Dr. Jane Stanley, SYCP Founder and Co-Director
Jane Stanley is an Australian composer and Senior Lecturer in Music and Head of Subject at the University of Glasgow. She specialises in composition for acoustic media.
Her music has been performed and broadcast throughout the world, having featured at festivals and conferences including Tanglewood, ISCM World Music Days, Gaudeamus Music Week, Asian Composers League, Wellesley Composers Conference, and June in Buffalo. She received her PhD from the University of Sydney and in 2004-5 she was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University. Her teachers include Anne Boyd, Peter Sculthorpe, Ross Edwards, and Bernard Rands. She has been a composition fellow at Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival and School. Her music has been recorded for release by artists in Australia and the UK and she has received commissions from Tanglewood, Musica Viva, Bernadette Harvey, Continuum Sax, and Halcyon.
She is a founding member of the Young Academy of Scotland and is a represented composer at the Australian Music Centre.
Kevin Leomo, Co-Director
Kevin is a current PhD student in composition at the University of Glasgow. He is the Co-Director of the Scottish Young Composers Project and works as a graduate teaching assistant in music.
His works have been performed by Psappha Ensemble, the Hermes Experiment, Ensemble Okeanos, Neave Trio, TaiHei Ensemble, Society for New Korean Music, Ensemble Móbile, and Glasgow New Music Expedition. Kevin has presented work at conferences including the British Forum for Ethnomusicology and Royal Musical Association joint Research Students’ Conference, Longy Divergent Studio, Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, Sound Thought, and the University of Glasgow College of Arts Postgraduate Conference.
Since 2016, Kevin has directed Sound Thought, a festival which showcases postgraduate research and practice in music and sound.
“I think one of the things that students benefitted from most was the the workshop sessions because they got to engage with performers who could give direct feedback about their compositions. I find often that composers can get stuck in the world of the paper or the world of the MIDI file, so being able to hear their pieces out loud really cuts through that and shows the reality of composition.”
“The thing I enjoyed most was developing relationships with the students and watching them grow as composers and. It was really nice to see certain students gain confidence throughout the year, both in themselves, and in their compositions as well.”
“I found in high school, composition was a very individual process – you sat at a computer or with a piece of paper for a long time and scribbled notes, but this project thinks about composition on a much more community basis. The students can collaborate and bounce ideas off people that are their age and from different areas of Scotland, which is great.”
“I think in secondary schools, music a lot of the time is very performance-based and class time will be spent practicing for the performance exams or on the listening paper, but actually they are assessed in composition – there’s just not as much time spent on it. I think this project offers extra help with that – different ideas on how they can compose.”
“The workshops were definitely a highlight for me – being able to hear the students’ pieces live and seeing their reaction to that was really cool.”
“I know some of the students are going on to study music at university, so hopefully this project has just given them an insight into that.”
“This courses exposes participants to quite a broad variety of music they might not necessarily have time to cover in school.”
“Hearing the students’ pieces in the workshops was a great pleasure. It was really nice to hear what they came up with.”
“I think as a mentor, I quite enjoyed the role reversal – I’ve been at university for four years now in the role of the learner for quite a while, working with my lecturers. It was quite interesting to impart some of the knowledge that I’d gained over these years.”
“I really enjoyed watching the pupils’ pieces develop throughout the year as they found new interests in different styles of music.”
“This project really helped me to prepare for next year because I want to study the PGDE in music teaching. It’s been great working with the secondary school kids and seeing how their minds work in regards to music and composition.”
“I think SYCP is important now because of all the cuts happening in the arts and music and it becomes more important to be pushing music in education and giving these pupils some experiences that they’re probably not getting in schools.”
“The students had the chance to listen to each other’s music; hearing and having their music listened to by peers is very good at helping students build their own self-confidence. They were also very encouraging of each other.”
“I enjoyed seeing the students interact and collaborate, as well as seeing them develop a passion for contemporary music by listening to and writing new music themselves.”
“I really enjoyed this experience and it has inspired me to become a music teacher. “
“Students had opportunities to share their opinions and work in group and tutorial settings. They received a more focussed learning experience in composition than they may have received in school, and had the chance to work with musicians and performers.”
“This project is important now as so many music budgets are being cut in councils across Scotland.”
“I enjoyed seeing the students progress and develop as the project went on, on a personal level, but also in terms of composition, and hearing them grow in confidence.”
“I really enjoyed leading the improvisation session because it really reaffirmed the idea that composing is about music, and playing with other musicians.”
“Through participating in this composition course, students can develop listening and collaborative skills, as well as critical and creative thinking.”
“I enjoyed working with the young composers a lot because they bring so much and such a range of different experiences and ideas that it’s quite inspiring to work with them.”
“It was really helpful for the students to learn from different teachers. I think it was eye-opening for them to learn about new music concepts. They really took to it quickly.”
“The students were able to try out new ideas they normally wouldn’t have access to.”
“The workshops were very useful for the students to gain experience writing music for live performance rather than just for Sibelius playback.”