Trombone ace Craig hits top note to win New York place


A BEARSDEN musician has scooped a place to study at one of the most prestigious performing arts conservatories in the world.

Craig Beattie, who has just completed four years at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, is going to study classical trombone with some of the world’s leading trombonists at The Juilliard School in New York this August.

The former Bearsden Academy pupil had to audition for the school in March in person so he travelled to New York. He beat off competition from students from all over the world to get the place as only 5.5 per cent of applicants were accepted this year.

Craig (22) said: “I’m extremely pleased to get in but a little bit anxious about how I will fund my studies.

“This was a long-term goal of mine as one of my idols, Joseph Alessi - the principal trombonist of New York Philharmonic Orchestra - is a tutor there.

“I started listening to him in my early teens and dreamed of being taught by him so I can’t believe that’s coming true for me now.

“There were 50 applicants at the audition trying to win one of two places so it was very competitive.”

Craig was introduced to playing the trombone when he was eight at Bearsden Primary School and then he took music lessons with a local teacher, Kevin Price.

He went on to play with many East Dunbartonshire school orchestras as well as being a Saturday pupil at the RSAMD junior conservatory. He joined the National Children’s Orchestra of Scotland at the age of 11 and progressed to the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland when he was 13, where he was the youngest member for a while and played with them until he moved to London to study.


His early musical career was encouraged and supported by a number of local organisations as he was also a member of the Dunbartonshire Wind Ensemble and the Glasgow Wind Band.

He has been awarded an Irene Diamond scholarship to attend The Juilliard School which is worth $20,000 per year, however his costs will be over $50,000 per year for two years and he needs to fund the difference himself.

If you can offer funding to Craig or have information about grants or scholarships that Craig may be able for apply for please e-mail him on