2005 Awardee: Joanne Boag

I am in the wonderful position of being able to look at my diary and see it full. I want to thank the Dewar Arts Award for helping me to get where I am today.

Biography

Hailing from Dundee, Joanne is a graduate of the RSAMD, where she gained both an Honours degree in performance and a Masters in opera with distinction. She won a highly coveted place on the Masters Course at the National Opera Studio, London – only two places were given, out of over 60 sopranos who auditioned.

The Studio prepares exceptionally talented singers for a career in opera.  Although the course is just a year, accommodation and living expenses in London are high and generally out of the reach of students. Without the Award, Joanne says that she would not have been able to finance herself through this course, which was a once in a lifetime opportunity for her.

Joanne is a lyric soprano of exceptional quality and undoubtedly has the talent to succeed in the highly competitive profession.

How the Award Helped

Joanne received a Dewar Arts Award towards her studies at the National Opera Studio, London.

Since the Award

Joanne’s first job after graduating from the Opera Studio is with Scottish Opera understudying the role of Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier.  The Welsh National Opera have subsequently offered her a principal artist’s contract for 2007-08.  Her first role will be Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola.

I am in the wonderful position of being able to look at my diary and see it full. I want to thank the Dewar Arts Award for helping me to get where I am today.

2005 Awardee: James Ross

The award has provided me with a fantastic opportunity to develop as a pianist on a suitable instrument. It's amazing

Biography

When tutors speak of Wick-born pianist and composer, James Ross, they use superlatives. Brian McNeill, head of Scottish Music at the RSAMD, Glasgow, says that James is “the future of Scottish Traditional Music in Piano. The instrument has been entirely revitalised in his hands.”

His New Voices commission for Celtic Connections ‘An Cuan (The Ocean)’ in 2005 received critical acclaim and was ranked as one of the most impressive compositions. It was described in Scotia Review as “a sweeping seascape of sound, surging up under rumbling skies and settling down to sparkling tranquillity… wave after wave of wonderful music rising from unseen depths to engulf the shores of the imagination.”

Having achieved the highest marks for piano solo performance both at RSAMD and at the University of Limerick, where he completed a Masters under the tutelage of Micheál Ó Súilleabháin, James is developing a career in performance and original composition.

His debut album “James Ross” was released in 2006.

How the Award Helped

James received a Daughter of Dewar Award to buy a piano.

Since the Award

Since obtaining the piano, James says that, as well as being a major benefit to his practice time, he has spent more time composing music, which has opened new doors for him.

He has completed a three-movement orchestral work for Caithness Orchestra and a piano pibroch, both of which have been performed. He was also invited to attend a composer’s course at the St Magnus Festival in Orkney.

James writes, “I feel my career would not be developing the way it is without having a good quality piano. This would not have been possible without being granted a Dewar Arts Award.”

The award has provided me with a fantastic opportunity to develop as a pianist on a suitable instrument. It's amazing

2005 Awardee: Graeme Truslove

The award enabled me to refine and enhance the methods I have been working towards for years now...I am very grateful to have received such an opportunity at this stage in my artistic development.

Biography

Graeme is a composer with a difference, his ‘instrument’ is a computer. He is the first electroacoustic composer to be funded by the Awards. Graeme combines technical innovation with artistic integrity to produce exciting new sounds.

Graeme works in electronic music, working with performing musicians in the studio to produce compositions based on the sounds of the instruments, and also producing music based on electronic sound.

Some highly innovative elements of his current research included ‘live electronics’. He explains, “in composing for live electronics… the composer creates an electronic instrument and writes a score for its performance, requiring the presence of a ‘technology performer’ to play it. This approach has influenced the way I structure my pieces.”

Recent work with theatre directors and a visual artist on a three-dimensional adaptation of ‘The Tempest’ has led to interesting collaboration on a new play, investigating the possible influences that interactive music can have on narrative when introduced at the script-writing stage.

How the Award Helped

Graeme received a Dewar Arts Award to support him while studying for a PhD in composition at the University of Glasgow’s Department of Music.  The award funded the creation of Electroacoustic Suite II, premiered in April 2007 in Glasgow.

