Double the celebration: wins for RCS students in annual jazz awards

Double the celebration: wins for RCS students in annual jazz awards

Published: 04/07/2023

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has announced the 2023 winners of its annual jazz awards … with double wins for two graduating students.

Bassist Ewan Hastie, the current BBC Young Jazz Musician, scooped the £300 Mark McKergow Prize for Jazz Improvisation and shared the $5,000 Alan McAulay Award with three fourth-year students – saxophonist Simon Herberholz, drummer Chun-Wei Kang and guitarist Kyle Hood. The prize money is intended to help with career development.

Chun-Wei Kang is also the recipient of two prizes, adding the £300 George Duncan Prize for Jazz Composition to his share of the Alan McAulay Award.

A Blue Monday jazz concert at RCS featuring Simon Herberholz – tenor saxophone, Kyle Hood – electric guitar, Ewan Hastie – acoustic double bass, Chun-Wei Kang – drums and Florian Maria Rausch – drums

“All four students are worthy winners of these awards,” said Professor Tommy Smith OBE, Head of Jazz and internationally renowed saxophonist.

“The prizes are recognition for the hard work they put into their studies and as they prepare to graduate and go out into the professional world of jazz. Their dedication will stand them in good stead.”

Ewan, a Junior Conservatoire of Music alumnus, won the BBC Young Jazz Musician 2022 title at London’s Southbank Centre while in his fourth year of a Bachelor of Music degree. Read more on Ewan’s win.

The jazz department at RCS is a launchpad for some of the most exciting musicians and new voices in the European jazz scene, including saxophonist Matt Carmichael and pianist Fergus McCreadie, who were recently announced as RCS Ambassadors.

Fergus McCreadie is celebrated for his unique blend of jazz and Scottish folk music inspired by his country’s landscapes. Fergus’ album Forest Floor was shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize and was awarded Scottish Album of the Year in 2022.

Heralded by BBC Music Magazine as ‘a distinctive new voice in a crowded scene’, saxophonist and composer Matt Carmichael continues to grow his reach globally with his blend of jazz and folk music. Matt’s critically acclaimed debut album Where Will the River Flow amassed over three million streams. Matt released his second album Marram in October 2022.


Interested in studying jazz at RCS? Visit the webpage to find out more about undergraduate and postgraduate degrees

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