Category Archives: Competitions

Big Guitar Weekend

Next weekend is Big Guitar Weekend, Scotland’s guitar event of the year. Housed in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (map here) and directed by Allan Neave, it comprises courses, master classes and concerts.

The artists involved can be seen on the event’s dedicated website. Those involved include, Paul GalbraithPavel Steidl and Haddington’s own Malcolm MacFarlane. You can see a photo-stream of some of the people and places involved here.

Sadly, I’m going to miss most of this as I’ll be preparing for the launch of this:

The attendant website, goes live on 5 Nov.

East Lothian Youth Music Forum – Design Competition

A chance for musical and artistic pupils to shine….

The East Lothian Youth Music Forum is about to be rebranded. Part of this process involves a new name and logo. Young people (under 25) are invited to submit designs with a chance of winning £100 of Amazon vouchers. A recent press release contained the essential information:

Due to the amount of interest from young people, the deadline had been extended from Friday 3
December to Friday 10 December. The competition is open to anyone aged under 25. Entries should
be sent to Iain Bruce, Brunton Theatre, Ladywell Way, Musselburgh, East Lothian, EH21 6AA. Email: Entrants should make sure to include their contact details.

So, if you can think of a name and design a logo then why not get invovled?

You could email Iain Bruce (details above) for more info – or ask me and I’ll try to find out what I don’t know.

Good luck!

Pathways to Music

Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative and Young Scot have teamed up to consult with young people across Scotland, aged 16 to 26, to find out what it is they really want and need to know to help them engage with the music industry in Scotland.

If you fit into this age bracket, then completing this survey could result in winning £50 of iTunes vouchers.

Fight Poverty – Young People’s Song Writing Competition

Short notice, I know, but this just came in today. If you are a young song writer, feel strongly about world poverty, can work quickly then why not consider entering this competition. The deadline is 30 September, therefore I would recommend avoiding complex multi-tracked ideas and opting for a simpler format e.g. self-accompanied singer/songwriter or just a couple of people – voice(s) & piano/guitar. Video entry is the preferred entry format (uploaded you YouTube) and East Lothian schools are well equipped with Flip Video Cameras – intuitive to use – it’s impossible to go wrong. If you are interested and have questions, get back to me on the Any Questions page and I’ll do my best to help out.

The competition is being mounted by Fight Poverty. General details of the competition are here . Details of how to enter are here. Info on prizes can be found here.

World Cup Anthems

I was delighted to receive, from friend and colleague, Gordon Wood, the anthems for all 32 World Cup teams. In addition to the notation for each tune, there is a short history of the tune and, in some cases, lyrics. Not only a labour of love, but a rich task. Generously, Gordon encouraged me to pass them on to as many people as would find them useful.

Here they are:

Algeria   Argentina   Australia   Brasil   Cameroon   Chile   Cote d’Ivoire   Denmark   England   France   Germany   Ghana   Greece   Honduras   Italy   Japan   Korea   Mexico   Netherlands   New Zealand   Nigeria   North Korea   Paraguay   Portugal   Serbia   Slovakia   Slovenia   South Africa   Spain   Switzerland   Uruguay   USA   Wavin Flag   Wavin’ Flag Lyrics

In order that these can be accessed by as many people as possible, I’ve converted them to pdf format. These are mostly in keys suitable for military band. If you would like the original Sibelius files, so that you can transpose to suit particular instruments, just post a comment and I’ll email them to you.


A recent, avuncular post of Don‘s features the impressive guitar shredding of his nephew, Pete Bramley. A fan of Steve Vai (protégé of the late maverick, Frank Zappa), this is Pete’s entry for Guitar Idol 2009 which, at the time of writing, has gathered 37 votes – mine was the 36th. I was certainly impressed by this playing, particularly given that Pete has just turned 16.

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One way to take a look behind the scenes of any competition is to have a look at the judges. The profiles contained many interesting bios, websites, MySpaces etc. What grabbed my attention was this video demonstrating the indomitable spirit of John Denner:

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