Since the Award

Graeme successfully completed his PhD in 2009. His composition, Electroacoustic Suite II, which formed part of his doctoral portfolio, is in three movements, Portals, Convergence in Four Directions and Divergent Dialogues.

The award enabled me to refine and enhance the methods I have been working towards for years now...I am very grateful to have received such an opportunity at this stage in my artistic development.

2005 Awardee: Gillian Maitland

I have had the chance to work with some fantastic percussionists in an amazing percussion environment. It is like having a family of percussionists around all the time

Biography

Gillian caught the eye of international percussionists when she attended the Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar, a festival for advanced high school percussionists.

She was one of only 16 pupils selected worldwide to attend the seminar. A graduate of St Mary’s Music School, Gillian’s consuming passion is the marimba.

As a young musician her achievements include winning the Director’s Recital prize at St Mary’s and winning joint first place in the inaugural percussion class at the 2004 Edinburgh Music Festival.

Gillian says that she chose to study at the Frost School of Music because it “has the broad percussion base I want to study and isn’t based purely on orchestral, but also has jazz, ethnic/world music and solo performance.”

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award is funding Gillian for four years at the Frost School of Music, Miami. She was put on the Dean’s list in Spring 2006.

Since the Award

Due to an unfortunate road accident, Gillian was forced to withdraw after three years’ study at Frost School of Music. We’re happy to note that this did not prevent Gillian from pursuing her career ambitions. She is now pursuing a solo career and in 2009 in Ireland premiered a work for solo marimba written for her by a Scottish composer.

I have had the chance to work with some fantastic percussionists in an amazing percussion environment. It is like having a family of percussionists around all the time

2005 Awardee: Genna Spinks

The standard of playing [at Juilliard] is phenomenal. Having the chance to be around so many gifted people is very inspiring.

Biography

While Genna was still an undergraduate at the RSAMD and playing in a concert, a visiting music professor in the audience leant forward and remarked on the wonderful playing of the bassist.
According to her nominator, Genna is one of the finest young string players ever to graduate from the RSAMD. She was showered with prizes before she graduated and has worked with the leading Scottish orchestras and ensembles.

Not only did Genna, from Stonehaven, win a coveted place at the world-renowned Juilliard School in New York but she was offered a generous scholarship as well. However, she would have been unable to take up this offer without the Dewar Award which filled the vital financial gap for her.

In her first year at Juilliard, Genna was invited to attend Jeff Bradetich’s elite soloists programme in Texas, as one of only five bassists to be invited. Bradetich is regarded as one of the leading performers and teachers of the double bass in the US today.

How the Award Helped

Genna received a Dewar Arts Award towards her studies at Juilliard School in New York.

Since the Award

Genna writes that “The standard of playing [at Juilliard School] all round is phenomenal… all I had to do was step outside my [practice] room and listen.”

Timothy Cobb, Genna’s tutor at Juilliard School, says of her that she “is among the very best of talent at Juilliard – a wonderful young bassist, a dedicated and diligent worker, and truly one of the kindest and most pleasant students I have ever had.”  Genna has won a full scholarship to continue her studies with Timothy Cobb at Lynn University in Florida.

The standard of playing [at Juilliard] is phenomenal. Having the chance to be around so many gifted people is very inspiring.

2005 Awardee: Fraser Stone

buy a performance-standard marimba. Since the Award Of the New Voices piece, Fraser writes that the project 'gave me a chance to compose technical pieces for an eight piece band. It was a huge learning curve and I grew so much from this experience.' He adds that the Dewar Awards 'are a fantastic way to celebrate the Scottish talent out there and help promote our culture worldwide. Without these awards many musicians would not be able to fulfill their dreams and potential.' We couldn't agree more, Fraser! ‹ Back to List Most of us can only dream of doing a job we love, but end up living a hum-drum nine-to-five existence

Biography

If the gigs ever dry up, Fraser could develop a lucrative sideline in musical instrument making. Preparing to go on tour with Scottish Folk Band ‘Old Blind Dogs’, he stunned the band by arriving at the airport with a handmade Djembe drum he had designed and made for the trip.

