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.

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!"

2020 Awardee: Colum Donovan-Paterson

Colum Donovan-Paterson vocalist

"I am extremely grateful to the Dewar Arts Awards for making it possible to begin my Masters at the RCS. This has allowed me to pursue crucial further training which will help me realise my dream to be a professional opera singer."

Biography

Born and raised in Glasgow, Colum is a vocalist who is passionate about opera and Scots song. It is his dream to share these passions with audiences everywhere.

Colum’s opera appearances include chorus work in Donizetti’s ‘L’Elisir D’Amore‘ (New Generation Festival, Florence) and Wagner’s ‘Götterdämmerung‘ with Sir Andrew Davis and the RSNO, Kurt Weill’s ‘Street Scene‘ at RCS and Prokofiev’s ‘The Fiery Angel’ in a co-production with Scottish Opera. He played the principal role of The Boy in Kurt Weill’s ‘Der Jasager’ with Scottish Opera Connect and also appears in the Netflix Originals feature film ‘Outlaw King‘ in a singing role.

Choral music is very important to Colum. In 2019, he was selected for the prestigious Genesis Sixteen programme, performing alongside The Sixteen in the world premiere of Sir James MacMillan’s 5th Symphony at The Usher Hall during the Edinburgh International Festival. Colum was also selected for the inaugural Dunedin Consort Young Artist scheme and sang on their ‘Golden Age’ tour and at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Colum was Highly Commended at the prestigious Governors’ Recital Prize 2020, received third place in the Hugh S Roberton Prize, and was Highly Commended in the Leonie Kayser Prize for Singing. In 2020 Colum was one of seven students selected for the RCS Associate Artist scheme.

How the Award Helped

Colum’s Award made it possible to study a Master’s degree at the RCS.

Colum Donovan-Paterson vocalist

"I am extremely grateful to the Dewar Arts Awards for making it possible to begin my Masters at the RCS. This has allowed me to pursue crucial further training which will help me realise my dream to be a professional opera singer."

2020 Awardee: Georgina MacDonell Finlayson

georgina macdonell finlayson musician

"I cannot thank Dewar Arts Awards enough for their support in making this venture possible and helping me bridge the gap into life as a professional freelance musician"

Biography

Georgina MacDonell Finlayson is a violinist, composer, sound artist, and community arts practitioner from the North East of Scotland. She enjoys a varied portfolio of composing, performing, and teaching in both classical and traditional styles, and has a particular interest in multi-disciplinary performance.

In 2019, Georgina graduated from The University of Edinburgh with a first class degree in music, studying violin with Ruth Crouch. She frequently gave solo and chamber recitals, often sitting section principal in the university orchestras and in her final year leading Edinburgh University String Orchestra.

Her experience playing with orchestras and ensembles across Scotland and the UK include Nevis Ensemble, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, NYOS Futures and Camerata, Kellie Consort, Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble, Dundee Symphony Orchestra, and major festivals such as the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, and the Edinburgh Fringe.

Georgina is also a performer and composer of traditional music, often working with live storytelling and theatre. She has appeared at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival and the Audacious Women Festival.

During her time at Edinburgh, Georgina began to find her own compositional voice, studying with Gareth Williams and Pippa Murphy. As a composer, her works have been played by members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Red Note Ensemble and Any Enemy, performed at Aberdeen’s soundfestival and broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s New Music Show.

Born and raised in a remote glen, her creative work is often influenced by her experiences of landscape, nature and traditional culture. She is fascinated by the ways in which traditional music and culture are so deeply connected with landscape and language, but also how this connection can be found in the fusion of classical and traditional music across the world.

How the Award Helped

After graduating in 2019, and with thanks to the support of the Dewar Arts Award, Georgina started an MMus in violin performance at the Royal Northern College of Music studying with Cath Yates and Pavel Fischer.

georgina macdonell finlayson musician

"I cannot thank Dewar Arts Awards enough for their support in making this venture possible and helping me bridge the gap into life as a professional freelance musician"

2020 Awardee: Ryan MacKenzie

ryan mackenzie musician

"Doing a Master’s degree is the best thing I could have done for myself right now, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Dewar Arts Awards. Thank you!"

Biography

Raised in Buckie, around the coast from Aberdeen, Ryan grew up surrounded by Strathspey’s rich folk music scene. He went on to study piano at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with Nadia Boulanger alumnus Norman Beedie, before moving to London. Here he spent a couple of years in high demand as a music director and session player, before studying for a Master’s degree in composition and arranging at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

As a pianist and keyboard player, Ryan’s concert work has included such celebrated productions as BBC Children in Need, Time Flies: 100 Years of the RAF, the West End Does series, and the RSNO’s annual St. Andrews Night celebrations.

