2007 Awardee: Struan Thorpe


Multi-talented Struan is about to leave the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music in Plockton to study for a degree in Scottish traditional music at the RSAMD, Glasgow.

Struan, from Argyll, has been passionate about music for as long as he can remember. His main musical instrument is the Highland bagpipes, but he also plays the traditional wooden flute, saxophone, the tin whistle and the djembe (African drum). On the bagpipes, Struan has had solo successes, winning competitions at the Inverary & District Junior Piping events, the Cowal Highland Games, the Argyllshire Gathering and the National Piping Centre’s Junior Piping Competition.

As a founding member of the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland, Struan toured throughout Europe, performing live with Carlos Nunez and the Chieftains. This performance was recorded and ultimately became the biggest selling CD and DVD in Spain. He has also performed at Celtic Connections, including Donald Shaw’s ‘Harvest’. Whilst at Plockton, Struan recorded an album with fellow students, due for commercial release in 2007.

Struan’s aim is to become a professional musician after he graduates.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will enable him to buy a traditional wooden flute for his studies and future career.

Since the Award

Struan writes, “I have been accepted to study at the RSAMD on the BA Scottish music course. This has given me many opportunities to play my flute in various solo and group public performances. The most notable performance that I have played my new flute at was [in 2009] at the Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow where I was fortunate enough to share the stage with top traditional musicians such as Phil Cunningham, Finlay Napier, Gillian Napier, Iain MacFarlane and [former Dewar Arts Awardee] James Ross.”