From Grantown on Spey, Fraser started playing drums on a plastic drumkit when he was six. By the age of twelve he was regularly performing with bands.

By seventeen, he had developed into a gifted and well-respected musician, playing on a number of albums, being principal percussionist at a performance of Scottish Music in the Millennium Dome, London, and acting as musical director of a number of Highland festivals.

In 2006, Fraser and fellow percussionist, Paul Jennings, were commissioned to compose a New Voices piece to be performed at Celtic Connections. For this project, Fraser desperately needed a new marimba.

He wrote at the time, “I see this year as being one of great musical growth. I’m looking to branch out and experiment with new sounds in different genres to fulfil my potential.”

How the Award Helped

Fraser received a Daughter of Dewar Award to buy a performance-standard marimba.

Since the Award

Of the New Voices piece, Fraser writes that the project ‘gave me a chance to compose technical pieces for an eight piece band. It was a huge learning curve and I grew so much from this experience.’ He adds that the Dewar Awards ‘are a fantastic way to celebrate the Scottish talent out there and help promote our culture worldwide. Without these awards many musicians would not be able to fulfill their dreams and potential.’

We couldn’t agree more, Fraser!

buy a performance-standard marimba. Since the Award Of the New Voices piece, Fraser writes that the project 'gave me a chance to compose technical pieces for an eight piece band. It was a huge learning curve and I grew so much from this experience.' He adds that the Dewar Awards 'are a fantastic way to celebrate the Scottish talent out there and help promote our culture worldwide. Without these awards many musicians would not be able to fulfill their dreams and potential.' We couldn't agree more, Fraser! ‹ Back to List Most of us can only dream of doing a job we love, but end up living a hum-drum nine-to-five existence

2005 Awardee: Fraser Gordon

I was delighted… this will enable me to purchase the instrument of my ultimate choice, which makes me especially excited

Biography

Born and brought up in Edinburgh, Fraser is, according to all who have taught him, a natural musician with the innate musicality and talent to become a professional musician.

Currently studying bassoon at the RSAMD in Glasgow, Fraser is expected to progress onto a successful career in chamber and orchestral music. However, the other side of the coin to musical talent is having an instrument to match.

Like many Daughter of Dewar recipients, Fraser had outgrown his student model of bassoon. It was all the more remarkable that he continued to produce a “beautiful and well-projected sound” from an instrument that had seen far better days.

As Fraser said himself, his old bassoon had been “useful for me to achieve the standard I have reached, but it no longer will be able to cater for my musical and technical needs if I am to fulfil my ambitions.”

How the Award Helped

Fraser received a Daughter of Dewar Award towards a new high-quality bassoon. In 2007, Fraser received a second award to buy a contrabassoon

Since the Award

After graduating from RSAMD with a first class honours and later with a postgraduate diploma in performance with distinction, and carrying off the Peter Morrison prize for overall excellence, Fraser was invited to join the ‘Emergent Leader’ Programme at RSAMD, newly-established by principal, John Wallace. During his time on the programme, he established a senior wind ensemble, called the RSAMD Stevenson Winds, to perform chamber works at the highest level outside the Academy.

In 2011, Fraser was appointed to the position of Principal Contrabassoon with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

I was delighted… this will enable me to purchase the instrument of my ultimate choice, which makes me especially excited

2005 Awardee: Fraser Campbell

I really feel like I'm getting the best out of Berklee at the moment and am sure that it can only get better! I'd like to thank the trustees for helping me to experience this great opportunity

Biography

Perth-born Fraser started to play saxophone at the relatively late age of 14. His natural-born talent soon got him noticed and he gained a coveted place in Tommy Smith’s Youth Jazz Orchestra and in the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland.

Fraser is the second Dewar Arts Award recipient to go to Berklee. According to Tommy Smith, Fraser was light years ahead of players his age before he went to Berklee College of Music. Since he’s been there, Fraser has continued to impress, making the Dean’s list (an American college honour for scoring consistently top marks across the board) in consecutive semesters.

