THERE will be a touch of magic in the air this month when a West Lothian student takes to the stage at the Royal Lyceum Theatre.
Andy MacDowell from Bathgate is one of four elite young male musicians from Stevenson College Edinburgh who will play a set of magical themed music to a packed audience of award winners from across the country as they celebrate the Children’s Book Awards on Thursday, February 23.
The 20-year-old along with fellow music students Ruairidh Saunders, 19, Andy Blair, 20, and John Cashman, 20, will enjoy a fantastic opportunity to perform as a live four piece band after they were specially selected to represent the college at the country’s premier children’s literary event being held in the capital.
The Scottish Children’s Book Awards are the largest if its kind and are judged entirely by young people.
The talented band was given the opportunity after the Scottish Book Trust approached the college looking for young musicians to perform at the event. Musician in residence at Stevenson College Edinburgh — former Idlewild guitarist Rod Jones — recommended the foursome for the honour. They will now play their biggest gig yet in front of a packed audience.
And Andy MacDowell can’t wait to get on stage.
The 20-year-old from Bathgate said: “The whole band are looking forward to playing at the awards ceremony.
“Although we perform regularly, I don’t think any of us have really ever done anything like this before. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us and as long as we work hard and play well on the day, we’ll become known to those involved as being capable and trustworthy – that’s what’s important.”
Andy, who is in his third year at Stevenson College, has been playing the guitar since his early teens after he was inspired to learn the instrument by his teachers and friends.
He added: “The tutoring at Stevenson is second to none - they really prepare us for the life of a professional musician outside of education.”
Head of music, Hilary Saunders said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for our students and we are delighted that they will have the chance to perform on such a prestigious stage.
“They have all worked hard throughout this academic year, and I know they are thrilled to represent Stevenson College at this fabulous event.”