2006 Awardee: Kayley Donnelly


Kayley started playing the violin when she was 9 years old at her primary school in Springburn where she lives. It was soon apparent that she had a special musical gift which should be nurtured.

At the recommendation of her violin tutor, Kayley auditioned for the music school of Douglas Academy and “against the odds”, as her mother writes, won a coveted place to study music.

Studying at Douglas Academy will mean living away from home for a few nights per week, but Kayley is undaunted as “she loves her music and is excited about the opportunity.”

Kayley’s music teachers say that she has a natural talent for music far beyond any of the other pupils. She is able to capture the mood of the pieces she plays and is quick to pick up any new concepts taught and incorporate them into her playing.

How the Award Helped

It is for young musicians like Kayley that the so-called “Daughter of Dewar” Awards were instituted. The Dewar Arts Award contributed towards the purchase of Kayley’s first violin.

At the moment, who knows how far Kayley’s natural-born talent will take her. But giving her the opportunity to develop it and to discover the joys of making music is also part of the ethos of the Dewar Arts Awards. It is to encourage young people of exceptional ability for their age to become the best that they can be and contribute to the cultural life of Scotland.

Since the Award

Kayley writes, “It has been great having my own violin and I adore playing.  My playing and technique have improved greatly.” Kayley plays in the school Chamber Orchestra and their second orchestra and has been asked to play solo at another school’s event.