2021 Awardee: Gina Wright

"This Dewar Arts Award has allowed me to experience a wonderful first year at RCS Juniors. I have been able to gain expertise from acclaimed musicians from all over the world as well as make life-long friends."

Biography

Gina is a violist who was born in Scotland to a Scottish father and a German mother. From a young age she has enjoyed spending time with her family and friends in Germany and Scotland, and likes to share her passion for music by giving small informal concerts to her loved ones.

Gina became a pupil at the Music School of Douglas Academy in Milngavie in August 2020 and started her journey as a student of Dr. Lev Atlas (viola) and Claire Haslin (piano). Although new to the piano she quickly progressed to Grade 6 in her first year, and now enjoys teaching as well as exploring the exciting repertoire the instrument has to offer.

In 2021, Gina received a Dewar Arts Award, which enabled her to become a member of the Junior Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This opened up incredible opportunities to her, such as playing at the COP 26 Conference in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall alongside the Undergraduate and Postgraduate students of the RCS.

Since the Award

In March 2022, Gina took part in a masterclass with the Brodsky Quartet where she played the 1st Movement of Debussy’s string quartet in G minor with her school’s senior quartet. Upon receiving an exceptionally high mark after their first performance, the quartet went on to compete in the finals for the Allie Cullen Memorial Prize of the Glasgow Music Festival 2022.

Gina was also delighted to be selected as Principal Viola of the West of Scotland Schools Symphony Orchestra in 2022, and enjoyed playing the viola solos in Vaughan Williams’ London symphony. Additionally, Gina has been privileged to receive two Awards from the Awards for Young Musicians Charity, namely the Hilary McKenzie Johnston Award and the Robert Lewin Scholarship, which was awarded in recognition of a strong commitment to musicianship and musical excellence.

"This Dewar Arts Award has allowed me to experience a wonderful first year at RCS Juniors. I have been able to gain expertise from acclaimed musicians from all over the world as well as make life-long friends."

2022 Awardee: Haneen Hadiy

"This award has been a privilege and opportunity to pursue a dream. The award has fully supported me in conducting a solo exhibition in Iraq to reveal my work to the people of my homeland. My years of practice in the making have been immensely involved in my Iraqi culture therefore, an opportunity to visually present my creations in the land of Iraq is a huge successful step forward in my career as a visual artist."

Biography

Haneen Hadiy was born in Glasgow, Scotland to Iraqi parents in 1999. She started her career as a visual artist at the age of eighteen. Haneen Hadiy has exhibited around Scotland, London, New York and Los Angeles, revealing the unseen attractions of her motherland. In 2018 she organised an exhibition in Glasgow, giving the opportunity for exposure to Iraqi artists living in Iraq. Haneen regularly travels back and forth from Iraq to Scotland to explore her identity within both cultures. When travelling to Iraq, Haneen continuously focuses on revealing the existing scenic attractions of her homeland. Her works are known for their distinctive intimacy and integrity. She continuously experiments through a variety of mediums to explore her family history, cultural heritage, and identity as a diasporic artist.

How the Award Helped

Haneen’s award will support the development and installation of a solo exhibition of her work in Iraq. The exhibition will feature a collection of personal works that address and diminish cultural stereotypes.

"This award has been a privilege and opportunity to pursue a dream. The award has fully supported me in conducting a solo exhibition in Iraq to reveal my work to the people of my homeland. My years of practice in the making have been immensely involved in my Iraqi culture therefore, an opportunity to visually present my creations in the land of Iraq is a huge successful step forward in my career as a visual artist."

2022 Awardee: Kira Charleton

Kira Charleton

“Receiving an award from the Dewar Trust has honestly been life changing. It has allowed me to complete my final year of Master’s at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama whilst preparing for the next step in my journey. They have allowed a small town girl to keep working towards her big dreams of changing lives through music.”

Biography

Kira Charleton is a soprano singer from Ayrshire, who possesses a fresh sounding voice and the ability to sing both classical music and music theatre. Her talent and hard work earned her a place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, from where she graduated with a 1st Class Honours Degree in 2021. During her undergraduate studies, Kira was the only female candidate selected to compete and represent the college in the highly regarded, Junior Kathleen Ferrier competition. Following this, she partook in many performances, with the main highlights being selected as a finalist for the E A Redman competition and playing the Mezzo-Soprano role in the Edward Barnes opera “The Hiding Tree”.

