2018 Awardee: Rachel Neil

Rachel Neil

"I [will] use the award to help fund my tuition fees and the living costs of studying in Manchester at what I feel is a critical time in my music education and overall career"

Biography

Rachel began playing the horn at the age of 12, being taught initially by her parents and also through lessons at school. At the age of 16 Rachel began being taught by David James, former principal trumpet of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Whilst at school Rachel was awarded the Thomas H Stewart Memorial Award, for the highest placed Brass competitor in the Perform in Perth Festival, for three consecutive years.  After leaving school, she went on to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she graduated with a first class honours degree in music education. She has since worked as a music teacher in one of Scotland’s highest performing secondary schools.

Rachel was principal horn of the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland for four years under the direction of Richard Evans and also performed with the European Youth Brass Band in 2011 in Montreaux. She also played 2nd horn with the Whitburn Band for three years, becoming a Scottish Champion, before accepting the position of Solo Horn with the Kirkintilloch Band, which she held for four years.

Rachel has worked as a tutor and soloist with bands across Europe, including Germany and Denmark.  She has held the title of Scottish Open Solo Champion as well as the Bram Thomson award for best tenor horn for multiple years.

Alongside performing, Rachel was also the conductor of the Kirkintilloch Youth Band, winning a silver award at the Scottish Youth Band Championships in 2016.
She later gained a place to study a Masters in Performing at the RNCM, and is proud to hold the position of Solo Horn with the world famous Fairey Band.

As well as being a dedicated performer, Rachel is also a qualified secondary school music teacher, registered with the GTCS and with 5 years teaching experience in one of the top schools in Scotland. She has joined Sterling Musical Instruments as a performer and clinician and performs exclusively on a Sterling tenor horn.

How the Award Helped

Rachel’s award supported her in completing her Masters in Music Performing at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Rachel Neil

"I [will] use the award to help fund my tuition fees and the living costs of studying in Manchester at what I feel is a critical time in my music education and overall career"

2019 Awardee: Craig Manson

Craig Manson

"The performance I presented has now gained interest from programmers and venues in London and is now being developed further, none of which could have happened if not for the Dewar Arts Awards"

Biography

Craig Manson is a Glasgow-based artist originally from Caithness who makes performance for clubs, cabaret and theatres. He graduated with a first class honours in Contemporary Performance Practice from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2016. Since then he has shown work across the UK in association with Buzzcut, Take Me Somewhere, CCA Glasgow, Camden People’s Theatre & The Art School. Craig has also become a fixture in Glasgow’s nightlife, performing and hosting regularly at club nights such as Queer Theory and Shoot Your Shot.

Coming from a working class background, Craig is interested in how performance and live art practices can become more accessible to that audience. All his work has this in mind and he deliberately places it in contexts such as clubs or late night cabarets to reach those who may not have been exposed to it before. Artistically, Craig’s work uses choreography, comedy and improvisation to explore the connections between sexuality, gender, capitalism and mythology.

How the Award Helped

Craig’s Award helped to fund a week-long residency in London, to present new work at The Yard theatre.

Craig Manson

"The performance I presented has now gained interest from programmers and venues in London and is now being developed further, none of which could have happened if not for the Dewar Arts Awards"

2019 Awardee: Taylor Hall

Taylor Hall

"I am so grateful for this award as it has allowed me to...move to Edinburgh for the during of the Fringe in order to fully commit to this project"

Biography

Taylor is an actor from Glasgow, whose ambition is to champion Scottish theatre and film. She studied an HND Acting and Performance course at the City of Glasgow College, and believes that ‘great actors never stop learning’.

Taylor was described as ‘outstanding’ when she auditioned for a production of The Brunch Club, directed by Ben Harrison.  She gained a key role in the production with  SDTN and Grid Iron, and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe.

How the Award Helped

Taylor’s Award supported her time in Edinburgh while she performed in The Brunch Club.

Taylor Hall

"I am so grateful for this award as it has allowed me to...move to Edinburgh for the during of the Fringe in order to fully commit to this project"

2018 Awardee: Ceri-Ann Townsend

Ceri-Ann Townsend

“The generosity of the Dewar Arts has been amazing! It means a lot to me and I am so excited to grow as a musician.”

