Linsey McDonald

ARTFORMS: Music , Trumpet


Linsey MacDonald, from Lundin Links, Fife, started playing trumpet when she was 11. She quickly demonstrated musical potential above her peers. She was first a pupil at the RSAMD junior school and then progressed to study for a degree in music also at RSAMD.

From an early age she loved playing jazz and during high school played with the Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra. She joined the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra when it was founded in 2002, playing lead trumpet. She joined the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra the same year, playing third and fourth trumpet. With her own jazz octet The Hemato she performed at the Glasgow Jazz Festival in 2006.

Tommy Smith considers Linsey to be an amazing young musician, with great potential. He is impressed both by her fantastic improvisational skills as a performer and her maturity as a composer.

There are very few top line female jazz trumpeters, and even fewer lead female trumpeters in the UK. Linsey has both the technique and artistic potential to become one of the very finest lead trumpeters in the UK.

Linsey was offered a scholarship to study jazz trumpet at the renowned ‘mecca’ of jazz, Berklee College of Music, Boston, where most of the world’s jazz greats have studies. But without additional support she would not have been able to take up the offer.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award has provided funding to enable Linsey to study for a 2-year Diploma in jazz trumpet at Berklee.

Since the Award

Linsey's first year at Berklee was very exciting. She played in all three of the Berklee Big Bands, with a 10-piece all-women ensemble consisting of music students from all over the world, with the Berklee Rainbow Band in front of a crowd of 10,000 and with The Berklee Baseball Samurai at the opening of the baseball play-offs, which is a great honour in America. 

With the Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra, which focuses on contemporary repertoire, Linsey performed with Maria Shneider, considered to be one of the most influential female jazz composers/performers on the New York scene today.

I would like to thank the trustees for their very generous award. I am looking forward to starting my course in January 2007.