Fraser wanted to study at Berklee because he believed that was where he would best develop musically as a jazz composer and performer. After his first year there, Tommy Smith said that he “definitely has all the tools at his disposal to become a truly great musician and ambassador for Scotland. Through his ever growing talents … I can see him go far.”

How the Award Helped

Fraser received a Dewar Arts Award to support his studies at Berklee College of Music, Boston.

Since the Award

Fraser graduated from Berklee with a dual major degree in Performance and Jazz Composition summa cum laude.  He also won the Quincy Jones Award, for excellence in Harmony and Performance.  At his graduation ceremony Fraser played one of his compositions.  Currently Fraser is getting himself established in the Scottish jazz scene.

I really feel like I'm getting the best out of Berklee at the moment and am sure that it can only get better! I'd like to thank the trustees for helping me to experience this great opportunity

2005 Awardee: David Gargaro

[My first year at Eastman] has been an exciting one. I have been happy, sad, amazed, disappointed and at all times overwhelmed with the whole experience.

Biography

A graduate of St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh, David, from northern Scotland, is a trumpeter of enormous potential. Born in Munster, Germany, he was first introduced to music through the Kirkintilloch Silver Brass Band at the age of 9. He decided that he wanted to become a world-class trumpeter.

Throughout his early career, David has been a member of a variety of orchestras including the Edinburgh Symphony Baroque Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, the Scottish School’s Orchestra, the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and Eastman Wind Orchestra. He is also a keen chamber musician.

David has won a number of music prizes including, in 2005, the Scottish Concerto competition playing the Shostakovich trumpet and piano concerto with fellow Dewar Arts Awardee, Chris Guild.

David gained an undergraduate place at a number of music colleges in the UK and in the US and decided to accept Eastman School of Music, Rochester in order to study with the renowned trumpeter, James Thompson.  He has also attended masterclasses and had lessons with Robert Early, Angela Whelan, Patrick Addinall and Mark Gould.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award is funding David to study at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester for four years.

Since the Award

David successfully graduated with a degree in trumpet performance.  During his studies at Eastman, David discovered a love and aptitude for conducting.  He continues to live in the States where he is pursuing a career in conducting.

[My first year at Eastman] has been an exciting one. I have been happy, sad, amazed, disappointed and at all times overwhelmed with the whole experience.

2005 Awardee: Craig MacDonald

The horn I bought from [the award] was paramount to the success I had last year and I firmly believe it will lead me through a successful professional career.

Biography

Hailing from Moray, Craig was nominated for an Award after he had been accepted to study music at RSAMD in Glasgow. He had been playing on an instrument that had seen better days, yet he had gained a place in the National Youth Orchestra, an exceptional achievement for a brass player who was still at school.

Considered by his tutor to be the most talented brass player to have come out of Moray, Craig won the Senior Solo Instrumental Recital class at the 2004 Moray Music Festival and was awarded an ‘Outstanding Certificate’, which is the highest accolade.

Now in his second year at RSAMD, Craig is principal of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland.

How the Award Helped

Craig received a Daughter of Dewar Award to buy a professional standard French horn.

Since the Award

Craig writes that since buying a new horn ‘my career as a musician has taken off’ and attributes all his achievements to the new French horn.

Craig joined the successful brass quintet Alba Brass, which became the ensemble in residence for the ‘Young Composer of Dyfed’ competition in Wales. Later the quintet was invited to accompany the First Minister of Scotland to San Francisco to promote Scottish culture.

Craig also joined the newly-formed brass dectet, Phase X, composed of professional and college players, and became part of the wind quintet, Quintet Zambra. Zambra was runner up in the Governors Chamber Competition and winner of the Mary D Adams award for chamber music. The quintet performed the world premiere of John Maxwell Geddes’s wind quintet ‘Quango’.

Craig has played with a number of orchestras, which remains his final ambition, and writes that  having a new French horn has “really transformed my career and has given me the confidence to pursue my dreams.”

The horn I bought from [the award] was paramount to the success I had last year and I firmly believe it will lead me through a successful professional career.