Kira regards herself as an enthusiast who thrives in a challenge and when collaborating as part of an ensemble or company. In 2019, she worked alongside choral master, Steven Harris and conductor, Carlo Rizzi as part of RWCMD’s 70th Anniversary Opera Gala celebration. Upon moving to Cardiff, Kira also became a member of the BBC National Chorus of Wales as a choral Scholar. This provided her with a wealth of performance opportunities, such as regularly appearing live on BBC Radio Three and in televised performances as part of the London Proms in the Royal Albert Hall.

Kira is fiercely dedicated to music and believes that her life will continue to be moulded around music. She is a determined individual who has faced the odds and is aware of the hard work required to be successful. Kira believes that to be a singer is to understand the art of storytelling and she has the commitment and abilities to achieve her goals.

Kira has generously received support to study from a Peter and Janet Swinburn Scholarship, a Girdlers’ Charitable Trust Award, and the Dewar Arts Award. In 2021, Kira won the Eileen Prize Price for lieder singing and the Mabel Linwood Prize.

In May 2022, Kira will play the role: Dutchess of Montalbano, in Lennox Berkeley’s comic opera, A Dinner Engagement. As well as this, she will be taking part in the chorus of RWCMD’s spring production of The Marriage of Figaro in the Sharman Theatre, Cardiff. Kira has also been awarded a bursary to perform in the Welsh National Youth Opera’s production of Cheryomushki, taking place in October 2022.

How the Award Helped

Kira’s Dewar Arts Award has enabled her to further her studies at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she is pursuing a MMus degree in Performance.

Kira Charleton

“Receiving an award from the Dewar Trust has honestly been life changing. It has allowed me to complete my final year of Master’s at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama whilst preparing for the next step in my journey. They have allowed a small town girl to keep working towards her big dreams of changing lives through music.”

2021 Awardee: Blise Orr

Blise Orr

"Without this award, it would have been impossible for me to fulfill this ambition [of attending the Williem De Koon Academy]. The Dewar Award will enable me to develop my practice over the next two years and work on larger scales with many more people positively affected by my designs and strategies for more sustainable and considered designed environments. "

Biography

Blise completed an undergraduate degree in Interior Design at the Glasgow School of Art in 2019, before taking up a place on the Interior Architecture Masters course at the Williem De Koon Academy in Rotterdam in 2021. Blise’s practice looks at urbanism and interior architecture through the design of more sustainable and considered cities, with a focus on the spatial experiences of every day and how design can positively impact us. Working between Glasgow and Rotterdam, Blise continues to develop her practice with a new focus on climate, migration and inequality in cities. Blise has also hosted panel discussions, creating connections and contrasts between cities of similar scales across the globe and working to design better more transparent cities for all.

How the Award Helped

Blise’s Dewar Award supports her Masters studies in Interior Architecture in Rotterdam, for which she secured one of only twelve places available. This enables her to develop her practice from Interior Design into Interior Architecture and work on larger scales and focus on producing designs and strategies for more sustainable and considered design environments.

Blise Orr

"Without this award, it would have been impossible for me to fulfill this ambition [of attending the Williem De Koon Academy]. The Dewar Award will enable me to develop my practice over the next two years and work on larger scales with many more people positively affected by my designs and strategies for more sustainable and considered designed environments. "

2021 Awardee: Layla Ballard

Layla Ballard

"To receive the Dewar Arts Award has provided me with the opportunity to continue my passion of music and study the BMus Performance course at the Royal College of Music. This will allow me to continue developing my playing whilst being surrounded by other aspiring musicians - I can’t wait to get started!"

Biography

Layla is a cellist from Edinburgh, Scotland. As part of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Layla has played in high profile venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Konzerthaus in Berlin and Queens Hall in Edinburgh, both as an orchestral player and soloist.

In 2021, she won the annual St Mary’s Music School Director’s Recital Prize Competition and was a finalist of the school’s Lord Clyde Concerto Competition. She won the Leonid Freidman Chamber Music prize as a member of the St Mary’s String Quartet in both 2020 and 2021. Layla has also played in masterclasses with Steven Isserlis, Nicolas Aldstadt, Gautier Capuçon, Leonid Gorokhov, Natasha Brofsky and Hannah Roberts.

