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!"

2019 Awardee: Alexis Tie-Gill

"The Dewar Arts Award has allowed me to develop my playing and my music without having to constantly worry about the cost. It has allowed me to broaden my horizons and have big goals for the future. I hope to become a professional musician and share my music with others."

Biography

Alexis Tie-Gill is a violinist and pianist. She began playing both instruments at the age of 9, and by 13 had demonstrated an exceptional talent.  She won several competitions at the Edinburgh Music Festival and was selected to play in the Junior National Youth Orchestra of Scotland for two years in a row. In the second year, she was selected as leader of the orchestra. As well as performing in many concerts, Alexis gained a distinction for her Grade 7 piano and a merit for Grade 7 violin.

In 2014 Alexis’ father passed away, and she became concerned about the costs her family incurred through her participation in music. She applied to the Dewar Arts Awards for support, to enable her to continue to develop her skills as a musician without placing a financial burden on her family.

How the Award Helped

Alexis received an Award to support her with her orchestral and tuition fees, and to purchase a new violin.

She writes;

“I am very grateful to everyone at Dewar Arts Awards…I have been able to purchase a violin which is the right size for me, which suits my playing and allows me to express myself. From the funding, I will be able to have the opportunity to lead the Junior National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and be taught privately by professional musicians who will help me to achieve my goals and become a successful musician. Dewar Arts has given me many opportunities which I never would have experienced without them.”

Since the Award

Update April 2020:

Alexis received an additional award to support her participation in Senior NYOS, RCS and summer camps for violin and piano. She achieved grade 8 on both piano and vioin whilst in her third year of senior school, was ‘Highly Commended’ for the RCS Gilbert Innes Prize for Piano, and gained Second Prize in the Kawai New Piano Stars competition (Age 14-15).

“Receiving a Dewar Arts Award has allowed me to become a more open-minded musician and to take hold of new opportunities which come my way. It has also encouraged me to have high hopes and aspirations for the future. I am grateful for the help which Dewar Arts has given me and hope that one day I will be able to give back through my music making”

"The Dewar Arts Award has allowed me to develop my playing and my music without having to constantly worry about the cost. It has allowed me to broaden my horizons and have big goals for the future. I hope to become a professional musician and share my music with others."

2019 Awardee: Amy Paterson

"I am so grateful to have received this award...allowing me to branch out and study at a conservatoire level, which will help me reach my goal to become a professional musician."

Biography

Amy is a Tenor Horn player from the small town of Campbeltown in the West of Scotland.

From a very young age, Amy demonstrated a musical maturity and ability far beyond her years. It was clear that she had a real gift for music. Much of Amy’s success as a musician has come from her determination for accuracy and her commitment to embracing all musical opportunities available to her.

Coming from a remote location meant Amy often had to travel long distances for playing opportunities. In spite of this, as a young musician she committed herself to several nights a week with a brass band as well as taking on solo and ceilidh gigs with her fiddle. She also taught younger pupils privately, being highly regarded by parents and pupils alike.

At school, she proved herself to be an asset – taking part in countless shows, concerts and community playing events. She also took the role of principle horn with the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland for several years running, and won a number of awards and solo competitions.

When receiving her Dewar Arts Award in 2019, she was the Scottish Brass solo champion and had been featured in Les Neish’s Rising Stars section in the British Bandsman magazine. She gained a place to study Tenor Horn Performance at the Royal Northern College Of Music, with her ambition being to develop her performance skills and pass on her knowledge through teaching others.

How the Award Helped

Amy’s Dewar Arts Award supported her in taking up her place to study at the Royal Northern College of Music.

"I am so grateful to have received this award...allowing me to branch out and study at a conservatoire level, which will help me reach my goal to become a professional musician."

2019 Awardee: Ciaran Roberts-Osterberg

"I cannot express how amazing it feels to be a Dewar Artist, and how grateful I am for the award...I would not be able to take up my place at Berklee if it wasn’t for the help that Dewar has so graciously given me."

Biography

Ciaran is a multi-instrumentalist from Dundee, who started taking lessons on the drums, piano and vocals at school as a way to cope with bullying from his classmates. Ciaran is autistic, which presents challenges for him in everyday life (such as social interactions, mental processing and understanding how other people think). However, music is something that comes very easily to him, and in which he has been able to flourish.

Having studied jazz and improvisation since the age of 15, Ciaran was inspired by greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock, Elvin Jones and Charlie Parker.  This led him to aspire to his dream of attending Berklee College of Music and becoming a professional musician.

On achieving an offer from Berklee, Ciaran engaged in a campaign to gain the funding required to cover his studies.  He agained support and endorsement from trusts, individuals and celebrities including Curtis Stigers and five-times Grammy Award winner Antonio Sanchez.

Ciaran has achieved some major milestones, including headlining in the Dundee Jazz Festival with his Trio, performing for the US Consulate, playing at the famed Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London, and performing for the Royal Family at Windsor Castle. He has played with top UK musicians such as Liane Carroll, Alan Benzie, Pete Johnston, Gordon McNeil, Malcolm Edmonstone, Jules Jackson, and Rick Taylor. He has also had the opportunity to play with Grammy-winner and Berklee film scoring faculty, Claudio Ragazzi.

Ciaran hopes that his studies at Berklee will enable him to meet and have the opportunity to play with some of the best international young talent, as well as some of the music industry’s top performers.

He aims to specialise in Jazz, as well as continuing to perform in multiple genres by leading his own groups and performing with other ensembles as a “sideman”. He hopes to tour internationally, to become an accomplished composer and arranger, and also to become an educator, an autism activist and a motivational speaker.

How the Award Helped

Ciaran’s Award supported him in achieving his dream of studying at Berklee College of Music.

"I cannot express how amazing it feels to be a Dewar Artist, and how grateful I am for the award...I would not be able to take up my place at Berklee if it wasn’t for the help that Dewar has so graciously given me."

2019 Awardee: Frances Allen

"I hope that this creative direction, along with the industry connections that the RCA can facilitate, will be formative in my career as a Sound Artist."

Biography

Born in Inverness, Frances started playing the piano at the age of 6. At age 11 she took up the saxophone which then became her principal study.

After receiving a distinction in Classical saxophone, Frances went on to study Music at the Reid School of Music, University of Edinburgh, in 2014. Whilst at Edinburgh, Frances studied Jazz saxophone and improvisation with Edinburgh-based saxophonist Zack Moir, and Classical saxophone with internationally renowned saxophonist Richard Ingham.

Alongside performance, Frances began to explore her compositional ideas under the tuition of Dr Gareth Williams. Improvisation heavily influenced her compositional practices and she began to experiment with the relationship between visual art and musical principles. With her work, Frances drew inspiration from a range of 20th century artists and designs.

After graduating in 2018, Frances has gone on to study her Masters in Sound Design at the Royal College of Art, in London. As part of the School of Communication, Frances is interested in bringing together music and design to explore the possibilities for immersive and interactive composition.

How the Award Helped

Frances’ Award has made is possible for her to study at the RCA and to afford the tuition fees for her Masters.

"I hope that this creative direction, along with the industry connections that the RCA can facilitate, will be formative in my career as a Sound Artist."