1 a 1 a drummerThis weeks DGWGO Friday focus is all about – Award winning teenage Drummer Euan Leslie contacted DGWGO to tell us all about his goal to get To Berklee in Boston USA to help improve his skills this summer  , Euan told DGWGO ”  I live in Dumfries and I am a musician. My whole reason for emailing is that I have to raise funds to attend the Berklee College of Music 5 Week Jazz program in Boston this Summer. I applied for a scholarship and thankfully received a $1500 dollar scholarship but unfortunately fees are so high in the U.S that I still have another $3578 to fund of the original $5078 plus the accommodation fee of $3460 which I can’t fund due to financial circumstances. If I attend I will be studying with the best musicians in the world and it would hugely develop my playing. I was wondering whether it would be possible to possibly help me out with sharing the message by sharing my crowd fund on DGWGO? “

Here is some of Euans Musical history , so you can see how committed he is to his chosen art –

Winner, UK Young Drummer 2015
At the beginning of February, age 16, I won the UK Young Drummer of The Year Competition (having previously been a finalist at ages 13 and 14). The competition is a huge feature of the UK youth music scene, covering all rock/pop/jazz genres and has an average of 600 entries every year. Ten finalists compete in the performance final event. The title will give me opportunities to play at a range of exciting events including the London Drum Show. It has already lead to me opening for people like Aaron Spears at drum clinics and playing at places like the Hideaway Jazz Club in London. Hopefully it will also help me access the best colleges, after school.

BBC Scottish Young Jazz Musician
I was a semi-finalist in the BBC Scottish Young Jazz Musician competition at ages 13 and 14. The competition is open to all jazz instruments and, with some of the best college level drummers in Scotland competing, I was really encouraged at that age to win through to the semi-finals in both years.

Yamaha Jazz Experience Winner (whole band, individual special mention)
Jazz has been my passion since I became a part of my School Jazz band when I was just 9 years old. The band was full of young musicians from Dumfries. Each year our band leader selected members for a small jazz collective. I was selected as drummer when I was 12 and remained in the collective for 3 years.
We entered the Yamaha Jazz Experience competition, held at one of the UK’s most prestigious jazz festivals, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and judged by pianist Julian Joseph.
We won the competition – and I also left with a special mention on the day from Julian Joseph for “Outstanding Musicality” and “Great Potential”. Julian Joseph is an amazing musician and I was thrilled to have him pick me out.
Our performance led to a gig at the famous 606 Jazz club in Chelsea, London. I really learned a lot about performing music from these high profile events and they confirmed for me that drumming – hopefully at the highest level – is what I want to do in life.

Major Jazz Ensembles
I am currently drummer with two of the three main Scottish youth jazz ensembles: The National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland’s (NYJOS) flagship ensemble and Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra Combo.

The NYJOS ensemble consists of leading young jazz musicians selected from auditions all over Scotland. Most of the band are in their final year at school or at college. I was lucky enough to be accepted at age 14 and have toured with them both in Scotland and to the London Jazz Festival, where we also recorded an album.
Playing at the London Jazz Festival with such a great band was a fantastic experience at my stage.

The Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra (SYJO) Combo is an offshoot group of young musicians from SYJO, selected to work intensively with jazz pianist and composer (and award winning Berklee1 a 1 a Dugals Friday Focus alumnus), Alan Benzie. Alan has helped me a lot with playing jazz and learning about being more of a musician.

Festival appearances
As well as Cheltenham and London Jazz Festivals, I have also played at a range of festivals, from the Lockerbie Jazz Festival to Comlongon Rock Festival and a major UK pop festival “YouthBeatz” where I played alongside professional rapper star Professor Green, and pop singer Amelia Lily to an audience of 12,000 people.

If you can help Euan reach his dreams , his  Crowd fund link: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/raising-money-to-attend-the-berklee-in-the-summer

Latest Articles