In September 2021, she started her studies at the Royal College of Music in London under the tuition of Melissa Phelps.

How the Award Helped

Layla’s Award supports her Bachelor of Music studies at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London.

Layla Ballard

"To receive the Dewar Arts Award has provided me with the opportunity to continue my passion of music and study the BMus Performance course at the Royal College of Music. This will allow me to continue developing my playing whilst being surrounded by other aspiring musicians - I can’t wait to get started!"

2021 Awardee: Alana Smith-Saville

Alana Smith-Saville

Biography

Alana grew up in Orkney, and at the age of 9, began her dance journey at Just Dance. With the help and guidance from her dance teacher, Alana was the first person from Orkney to be accepted into the Dance School of Scotland. After studying at the Dance School of Scotland for two years, Alana was accepted into the prestigious Central School of Ballet, Northern Ballet School, and Edinburgh Festival Ballet School. Alana decided to accept a place at Edinburgh Festival Ballet School, where she will complete a three-year programme with the hope of being accepted into their company. Peter Schaufuss is the founder and Artistic Director of EFB and is widely recognised as one of the most talented male dancers on the international stage.

How the Award Helped

Funding from the Dewar Arts Awards will support Alana’s studies at the Edinburgh Festival Ballet School.

2021 Awardee: Sam Marston

Sam Marston

"This award from the Dewar Arts Fund has been so important in allowing me to study on the MMus Opera course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. It will allow me to develop artistically and professionally. I’m very excited to undertake my study wholeheartedly.”

Biography

Sam Marston is a tenor studying on the MMus Opera course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He had previously completed his MMus Perf at the RCS under the tutelage of Scott Johnson. He has performed in several opera choruses, operatic scenes, and masterclasses.

Sam was part of the on-stage chorus in the ENO revival of Jonathan Dove’s The Day After and was a prisoner in the UK staged premiere of Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie. He has also featured in the prominent choruses of Street Scene (Weill) and Les Mamelles de Tirésias (Poulenc). In addition to this, he has performed in orchestral choruses of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Choral Fantasia with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Sam’s roles within opera scenes have included Tom Rakewell (The Rake’s Progress), Nemorino (L’elisir D’amore) and Ferrando (Così fan tutte). Sam regularly performs in concert settings across the UK as the tenor soloist in works including Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Mozart’s Requiem/Mass in C minor.

How the Award Helped

Sam’s Dewar Award supported him through the MMus Opera Studies course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Sam Marston

"This award from the Dewar Arts Fund has been so important in allowing me to study on the MMus Opera course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. It will allow me to develop artistically and professionally. I’m very excited to undertake my study wholeheartedly.”

2021 Awardee: Rylan Gleave

Rylan Gleave headshot

"Receiving the Dewar Arts Award meant that I could pause my hospitality job in order to focus on my Masters studies. This additional time was absolutely invaluable, and enabled me to graduate with The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Composition Prize, and The Craig Armstrong Prize. Reaching my full potential was an incredible feeling, and I am overwhelmingly grateful to Dewar Arts Awards for their support."

Biography

Rylan Gleave is a Leith-based composer and vocalist whose musical practice involves mending the unfeigned gaps in his classical study with the healings of imaginative neuro-/gender-divergent kinship. As a composer/performer, his work has explored the instrumental qualities of his late-breaking trans-masc voice through queer auto-ethnography and autistic-specific notation. His compositions have been praised as ‘haunting’ by The Herald, and ‘rapturous’ by The Scotsman. The Scotsman also named Rylan ‘One to Watch’ in 2021, describing him as ‘one of the brightest lights in Scotland’s new music scene’.

Rylan’s commissions include pieces for the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Composer Programme / Presteigne Festival, Crossing Borders Music / Momenta Dance Company, Shadwell Opera, newEar Chamber Ensemble / KC No Divide, Red Note Ensemble, soundfestival, CRIPtic Festival, and Nevis Ensemble. Other projects have included new notes; better days, for which he worked with Cox’s Bazar Rohingya Refugee Musicians in Bangladesh after receiving a British Council Unlimited Micro Award: and KITH, nominated for Forecast Edition 6, Berlin, where he was mentored by composer/performer Sofia Jernberg.

