“I am absolutely loving working really hard at college having received an excellent foundation at the Music School.”
Soprano Catriona Hewitson was the longest serving City of Edinburgh Music School student on record so far - having joined us in P2 in 1996 and staying on until 2009. She then studied at The Royal Northern College of Music (gaining a 1st class Honours degree and Distinction in her postgraduate diploma) and is currently doing a Masters at the Royal College of Music, London. Along the way she won many prizes and scholarships.
She was recently featured in a BBC Radio 3 recording as guest soloist with the Ulster Orchestra on their recent tour, and also sang on the Hobbit soundtrack as well as enjoying many other professional engagements undertaken while studying.
"I came from The National School of Music in Mexico City. I heard about The Music School when I flew across to a guitar course in Wales. I am now studying classical and electric guitar, composition, music technology, piano and academic music. The City of Edinburgh Music School has been an important experience in my life - I had to leave my country and adapt to different culture. But thanks to the help and support from my teachers and other students, I feel I have settled in and am taking every opportunity to become the best musician possible. The only problem is the cold weather which I find quite a shock to the system."
After graduating in 2004 with First Class Honours, and an MMus from at The Royal College of Music (London) Morgan is embarking on a career as a soloist. He recently became the first solo guitarist to be selected for representation by YCAT and has just completed a series of recitals at the Wigmore Hall, London and concerts in Milan and Prague. His debut CD will be in the shops soon!
"I joined The Music School when I was in primary 6, with the Clarsach being my main instrument. An interest in singing grew and grew until Jazz voice became my main interest. As well as this I gained Grade VIII on Pedal Harp, Clarsach and Advanced Diploma on Piano. I still love traditional Scottish music and have performed all over Scotland as well as being on the Music School's 'Blue Nova Sisters' CD and two other recent releases. Since joining the Music School I have performed at the opening of the Scottish Parliament, the Millenium Dome, and various festivals around Europe including Celtic Connections. I am now looking forward to continuing my studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston USA."
Maeve was offered a generous Dewar Award scholarship to study jazz at Berklee and has already travelled to New York, Milan and Barcelona to perform with her group. She was recently flown back to Edinburgh to present an award at the 'Politician of the Year' show on TV, and is recording her debut CD in America.
"I have spent much of my formal education here in the Music School. After attending Flora's, I came to Broughton High and am know studying piano, cello, Higher and A-Level music. I also play keyboards in Broughton High's award-winning jazz band. As for my future? I am not sure, certainly something to do with music."
Hugh completed a Law Degree at Glasgow University and is now a music industry lawyer and runs a club and record label with Christopher Wheeler.
"I joined The Music School in 1st year, auditioning on piano. After getting Grade 8 on both piano and clarinet and being offered places in Music College for each instrument, I had the difficult decision of which instrument to study. Finally deciding to study the clarinet at the Royal Northern College of Music."
Cara is currently studying clarinet in Brussels as part of her continuing qualifications.
"I came originally from England and heard about The Music School from a friend of the family. My first instrument is the trombone, but I also play piano, drum kit and - wait for it - the Alphorn! I am now in my fifth year and am sitting A-Level over two years while learning jazz trombone improvisation, studying for several Highers and , of course, practising the Alphorn! My greatest ambition is to become a professional trombonist."
Christopher completed a degree at Guildhall School of Music and then started work as a club DJ and promoter in London. Throughout 2004 Chris ran the club-night 'Heritage', an event with a refreshing music policy that became highly regarded for its unusual programme of live jazz, classical, funk, and cross-genre dance forms. Out of this he formed the Heritage Orchestra - a pioneering cross-genre 40 - 60 member ensemble that ignores classical elitism, and leads a defiant new musical direction fuelled by daring reinterpretations, complex collaborations, fresh compositions, and the most exciting performances in town.
The Heritage Orchestra are to be featured alongside Bjork, The Roots, Jill Scott, Zero 7, Beck, Alicia Keys, Spektrum, Sa Ra, Matthew Herbert Big Band, Nitin Sawhney etc., in a forthcoming compilation of the best Maida Vale sessions and peformed at the 2005 Montreux Jazz Festival.
For more details go to: www.theheritageorchestra.com
"I was at The Music School for the whole of secondary school from 1998 to 2004. During this time, what I think I valued the most was having a specialist education as well as a broader education in the main school. I've always felt The Music School has a wonderful, friendly atmosphere. The renowned teachers are absolutely fantastic and the school was constantly there for me as a support through the very hardest times of my adolescence.
In February 2004 I took part in the Young Musician of the Year semi-finals which I felt was the climax of all my productive years at the school. Had the school not been so well equipped for percussion it would have been even harder! I have taken part in piano, composition and percussion classes in the Edinburgh Competition Festival and this year won the Traves Trophy. In my first year I played timpani in the new commission "Mackays Memoirs" by Martyn Bennett in the Music School ensemble for the opening of the Scottish Parliament and later that year played it again for the New Year celebrations. Before my voice broke I even sang in a choir behind Celine Dion for her gig at Murrayfield!
I have taken part in much musical theatre with the National Youth Music Theatre (now YMTUK) throughout the country from Kendal to Glyndebourne and have enjoyed taking part in the Broughton Youth Theatre and their bi-annual productions. In September 2004 I will be starting at the Royal Academy of Music in London where I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship. The Music School is a great place to be and I really couldn't have wished to be anywhere else."
"After completing my fifth year at another school I moved to The City of Edinburgh Music School in an attempt to work out if I really wanted to pursue a career in music. It has been an exciting and challenging two years during which time I have taken part in NYOS, EYO (including the Baltic Tour) and have been fortunate enough to perform a concerto. In the little free time that I have, I have managed to complete my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, passed my driving test and continued training at karate. Next year I will be studying on the Bmus(Performance) course at RSAMD with John Cushing."
"Originally from Kent, I heard about The Music School from my cello teacher who encouraged me to audition. After two happy years in The Music School I aim to study music at university and later teach music in a secondary school."
Abigail is currently teaching music in England - and loves it!
"I have just secured the only place in Europe for the Bmus Jazz Stream Hons course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. I am unbelievably excited about going and can't wait to get there. I am actually in my seventh year at school, having auditioned for the Music School from Broughton in my sixth. My whole experience of Broughton has been fantastic and now I can concentrate all my energies in the world of percussion, in my case drum kit, timpani and tuned percussion. Staying a seventh year has made all the difference to my playing and it has given me the chance to broaden my musical experiences. For example, while writing an extended piece of research on jazz drumming, I have been playing gigs with my own jazz quartet!"
Andrew is presently studying for his masters at the Manhattan School of Music, New York. He is much in demand as a session drummer in New York and London.
In accepting a student into The Music School, The City of Edinburgh Council is making a major commitment to resources, and if the School is to be of maximum benefit to its students this commitment must be matched by that of students and parents. This guide is intended to help parents play their part in the process.
A preliminary audition can be arranged through the Director of The Music School at any time during the academic year. On the basis of this informal meeting advice will be given on whether or not to proceed further. Those short-listed for a final audition will be called in for assessment by a panel of highly-renowned musicians from both within and outwith the School.