I am a recent graduate of The University of Aberdeen where I studied Musical Performance, and specialised in Composition and Saxophone. I was lucky enough to have Richard Ingham as my saxophone tutor, his expertise and boundless enthusiasm developed my playing in so many ways.
I’m an active performer and I’ve played many enjoyable concerts in the University of Aberdeen Jazz Orchestra, Concert Band and Saxophone Ensemble. I am also active in the music scene with my own band Karma for Vandals, and have played in musical productions at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for 5 years in a row.
I’ve been involved in the music scene for many years, and have gained experience in organising events, not just playing in live settings. For example, I have organise events in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, including working with O2 and Canongate Youth Centre to fund music charities across the country.
My interest in writing music intensified when I earned a ‘highly commended’ accolade for one of my early compositions “Winter’s Dawn” in a competition run by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Over the next few years I developed my playing ability and my knowledge of music theory, achieving grades in ABRSM and Rock School.
I attended weekly music classes at Edinburgh Young Musicians from the age of 6 until I was in my final year at high school. I was also given the opportunity to take part in composition workshops at the Royal College of Music in London, and attended practical guitar lessons at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland over the summer.
After school, I left Edinburgh to study music at Aberdeen University. As my compositional abilities matured, I was lucky enough to have a number of my pieces premiered throughout my four years of study. My proudest moment was taking first place in the prestigious Carlaw-Ogston Composition Prize in 2018 with my piece “Pangea Ultima”. Another highlight was having The University of Aberdeen Saxophone Ensemble play my composition “The Lynn Canal” in the presence of the composer Diana Burrell.
I’m interested in music that places instruments together that traditionally may seem unorthodox. For example, viola and vibraphone are used in “Pangea Ultima”, and in my first piece for symphony orchestra “Monachopsis”, I wrote a part for electric guitar that blended into the texture but also acted as a solo instrument at different moments throughout the piece.
In June 2019, I was thrilled to have my first composition for string quartet ‘Y.M.E’ premiered at Leith Theatre, with my younger brother playing the cello part! The concert was a 20th birthday celebration for Edinburgh Young Musicians run by Jean Murray. I attended their classes for 12 years and learned a lot about solo and small to medium sized ensemble playing.
I’m also excited about a brand new orchestral piece that is going to be played by the Kings Philharmonic Wind Orchestra in Aberdeen.
I have played in a number of bands over the years, and my current musical venture in this genre is my post-rock band Karma for Vandals, founded in early 2017. You can read more about this on my Music Projects page.