Five composers selected to participate in a development opportunity

We are delighted to announce that five Scotland-based composers have been selected to participate in a development opportunity where they will work alongside Iain Crawford (double bass) and Tom Hunter (marimba) from Red Note and a composer mentor to develop new works to be performed at this year's soundfestival!

The composers are Ellie Cherry, Erin Thomson, Finn Patrick McLean, Ollie Hawker and Siobhan Dyson.

soundfestival will take place in Aberdeen between 19-24 October and the programme includes a focus on the double bass as part of our 'endangered instruments' series.

This development opportunity is part of our soundcreators programme which focuses on nurturing creative talent, and is organised in partnership with Red Note, Scotland’s Contemporary Music Ensemble. 

soundcreators is supported by Creative Scotland, the PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development Partner programme, Idlewild Trust, Hugh Fraser Foundation, the Leche Trust and Aberdeen City Council.

Originally from the mountains of Utah, US, Ellie Cherry graduated from Cornell University magna cum laude BA in Music, studying with Professors Roberto Sierra and Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri. She is currently fulfilling an MMus of Composition at RCS, studying with Professor Emily Doolittle. 

Her music has been commissioned by performers and directors in multiple countries, including the US, UK, and South Korea. In 2019 she was a recipient of the CCA grant for her composition and production of Queen of Carthage, an opera-oratorio based on the life and death of the ancient African queen Dido, told (for the first time) from the perspective of a woman.

Listen on SoundCloud

Erin Thomson is a Scottish composer from Glasgow. She recently graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, studying composition under the tutelage of Dr Linda Buckley. Here she earned a first-class honours degree with an endorsement of Music Education with Distinction.

Recent commissions and performances include a commission for Gaia duo, works for Red Note Ensemble, a collaboration with RCS and University of St Andrews with PhD Researcher Stuart Burrell and a short, comedic work featured on Sarah Watts new album, Feed the Hound, raising funds for Kit Wilson Trust. Erin was also the RCS Brass Composer in Residence from 2019-2021 and received 1st prize in the RCS Walter and Dinah Wolfe Memorial Award.

External to studying composition, Erin thrives for education and community projects and has experience ranging from nursery children to high school students. This passion is something she aims to pursue further during her future studies as she embarks on her Masters in Music, specialising in composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Autumn 2021.

Finn Patrick McLean is a composer and performer based in Glasgow. Finn is currently going into their 3rd year of undergraduate studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, tutored by David Fennessy and Matthew McAllister. Finn has worked with Psappha Ensemble, soundfestival, the International Percussion Institute and more.

Ollie Hawker is a Glasgow-based composer and improviser interested in ideas of digital nostalgia and the internet as folk culture. He recently received his Masters degree in composition from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he was also awarded the 2020 Kimie Composition Prize. 

He has recently worked with soundfestival, Cryptic, and Live Music Now Scotland, and has performed his live electronic pieces at Sound Thought Festival, Radiophrenia and the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. 

He plays in the bands Neuro Trash and Instruction Manual, the latter of which was nominated for a 2021 Scottish New Music Award for their audiovisual piece The Owen Wilson Elegies. He also works as a music practitioner for the charities Paragon, Hear My Music and Drake Music Scotland.

Listen on SoundCloud

Siobhan Dyson has obtained her BMus (Hons) degree in composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is now undertaking her Masters degree with Dr Oliver Searle. Born in Macclesfield, she developed a passion for composing when her grandfather gave her a keyboard where she was self-taught on piano and started writing at the early age of ten. 

During her school days she developed her piano and composition skills and decided that she wanted to pursue a career in composition. She has also performed many of her pieces live and composed pieces many pieces for Concert bands; dancers; musicians; short films and narrations.

She is currently writing music for a small scale animation studio depicting different mental health disorders.

Listen on SoundCloud