First winners of new University of the Highlands and Islands music prize announced
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A new music prize for University of the Highlands and Islands students has been awarded to its first winners.
Scott Rough (27) from Edinburgh and Hannah Campbell (22) from East Lothian, both of whom studied at Perth College UHI, are the first recipients of the John Preston Award, with each receiving a prize of £500 to help them move forward with their chosen music careers.
The prize carries on the legacy of music business executive John Preston, who began his career in the industry working in an Edinburgh music shop before going on to work with stars including Annie Lennox, Take That and Kate Bush. He went on to become managing director of RCA Records UK, then chairman of its parent group BMG Entertainment, as well as heading industry body the British Phonographic Institute.
The five-year prize programme is managed by Highlands-based charity The Liam Colgan Music Fund on behalf of John's widow Roz Preston, in association with the University of the Highlands and Islands.
Iain Clark, chairman of the Liam Colgan Music Fund, which was in turn founded in memory of Inverness musician Liam Colgan who died while on a visit to Hamburg, said the trust was honoured to have helped to set up the memorial fund.
"John rose to the very top of the UK music industry, as chairman of BMG as well as the British Phonographic Industry, the trade body for the UK music industry," Mr Clark continued.
"He was one of the kindest, most decent and honourable people I ever met in the music business and after working together, we went on to become good friends.
"John spent much of his career finding and supporting emerging talent, whether they were artists or young business executives. He would have been thrilled and excited by the talents and ambitions displayed by Scott and Hannah so early in their careers."
Hannah Campbell, the recipient of the music business award, graduated this year with a first-class BA (hons) music business degree.
Scott Rough, who was awarded the international music award, is in the final year of his studies.
Miss Campbell commented: "My time at the University of the Highlands and Islands not only provided me with professionally relevant skills and knowledge but allowed me to develop a stronger sense of self throughout my studies. I have left university with not only an understanding of the music industry but also knowing my priority is making positive change within the creative industries.
"Awards such as the John Preston music business award gives young creatives the opportunity to invest in their own future and make change. I couldn't be more grateful for the gesture from Mr Preston's family and the university."
Mr Rough added: "Winning this award means a lot to me. Not only does it provide the much needed support for my musical endeavours outwith the UK, the recognition that is has given to me, and the band, has bolstered our confidence in what we do and renewed my desire to further creative ventures."