Aberdeen was an obvious choice for me, not least because I was born and raised in the city, but also because the University’s music department is thriving, with plenty of music-making to get involved in. It didn’t make sense to travel further afield when I could get just as good (if not better, though I am biased) experience in Aberdeen.
When thinking about what I wanted to study at University, I was stuck between music and French. However, after a very persuasive conversation with one of the music department staff, it became clear that music was going to be a better choice for me. I must say, it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Throughout my time at University, through both Undergraduate and Postgraduate study, I have had some of the best experiences of my life, met some of the best people and made some pretty darn good music, if I say so myself. Whether it’s been through intensive rehearsals for a concert, learning about some cool composers, or “studying” in MacRobert’s 120, arguably the greatest social space on campus, there has certainly never been a dull moment.
A personal highlight for me was the Chapel Choir’s trip to New York, an experience never to be forgotten. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity we were afforded, particularly in representing the University on such a global scale. Some honourable mentions include singing at the BBC Proms, a fabulous concert of Duruflé’s Requiem in 2018 and performing Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the University’s Symphony Orchestra.
There are of course, many highlights which I could have picked. It’s amazing what you can pack into 5 years! Of course, my studies have been fantastically supported by the Margaret Carlaw Music Scholarship that I received from first year. Not only has the scholarship allowed me to purchase a lot of music, but I have had many opportunities as a result, such as performing at graduations and other events.
However, most of all, I have particularly enjoyed getting to know Margaret, as my donor. It has been lovely to catch-up and ‘bump’ into one another on campus (every other day…!).
As a result of my experiences in Aberdeen, I am now working full-time at the University in Academic Services. It’s been a busy 6 months, but I am thoroughly enjoying the challenges that come my way. I will always be grateful to Margaret and the Development Trust for their support in my University journey.
Liam Dyker, Master of Music 2021