2008 Awardee: Shian Blackwood

I’d like to thank you very much for the offer of the award!


Shian Blackwood from Dunscore, near Dumfries, has been studying clàrsach for six years. In 2003 she was awarded the junior trophy for harp playing in the Dumfries Music Festival. In 2006 she received a Dewar Arts Award to buy an electric harp.

Shian is currently studying music at Stevenson College in Edinburgh. She writes: “The electric harp you so kindly granted me funding for has helped me advance in my studies and personal abilities as a player.” She has studied with our own Maeve Gilchrist, one of the first Dewar Arts Awardees.

Shian reached the point where she needed to upgrade her acoustic harp. Rather than ask us for money to buy a new one, she has asked for funding to go on a course to build her own 33-stringed acoustic harp. We were delighted to help and look forward to hearing the Bohemian harp she hopes to build under the tutelage of Christoph Locherbach from Southern Germany.

How the Award Helped

In 2006, Shian received an award to purchase an electric harp. In 2008, she received an award to attend a harp-making course which resulted in her making her own acoustic harp.

I’d like to thank you very much for the offer of the award!