In her sixth year at Peebles High when she won the award, Katie started playing the harp in 2002. She performs regularly with the Peebles Youth Orchestra, where she played solo harp in Vaughan Williams’ Greensleeves at their 2005 Spring Concert.
Katie is currently a pupil of renowned harpist, Savourna Stevenson, who recognised her innate musical talent from the outset. In 2006 Katie won second place in the Advanced clàrsach section of the Edinburgh Competition Festival. She also plays the flute, piano and violin, as well as singing in the school choir.
Katie is an accomplished performer with an impressive and varied repertoire. She is regularly invited to play at local festivals, including the “Strings & Stories” event in East Lothian in 2005 where she performed alongside Donald Smith from the Scottish Storytelling Centre. It was such a success that it will be repeated in 2006.
Katie’s own creative compositions for the clàrsach have caught the attention in particular as being of exceptional quality for someone of her age, pointing to great potential in the future.
How the Award Helped
The Dewar Arts Award will help Katie to buy a new harp.
Since the Award
Katie wanted a specific type of clarsach to complement her playing style. She persuaded Scottish harp maker, Mark Norris, to create a prototype clarsach/lever harp to combine the compact, portable qualities of Mark Norris clarsachs with heavier strings and a larger, louder soundboard. He also agreed to paint it lilac! Katie won a place to study for a year at the Royal Conservatoire of Music in The Hague.