Kirkcaldy musician wins coveted award from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

A talented young musician from Kirkcaldy is celebrated a coveted award.

Monday, 18th July 2022, 2:54 pm
Updated Monday, 18th July 2022, 2:55 pm

Ewan Hastie has received one of the honours given to students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow at the end of the academic year.

The 20-year-old double bassist has received the Mark McKergow Prize for Jazz Improvisation, which includes a cash prize of £300.

Ewan, who was born in Edinburgh but moved to Kirkcaldy as a youngster, took up the bass guitar at the age of twelve as he liked the look and sound of the instrument.

Ewan Hastie

A teacher at school suggested that he should join Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra, where the encouragement of its long-serving director, Richard Michael, and some of the older musicians helped Ewan to progress as a player.

Read More

Read More
Falkland Palace beloved of Mary, Queen of Scots receives funding for repair work...

He looked back on his progress under their wing, explaining: “A year or two later I was the one encouraging the younger players.

“I got the chance to try double bass as well as bass guitar and I really enjoyed that. Then I got to try the tenor saxophone, learning from Gordon McNeil who was a great teacher, but I eventually chose the double bass as my first instrument.”

With the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland’s jazz orchestra Ewan gained touring experience, visiting Skye, Glasgow, Belfast and Sligo Jazz Festival with trumpeter Yazz Ahmed, and after studying at the Junior Conservatoire for two years he successfully auditioned for the jazz course at the RCS.

Since moving to Glasgow he has played professionally with a number of the musicians who acted as tutors with FYJO, including drummer Tom Gordon, bassist Mario Caribe and guitarist Malcolm MacFarlance, as well as keeping busy on Glasgow’s thriving jazz scene.

Tommy Smith, head of jazz at the RCS, said. “Ewan is a worthy winner who, like the other two award winners, is being rewarded for hard work, diligence, and creativity. Previous winners have included the pianist Fergus McCreadie and saxophonist Matt Carmichael, who have both gone on to sign prestigious recording deals and to represent Scotland and the RCS across Europe.

"I’m confident that Ewan will go on to be a great advert for our course.”