Biography

Ceri-Ann was born in Scotland and has always loved music. She is descended from two musical parents who have performed in rock bands and choirs, and says it’s no wonder she ‘caught the musical bug’.

Ceri-Ann began her musical journey by taking part in dance classes.  When she was three years old, she joined Dance til Dawn and excelled at tap as well as other disciplines. She developed her love of dance as well as singing when she became part of Our Lady of Loretto Youth Players at the age of 10 – an amateur musical theatre company where she played roles such as Oliver, Sandy in Grease and Anita in West Side Story.

Having taught herself piano before taking lessons, Ceri-Ann also took up the trumpet in primary school. She achieved exams in both instruments which continue to be part of her musical repertoire.  Her love of percussion began in her first year at high school and has grown ever since. She has been part of Midlothian percussion ensembles, which played at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh as part of the Midlothian Festival of Music and in Perth for the SBBA percussion competition.  She has also participated in Rotary Young Musician competitions as well as the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra.

Ceri-Ann’s school percussion career included appearances in their productions of Seussical the Musical and Sister Act on the drums, working from professional musical scores. She was also in many concerts, including the school’s first ever Strictly Come Dancing, where she played kit in many different styles and tempos.  One of her proudest achievements has been attaining a place at the Junior Conservatoire in Glasgow in September 2018, specialising in percussion.  She went on to apply for a BA in Music at the RCS from 2020.

How the Award Helped

Ceri-Ann’s Award supported her studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Music in Glasgow and in purchasing a marimba.

Ceri-Ann Townsend

“The generosity of the Dewar Arts has been amazing! It means a lot to me and I am so excited to grow as a musician.”

2015 Awardee: Harris Beattie

Harris Beattie

"I have benefited extremely from this award. It has given me a great deal of financial security [without] which I could not have fulfilled my course with full dedication...I am forever grateful for the trustees and can’t stress how much it has helped me through my course"

Biography

Harris is an exceptional dancer and talented choreographer from Aberdeen.  He trained at the ‘Danscentre’ and attained Advanced 2 Ballet with Distinction before gaining a place to study at the Central School of Ballet in London. In 2012-2013, he played ‘Billy Elliot’ in London’s West End.

In advance of gaining his Dewar Arts Award, Harris had already trained for 10 years and collected the following impressive achievements:

  • Commonwealth Dance Festival 2014, Tramway Glasgow
  • Dance Proms 2013 and 2015
  • Royal Ballet Senior Associate 2014-2015
  • Joint winner of the UK Classical Ballet Competition ‘Phyllis Bedell’s Bursary’ in March 2015
  • Auditioned and participated in YDE (Youth Dance England) ‘Young Creatives’ at Royal Ballet School 2015
  • Choreographed the winning entry in national competition Genee Dance Challenge in June 2015
  • Accepted to attend Royal Ballet Summer School in August 2015
  • Participated in Genee International Ballet competition in September 2015

How the Award Helped

Harris received a Dewar Arts Award to support his studies at the Central School of Ballet.

Since the Award

2017 – Won the prestigious Gold medal at the Genée International Ballet Competition

2018 – Graduated from the Central School of Ballet with BA (Hons) in Professional Dance and Performance.

2018 – Joined the prestigious Northern Ballet.

Additional performance experience includes works by Wayne McGregor, Kenneth MacMillan, Matthew Bourne and Jenna Lee with Ballet Central.

Harris Beattie Dancing

Harris Beattie

"I have benefited extremely from this award. It has given me a great deal of financial security [without] which I could not have fulfilled my course with full dedication...I am forever grateful for the trustees and can’t stress how much it has helped me through my course"

2017 Awardee: Rhianne Goldie

Rhianne Goldie

"Being granted the Dewar Award has opened new doors for me. It has given me the opportunity to discover my true passions and interests within the design industry...With this grant I have been relieved of financial stresses, enabling me to focus fully on my education and career."