Rylan studied with Linda Buckley, Oliver Searle, and David Fennessy at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, supported by a Dewar Arts Award, The Kenneth Barrett Scholarship from the RCS Trust, The Glasgow Educational and Marshall Trust, and The John Mathers Trust.

How the Award Helped

Rylan’s Award supported him through an MMus Degree with Dr. Linda Buckley at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he won the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Composition prize.

Rylan Gleave headshot

"Receiving the Dewar Arts Award meant that I could pause my hospitality job in order to focus on my Masters studies. This additional time was absolutely invaluable, and enabled me to graduate with The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Composition Prize, and The Craig Armstrong Prize. Reaching my full potential was an incredible feeling, and I am overwhelmingly grateful to Dewar Arts Awards for their support."

2018 Awardee: Caitlin Forbes

Caitlin Forbes

"The RCS avails fantastic opportunity for me to challenge myself in the unfamiliar. Without the Dewar Arts Award, I wouldn’t be able to fully embrace the time needed to execute these opportunities. Thank you very much!"

Biography

Hailing from rural Caithness, Caitlin enjoyed success in performance and competition from an early age.  This included verse speaking, song, instrumental work, acting and dance.  However, Caitlin found there was limited opportunity for musical theatre performance in the area.  It was the enjoyment and acclaim she gained from a single performance role at school – Scaramouche in ‘We Will Rock You’ – that inspired her to follow a musical theatre career.

Caitlin set about preparing for musical theatre auditions, dedicated herself to improving her performance skills to a level suitable for higher education. She describes how this ‘took great commitment and ingenuity, pooling together skills learned from individual tutors in the 4 disciplines of musical theatre whilst also studying for SQA exams’.

Alongside this preparation, Caitlin also gained ABRSM grades, self-studied for Higher Music, travelled a 180-mile round trip to Inverness for Higher Drama and Classical Singing tuition, and a 540 mile round trip to Glasgow for RCS Transitions courses. This commitment paid off, as she gained a place on the HNC Musical Theatre course at New College Lanarkshire, Motherwell.  Her continued tuition and development of skills culminated in gaining a place on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s BA Musical Theatre course.

Caitlin’s ambition is to perform at the highest level – in the West End, throughout the UK, and internationally. She has a strong background in Scottish traditional music, which she would love to bring to her work.  Eventually, she would like to create her own work and teach any combination of the disciplines of musical theatre.

How the Award Helped

Caitlin’s Award supported her BA studies in Musical Theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Caitlin Forbes

"The RCS avails fantastic opportunity for me to challenge myself in the unfamiliar. Without the Dewar Arts Award, I wouldn’t be able to fully embrace the time needed to execute these opportunities. Thank you very much!"

2018 Awardee: Sarah McCormack

Sarah McCormack

"Being in receipt of the Dewar Arts Award lifts many of the restraints that would otherwise inhibit the production of good work. Material costs, living expenses and course costs are lessened so that I am able to concentrate on fulfilling my potential in my studies."

Biography

Sarah is an experimental designer, originally from Dumfries.  She initially studied an HND in Fashion Design at Clyde College, Glasgow, and went on to study a BA at the University of Westminster in London.

During her BA, Sarah took a year out to work in industry.  She gained an internship at Maison Margiela Artisanal in Paris, under the creative direction of John Galliano. She was later accepted onto an MA at the prestigious Central Saint Martins in London.

Sarah’s ambition is to produce clothing that is handcrafted and artisanal, in a practice that is exempt from the current fast-paced industrial model. She is strongly inspired by historical silhouettes, and wishes to pair the old and the new – vintage textiles with experimental techniques and fabrications.

Techniques such as hand dyeing and printing are key to Sarah’s work, and she creates screen prints based on her personal illustrations. The overall effect she intends to create is deliberately haphazard and idiosyncratic, multidimensional and layered.

How the Award Helped

Sarah’s Dewar Award supported her studies at Central Saint Martins, London.

Sarah McCormack

"Being in receipt of the Dewar Arts Award lifts many of the restraints that would otherwise inhibit the production of good work. Material costs, living expenses and course costs are lessened so that I am able to concentrate on fulfilling my potential in my studies."