John Maxwell Geddes in Dumfries & Galloway Schools


Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence, Learning & Teaching, New Music, New Music Compositions | Posted on February 26, 2013

John Maxwell Geddes is one of Scotland’s leading composers. In addition to composing, he has lectured at many universities throughout Europe, the United States, and Russia, and has held various conducting posts, including that of principal guest conductor of the Dumfries and Galloway Regional Orchestra. John studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, and following his graduation, worked as a school teacher until winning a scholarship that enabled him to study in Copenhagen with Niels Viggo Bentszon.
┬áJohn has had a long association with Dumfries & Galloway and we’re delighted to have such a distinguished composer working with us on composing projects for young people in 4 primary schools in the region. The weather this week has been cold and clear and after a busy day, John and I took a trip in the sunshine down to Kippford on the Solway coast.



Posted by upbeat | Posted in New Music | Posted on November 3, 2008

John Maxwell Geddes with Paragon musicians and Castle Douglas High School students

John Maxwell Geddes with Paragon musicians and Castle Douglas High School students

Lochside Theatre, Castle Douglas, Sunday 2 November 2008

A beautiful sunny Autumn day in Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway. I arrived at 11.00am at the Lochside Theatre to listen to the Paragon Ensemble trio of musicians on violin, cello and horn in rehearsal, all feeling the heat under the stage lights.

New Vistas is a unique project devised by John Maxwell Geddes, one of Scotland’s leading composers working in association with Paragon Ensemble. A Creative Scotland Award made by the Scottish Arts Council in 2007 has enabled John to work with young aspiring composers from across Scotland, in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Castle Douglas.

New Vistas has had young people composing music inspired by Seascapes (Aberdeen), Starscapes (Glasgow) and Landscapes (Castle Douglas). The first of these concerts showcasing new music by 6 young people from Castle Douglas High School was a great success and also featured compositions by John. His final piece was entitled St Ninian’s Cave, a piece based on a NONOGRAM puzzle. Students’ themes are placed in a square of 9 boxes (3 x 3) and the performers begin and end on the central idea, moving to any adjacent idea and returning to the centre after each event. The work ends when all events have been played by each player.

Castle Douglas students have been developing their compositions over the past year with support from John. Ocassional visits to Castle Douglas from John and Paragon musicians have allowed them to develop their musical ideas through discussion and having their pieces performed at early stages of development. John has a particular talent for inspiring young people in their music making and composition. The resultant concert, featuring the students’ pieces and John’s work, was a fantastic success. An appreciative audience of family, friends and invited guests were treated to an excellent, varied concert of new music.

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