped me to develop my learning, commitment and ambition in theatre and film and has also encouraged me in developing my own ideas for making work in the future."

Biography

Irina is a performer from Romania who moved to Glasgow to study a BA Performance in BSL and English at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

In her home country, Irina toured and appeared on television as part of No Limits dance group. The group reached the 2012 final of Romania’s Got Talent.  Irina also worked with Catalin Baicus on a production of ‘Dance or Die’.  Hungry for opportunity, Irina felt frustrated by a lack of support for deaf performers.

When taking part in the Solar Bear’s Connect and Collaborate initiative with the Beethoven School in Craiova, Irina met Mark Stevenson, a lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He was impressed by her capacity as a performer and encouraged her to apply for a place to study at the Conservatoire in Glasgow.

Irina’s theatre credits include ‘Glory on Earth’ (RCS), ‘August: Osage County’ (RCS), ‘Sonder’ (RCS), ‘The Gashtlycrumb Tinies’ (RCS), and ‘Heartsore’ (Macrobert Art Centre).  She has also performed in film, including the RCS short film ‘Anger Management’.

How the Award Helped

Irina received a Dewar Arts Award to support her studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, on a specialist course for deaf performers .

"For this award you offered me, which gives me great support, I am very grateful. My studying has helped me to develop my learning, commitment and ambition in theatre and film and has also encouraged me in developing my own ideas for making work in the future."

2019 Awardee: Alyth Ross

“The Dewar Arts award has provided me and so many other young people with a life-changing opportunity...I’ve been able to continue my training at this exceptional institution, which is without a doubt everything I’d anticipated and more. I am extremely grateful. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Biography

Growing up on a family farm in South West Scotland, Alyth’s introduction to acting came not from exposure to theatre, but from her granddad’s love of poetry. Aged 8, she entered into her first competition armed with Roald Dahl’s ‘The Pig’, and at that point she ‘caught the storytelling bug’. She began singing and acting classes in her local area, and in search of further opportunity she applied to join the Royal Conservaoire of Scotland’s Junior Musical Theatre course in 2014.

Whilst at RCS, Alyth heard about the Dance School of Scotland’s Musical Theatre course at Knightswood. She auditioned to study there full-time during her final two years at high school, and was successful in gaining a place. At 15, Alyth showed great maturity whilst living away from home and completing her Highers alongside a full vocational training.  She also demonstrated great promise as a drama student, and took part in public performances including two shows at the Citizens Theatre (‘9 to 5’ and ‘Legally Blonde’).

Alyth enjoyed all elements of her musical theatre training, but afer winning the Drama Award in 2016 decided to focus solely on acting at drama school.  Her passion for acting alongside the skills she had developed enabled her to gain a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama – a prestigious institution that she’d previously only dreamed of attending.

Alyth’s goal is to continue to improve her craft and develop her passion for performing in theatre and film.

How the Award Helped

Alyth received a Dewar Arts Award to support her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  She writes;

“The Dewar Arts award has provided me and so many other young people with a life-changing opportunity; to achieve things I never dreamt I would. As a Scottish student from a rural background, I had never anticipated that I’d have to pay for my higher education, and so when I was first offered my place at Guildhall I almost had to turn it down due to funding. However, thanks to the incredibly generous support from Dewar Arts, I’ve been able to continue my training at this exceptional institution, which is without a doubt everything I’d anticipated and more. I am extremely grateful. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

“The Dewar Arts award has provided me and so many other young people with a life-changing opportunity...I’ve been able to continue my training at this exceptional institution, which is without a doubt everything I’d anticipated and more. I am extremely grateful. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”