Biography

Rhianne completed her undergraduate degree in textile design at the University of Dundee, and at that point felt she was unfinished with her studies. She went on to study an MA in Fashion and Textile Design at Heriot-Watt University.

Initially, Rhianne’s intentions were to enhance and develop her knowledge of heat-sensitive inks on textiles for fashion. She found her focus shifted throughout her studies, and she developed great interest in material exploration.  This led to exploration of worldwide, environmental issues associated with plastic pollution in the ocean.

Working with single-use plastics, Rhianne began to think outside the box and to push the materials to their limits. She utilised pre-existing design techniques to create innovative, body-adorning textiles in order to raise awareness of ocean waste.

How the Award Helped

Rhianne’s Dewar Arts Award supported her masters studies at Heriot-Watt University.

Since the Award

Upon completion of her masters, Rhianne’s university recommended she continue her research further at PhD level.  This prospect encouraged her to push her practice further than she had ever imagined.

Rhianne Goldie

"Being granted the Dewar Award has opened new doors for me. It has given me the opportunity to discover my true passions and interests within the design industry...With this grant I have been relieved of financial stresses, enabling me to focus fully on my education and career."

2019 Awardee: Timothy Edmundson

"Quite simply, without the financial support of the Dewar Awards, I wouldn't be able to undertake my place at the RCS and continue my studies in the opera school. I now look forward to focusing and taking full advantage of the opportunities of the programme without worrying about my finances."

Biography

Timothy is a British baritone who is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) and a Master of Music. In 2019, Timothy gained a place at the Alexander Gibson Opera School (RCS) to study under the tutelage of Scott Johnson and Duncan Williams. He is grateful for his studies being supported by the Dewar Arts Awards, the Clemence Charitable Trust, the Kathleen Trust, the McGlashan Charitable Trust, the Mario Lanza Educational Foundation and an RCS Trust Scholarship.

Operatic highlights include his role debuts as Macheath Die Dreigroschenoper and Betto di Signa Gianni Schicchi, both for RCS Opera, Papageno Die Zauberflöte for Berlin Opernfest, the title role in The Marriage of Figaro for Edinburgh Studio Opera and Schaunard La Bohème for Edinburgh Grand Opera. For the 2020/21 season, he was scheduled to sing Curio Giulio Cesare, Minskman Flight, Le Chat in L’enfant et les sortilèges with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the role of Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Ensemble Orquesta. However, due to Covid-19, these performances were cancelled.

Scenic roles and covers include Faninal Der Rosenkavalier, 1st Lieutenant Billy Budd and Vater Hänsel und Gretel, Sam Trouble in Tahiti, Valentin Faust, Zurga Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Count Almaviva Le Nozze di Figaro, Malatesta Don Pasqaule, Guglielmo Così fan tutte and the title roles in Don Giovanni and Gianni Schicchi. Chorus work has led to him performing at prestigious events such as the Edinburgh International Festival and the BBC Proms under the baton of conductors including Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Barenboim and Sir Andrew Davis. Works including Mahler Symphony No.2, Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress, Wagner Götterdämmerung and Scottish Opera’s The Fiery Angel by Prokofiev.

On the concert platform, Timothy is in demand throughout the United Kingdom and Europe with repertoire including Handel ‘Messiah’, Duruflé ‘Requiem’, Fauré ‘Requiem’, Puccini ‘Messa di Gloria’, Mozart ‘Requiem’ and Beethoven ‘Symphony No.9’, which he performed at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. As a lay clerk with the Choir of Glasgow Cathedral, he is a frequent soloist, and was soloist with them for Haydn’s ‘The Creation’. He has taken part in masterclasses with Patricia MacMahon, Philip Moll, Gidon Saks, Nicky Spence and Christopher Purves.

How the Award Helped

Timothy’s Award enabled him to study at the Alexander Gibson Opera School (RCS) under the tutelage of Scott Johnson and Duncan Williams.

Since the Award

In the 2020/21 season, Timothy became a member of the ‘Bridging the Gap’ scheme with the Dunedin Consort.

Timothy Edmundson performs Papageno’s Suicide Aria in Die Zauberflöte. Recorded live at OpernFest 2018 with Berlin Opera Academy.

