University of the Highlands and Islands: First recipients of the John Preston Music Awards announced

Both Hannah and Scott studied at Perth College UHI and each receive a prize of £500 in recognition of their achievements to help them move forward with their chosen music careers.

Hannah, the recipient of the music business award, graduated this year with a first-class BA (hons) music business degree and Scott, who was awarded the international music award, is in the final year of his studies.

Andrew Dyce, BA (hons) music business programme leader was delighted to reveal the winners of the new annual prizes:

“Scott and Hannah are both worthy winners of the John Preston Award. Despite completing her final year during COVID-19, Hannah excelled in her time at university. Not only managing projects successfully but with a commendably ethical business approach towards musicians. Scott provides an example of how important it is to consider the music business beyond the UK. His clear motivation to learn about, and work in, European music markets has helped secure this vital fund that will support a music project in Germany.

“We are very proud of our students and thank John’s family for supporting them in their next steps. We look forward to seeing their careers in the music business continue to grow in the coming years.”

Speaking about receiving the award, Hannah said: “My time at the University of the Highlands and Islands not only provided me with professionally relevant skills and knowledge but allowed me to develop a stronger sense of self throughout my studies. I have left university with not only an understanding of the music industry but also knowing my priority is making positive change within the creative industries.

“Awards such as the John Preston music business award gives young creatives the opportunity to invest in their own future and make change. I couldn’t be more grateful for the gesture from Mr Preston’s family and the university.”

Scott Rough

Commenting on being chosen to receive the award Scott said: “Winning this award means a lot to me. Not only does it provide the much needed support for my musical endeavours outwith the UK, the recognition that is has given to me, and the band, has bolstered our confidence in what we do and renewed my desire to further creative ventures.”

The John Preston Memorial Fund is a five-year programme managed by Highlands-based charity The Liam Colgan Music Fund on behalf of John’s widow Roz Preston, in association with the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Iain Clark, Chairman of the Liam Colgan Music Fund said:

“We are honoured to have helped to set up this memorial fund in John’s name with the university. John rose to the very top of the UK music industry, as chairman of BMG as well as the British Phonographic Industry, the trade body for the UK music industry. He was one of the kindest, most decent and honourable people I ever met in the music business and after working together, we went on to become good friends.

“John spent much of his career finding and supporting emerging talent, whether they were artists or young business executives. He would have been thrilled and excited by the talents and ambitions displayed by Scott and Hannah so early in their careers.”

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