His musical theatre credits include Les Misérables (International Tour), Guys and Dolls (Savoy Theatre & UK Tour), West Side Story (International Tour), Mary Poppins (International Tour), and a workshop of Starlight Express with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Arlene Phillips. And as an arranger and orchestrator, he has written for some of the country’s most prolific ensembles, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award has enabled Ryan to continue his piano studies at Masters Degree level.

ryan mackenzie musician

"Doing a Master’s degree is the best thing I could have done for myself right now, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Dewar Arts Awards. Thank you!"

2020 Awardee: Myrna Tennant

myrna tennant singer

"I feel incredibly honoured and grateful to be a recipient of the Dewar Arts Awards. I can say with certainty that I would not have been able to pursue my Artist Masters studies if it had not been for the generous support I received. Thank you!"

Biography

Born in the Netherlands, Myrna started music lessons at a young age, quickly developing a passion for singing. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tutelage of Helen Lawson, graduating with a Bachelor with Honours of the First Class, after which she spent two years working as a freelance performer and studying on a part-time basis with Wilma MacDougall.

Myrna has performed across the UK in venues like The Bridgewater Hall and Glasgow City Halls. She regularly performs as a solo recitalist and has been the soloist in various oratorios including Haydn’s Missa Sancti Nicolai, Mozart’s Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah. She has also been a soloist in works including Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music. Opera highlights include the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Galatea (Acis and Galatea), Sandman (Hansel and Gretel), and Héro (Béatrice et Bénédict, scenes).

A keen small ensemble singer, Myrna has sung regularly with RCS Voices, with whom she has recorded for the RSNO and has performed in the St Magnus International Festival, the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, and the Edinburgh Fringe. She is proud to be an alumnus of the Genesis Sixteen 2017/18 programme with Harry Christophers. Myrna has also been an opera chorus member for the RCS, Blackbird Opera, and an RCS/Scottish Opera collaboration.

Myrna has won prizes including the Keldwyth Award, the AESS Courtney Kenny Award, and the Norma Greig French Song Prize, and she was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Handel Singing Competition in 2019. She has participated in courses including British Youth Opera, the Art of Song, and Samling Academy, and has had the benefit of working with outstanding vocal coaches including Patricia McMahon, Roderick Williams, Iain Burnside, Julia Lynch, and Joan Rodgers.

How the Award Helped

Myrna’s Dewar Arts Award helped her on to the Artist Masters programme at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

myrna tennant singer

"I feel incredibly honoured and grateful to be a recipient of the Dewar Arts Awards. I can say with certainty that I would not have been able to pursue my Artist Masters studies if it had not been for the generous support I received. Thank you!"

2020 Awardee: Jacqueline Wheeler

Jacqueline Wheeler

"The Dewar Arts Award has made it possible for me to accomplish my dream of studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. I will forever be grateful for this amazing opportunity."

Biography

Jacqueline Wheeler is a multi-instrumentalist from Lanarkshire. Growing up in a musical family, Jacqueline began taking guitar lessons at an early age, later progressing onto other instruments including the bass guitar and piano when in her early teens. Discovering a strong affinity to jazz piano, at the age of 16 she began studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Junior Department where she had the opportunity to study with outstanding jazz musicians such as Paul Towndrow, Tom Gibbs, Pete Johnston, and John Lowery. Her studies here enhanced her musicianship and confidence through participation in piano lessons, jazz ensembles, big band, jazz harmony classes, composition, and regular public performances.

As well as regularly performing and jamming with other like-minded young jazz musicians, Jacqueline takes her performance skills and musicianship outside of jazz genre. She plays regular rock and pop gigs for large audiences, including North Lanarkshire’s prestigious ‘Rockfest’ competition in Motherwell Concert Hall, where she received an award for ‘Best Individual Performance’ in 2020.

Jacqueline has a strong interest in other genres outside of jazz, especially R&B, hip-hop, soul, and house. She takes influence from these genres and incorporates them into her own music. Her hard work, talent and passion for music paid off in 2020 when she was offered a place to study jazz piano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. Jacqueline had dreamed of studying at this world class institution, to equip her with the skills and connections to guide her in her musical development and into the world of professional music.

Jacqueline hopes to inspire the next generation of musicians through her work and her journey to success.  She is a keen composer and music-producer and hopes to release her own original music.

How the Award Helped

Jacqueline’s Dewar Arts Award enabled her to study jazz piano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in London.

Jacqueline Wheeler

"The Dewar Arts Award has made it possible for me to accomplish my dream of studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. I will forever be grateful for this amazing opportunity."

2019 Awardee: Iain Clarke

iain clarke pianist

"The award has helped enormously towards the funding of my Master of Performance degree at the Royal College of Music in London, allowing me to work with world class teachers and begin my career in one of the cultural capitals of the world."