"Quite simply, without the financial support of the Dewar Awards, I wouldn't be able to undertake my place at the RCS and continue my studies in the opera school. I now look forward to focusing and taking full advantage of the opportunities of the programme without worrying about my finances."

2019 Awardee: Mari-Anne Green

“Without the incredible support I have had from [the Dewar Awards], I would never have been able to take up my place on my dream course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. I am enjoying and making the most of every moment there and the fact that Dewar have decided to support me inspires me to push to do the best I possibly can with this amazing opportunity.”

Biography

Mari Green is a jazz vocalist from Glasgow, who is influenced by a wide range of artists and styles of music. She fell in love with jazz at 13, on discovering her gran’s old cassette tapes and is heavily influenced by vocal improvisers such as

Mari became involved with the Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra and was mentored and taught by leading UK jazz pianist and Dewar Arts Awardee, Alan Benzie, as well as jazz vocalist Stephen Duffy. In 2018 she joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland.

Mari is also a talented songwriter and composer. Her own work is inspired not only by jazz, but also other styles such as RnB and soul music. In 2016, she was selected to perform her original music at the Music For Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London. She went on to successfully gain a place to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

How the Award Helped

Mari’s Award supported her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

“Without the incredible support I have had from [the Dewar Awards], I would never have been able to take up my place on my dream course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. I am enjoying and making the most of every moment there and the fact that Dewar have decided to support me inspires me to push to do the best I possibly can with this amazing opportunity.”

2020 Awardee: Tiger Mitchell

Tiger Mitchell Actor Musician

"Without [the Dewar Arts Awards], I wouldn’t have been able to finish my degree at Drama School. Thanks to them, dropping out so close to the finish line was no longer an option. Eternally grateful!"

Biography

Growing up in St. Andrews in a Scottish/Thai household, Tiger moved to Edinburgh just before his 18th birthday after securing a place on the BA (Hons) Acting Course at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts.

With passions in physical theatre, voiceover and music, Tiger considers himself an Actor-Musician. In 2018, he set up a musical duo called Not The Musical with his peer, Kat Hamilton Smith, in which they cover songs as well as write original compositions.

After writing his dissertation on Voice Work in Shakespearean Performance, Tiger would love the opportunity to one day act on the stage of The Globe in Much Ado About Nothing or A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

How the Award Helped

Tiger’s Award supported him in his studies at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts.

Tiger Mitchell – Short Film

Tiger Mitchell Actor Musician

"Without [the Dewar Arts Awards], I wouldn’t have been able to finish my degree at Drama School. Thanks to them, dropping out so close to the finish line was no longer an option. Eternally grateful!"

2020 Awardee: Lea Shaw

Lea Shaw Opera Singer

"Without the support of the Dewar Arts Awards I simply would not have been able to complete my degree. I am forever grateful...This last year has opened up so many doors and opportunities for me!"

Biography

Lea Shaw is an award-winning Mezzo-soprano from the Rocky Mountains of Denver, Colorado.

An accomplished soloist in concert, opera and improvisation, she has performed both locally and worldwide. Her repertoire spans widely, ranging from Handel’s ‘Messiah’, Bach’s ‘St. John Passion’, and the works of Britten, Handel, Bernstein, Purcell, Strauss, to the works of Vaughan Williams, Turnage, Ravel, Macmillan, Schoenberg’s ‘Pierrot Lunaire’ and Maxwell Davies’ ‘The Medium’.

In her solo pursuits, Lea is passionate about the ways in which music can instigate social change and start conversations about the problems we face in contemporary life.  She collaborates regularly with living composers and artists to create installations and new works.

Lea received a first class BMus with honours and a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, before going on to study at the RCS’ Alexander Gibson Opera School.

How the Award Helped

Lea’s Award contributed to her final year of tuition at the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the RCS.

Lea Shaw Performing

Lea Shaw Performing

Lea Shaw Opera Singer

"Without the support of the Dewar Arts Awards I simply would not have been able to complete my degree. I am forever grateful...This last year has opened up so many doors and opportunities for me!"