Kate McDermott

ARTFORMS: Music , Clarinet


Hailing from Lanark, Kate received her first degree studying clarinet at the Royal College of Music in London. In her final year, she received the Edward and Helen Hague Senior Woodwind First Prize and then returned to Glasgow to pursue a Master of Music at the RSAMD as a student of Yann Ghiro.

While at RCM, Kate added the E flat clarinet to her repertoire. After her move to RSAMD, she began to learn the bass clarinet, knowing that this would increase her chances of employment with the top orchestras, but could not afford the cost of a new instrument.

Kate has freelanced with many British orchestras, such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and was chosen to play in Scottish Opera with the RSAMD apprenticeship scheme. Subsequently, she was on trial as principal clarinet with the Varmlandsoperan in Karlstad, Sweden. Kate is a bass clarinettist of extremely high calibre who produces performances which exude class.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award has helped Kate buy a professional bass clarinet to help her with her future career.

Since the Award

Subsequently, Kate writes that having a bass clarinet has played a large part in helping her gain trials with a number of leading orchestras and she doubts whether she would have applied for some orchestral jobs if she didn't have her own bass clarinet.  Currently, Kate is on trial with one European and four UK orchestras and is a member of the clarinet quartet Acentejo Quartet.

I am very grateful for this award which I know will be invaluable towards my future career as an orchestral musician.