Biography

Born on the Isle of Arran, Iain is a critically-acclaimed classical pianist.

After making his concerto debut aged 16 with the Junior RCS Symphony Orchestra, he went on to gain his ATCL diploma in piano with distinction aged 17 and since then has achieved Grade 8 saxophone and clarinet with distinction.

He has won a great number of prizes including 1st prize in the Moray Piano Competition, 1st prize in the National (UK and Ireland) final of the Rotary Young Musician, 1st prize in the RCS’s Dunbar Gerber chamber music competition, 1st in the Lamond Prize solo piano competition, and 2nd prize in the RCS Walcer Prize for Chopin piano solo.

In 2019 he performed his international recital debut at Kaunas Piano Fest in Lithuania. He also gained his Bachelor’s degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) with First Class Honours, studying with Jonathan Plowright and Heather Slade-Lipkin, with additional tuition from the likes of Olga Kern and Steven Osborne.

Iain went on to gain a place to study on the Master of Performance course at the Royal College of Music in London.

He has performed extensively across the UK in venues including Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall, Usher Hall and Glasgow City Halls. He has aspirations to make a career as a soloist or collaborative pianist working with orchestras and instrumental soloists.

How the Award Helped

Iain’s Award supported his studies at the Royal College of Music in London.

iain clarke pianist

"The award has helped enormously towards the funding of my Master of Performance degree at the Royal College of Music in London, allowing me to work with world class teachers and begin my career in one of the cultural capitals of the world."

2020 Awardee: Roisin Lavery

"I am so honoured to be chosen as a Dewar Artist. This award has allowed me to begin my Masters degree in Vocal Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. It has also given me an incredible personal and professional lift as I commence my career as a young opera singer."

Biography

Rosie Lavery is a ‘Ginger Soprano’, described by her tutor Clare Shearer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as ‘innately musical’ with ‘a very special soprano voice that has huge potential’.

Rosie is a Britten-Pears Young Artist 2020, has won the prestigious Governor’s Recital Prize at RCS and was Highly Commended (2nd Place) in the French Song Competition. She has performed recital programmes around Scotland, in venues such as The House of an Art Lover  and Institut Français. She has also completed a residency at the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow as one of two singers in a live art installation names An Atmosphere of Joyful Contemplation’.

Following her love of contemporary music, Rosie was a soloist during RCS Plug Festival, premiering a piece by Graeme Law titled ‘This May be for the best’. She has performed all over Europe, including performances of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore’ in the Palazzo Corsini in Florence. She has been the soprano soloist with many choirs in Glasgow, including RCS Voices, Academy of Sacred Music and Glasgow Cathedral Choir.

Rosie has been involved in various projects with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, including a radio recording of Bartok’s Der Wünderbar Mandarin’. She was selected for the Associate Artist Programme at RCS, working with Karen Cargill in coachings, masterclasses and residencies.

Rosie is also the Musical Director for Sounds International Choir, and the Assistant Musical Director of the St Andrew’s Cathedral Choir. Her ambition is to perform throughout the world.

How the Award Helped

Rosie’s Award enabled her to study a Masters Degree at the RCS with her respected tutor Clare Shearer.

"I am so honoured to be chosen as a Dewar Artist. This award has allowed me to begin my Masters degree in Vocal Performance at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. It has also given me an incredible personal and professional lift as I commence my career as a young opera singer."

2020 Awardee: Christopher Michie

"Receiving this financial help from The Dewar Arts Awards is extremely beneficial and will inevitably allow me to flourish. Thank you so much!"

Biography

Christopher Michie is a Glasgow based flautist.

As a student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Christopher received tutelage from Ruth Morley as well as taking part in numerous competitions and ensemble projects. He has been a Concerto Finalist and two-time Chamber Recital Finalist. In 2019, Christopher won the prestigious Governor’s Solo Woodwind Recital Prize and later played alongside the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s Wind Soloists.

Christopher gained a position on the Live Music Now Scotland scheme as part of the Clark-Michie flute and harp duo, bringing live music to children with additional support needs and the elderly suffering from dementia. As well as performance, Christopher enjoys teaching and pedagogy, and regularly tutors students of all ages.

Christopher is an advocate and ambassador for fair access in the arts. As a former Transitions student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, he believes that music should be open to everyone from all walks of life.

As an artist, Christopher’s ambition is to build a thriving portfolio career of orchestral, chamber and solo playing.

In 2020, Christopher was accepted to study a masters at the prestigious Royal College of Music in London.

How the Award Helped

Christopher received an Award to support his postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music.

"Receiving this financial help from The Dewar Arts Awards is extremely beneficial and will inevitably allow me to flourish. Thank you so much!"