The James Lobban Prize for Musicology

The James Lobban Prize for Musicology, instituted in 2012, is awarded annually to the student of the University of Aberdeen who achieves the highest mark in his or her Honours dissertation on Music.

James Lobban, a graduate of the University of Aberdeen, was Conductor of Aberdeen Bach Choir from 1969 until 2005, shortly before his death. He was a keen music scholar and took a great interest in the work of the Music Department of his alma mater. The James Lobban Prize for Musicology is funded by a legacy left by James to Aberdeen Bach Choir.

Thomas Michie, 2017 James Lobban Musicology Prize winner

2017 - Thomas Michie

Thomas Michie graduated from the University of Aberdeen on 20 June 2017 with a First Class Honours B.Mus. and intends to continue studying at Aberdeen University to do an M.Mus. in Musicology, possibly leading to a PhD. His ultimate aim is to become a teacher.

Thomas, who is the first member of his family to receive a University degree, comes from Turriff and is a pianist and composer. He has made remarkable progress after taking up the piano only half way through Secondary School.

He gained the highest marks in his year for his dissertation Multiplicity, discontinuity, retrospect approaches to musical time in the 20th Century.

During his time at the University of Aberdeen, Thomas won the Margaret Carlaw Scholarship in 2013 and the Scottish Opera Encouraging New Opera Scholarship in 2016.

 

Andrew Fowler, 2016 James Lobban Musicology Prize winner

2016 - Andrew Fowler

The 2016 James Lobban Prize for Musicology went to a local student, Andrew Fowler, who attended Cults Academy before joining the B.Mus. Music programme at the University of Aberdeen.

Andrew, whose main instrument is piano, graduated on 14 June 2016 with a First Class Honours Degree.

Andrew's Honours dissertation was on The Influence of Flemish Polyphony on the Serial Music of Webern. He hopes to go on to study for a Masters in Composition.

 

Ian Herd and Anna Gillies, joint winners of the 2015 James Lobban Prize for Musicology Ian Herd and Anna Gillies at the 2015 Presentation Ceremony

2015 - Anna Gillies and Ian Herd

For the first time, there were joint winners in 2015, the prize being shared between Anna Gillies and Ian Herd, both of whom achieved the exceptionally high grade of 21 out of 22.

Anna, who is a local girl from Peterhead, had been an excellent student throughout her degree at Aberdeen. She had a particular interest in Sacred Music from 18th Century Italy and the Renaissance. Anna graduated on 18 June 2015 with an Upper Second Class Honours Degree (2.1). Anna's Honours Dissertation was on The Rise and Fall from Favour of Dimitri Shostakovich 1925-1936.

Ian hails from Manchester. Likewise he had been a very good student throughout his studies, with a particular interest in Electro Acoustic Composition and Contemporary European Music. Ian also graduated with an Upper Second Class Honours Degree. His Dissertation was entitled Camille Saint-Saens: The Critic and the Criticised.

 

Sarah Fisher, winner of the 2014 James Lobban Prize for Musicology2014 - Sarah Fisher

The winner of the 2014 James Lobban Musicology Prize was Sarah Fisher from Aberdeenshire.  Sarah graduated with a B.Mus. with First Class Honours and in addition was awarded the Music Department prize for the highest overall marks in the single honours class.  Her dissertation gained the top mark in the class and discussed the life of Sir Arnold Bax and the Celtic influences on his music.

Sarah has been offered a deferred place at Cardiff University to study for a Masters in Music, Culture and Politics, which she hopes to do next year after doing some travelling.

Sarah, shown here at her graduation on 11 July 2014, was presented with her award at a ceremony held immediately afterwards.

Susan WinchSusan Winch at the Music Department Presentation 4 July 2013

2013 - Susan Winch

Susan Winch from Tamworth, Staffordshire, who graduated B.Mus. with First Class Honours on 4 July 2013, was the winner of the 2013 James Lobban Prize for Musicology. As with her predecessor, Susan's dissertation gained 20 CAS points, the highest score awarded. Her topic was the musical elements which come together to produce a heroic piece of music and her main focus was on the Eroica Symphony by Beethoven.

Susan intended to stay on in Aberdeen, where she teaches piano, and was hoping to follow on her undergraduate degree with a Masters degree in Musicology at the University of Aberdeen.

 

Hannah Graham, 2012 Winner of the James Lobban Prize for MusicologyKate Graham presents Hannah Graham with the 2012 James Lobban Prize for Musicology

2012 - Hannah Graham

The first winner of the James Lobban Prize was Hannah Graham from Orkney, who graduated with a First Class Honours B.Mus. Degree on 5 July 2012. Hannah's dissertation, which gained the highest possible mark, was on the relationship between speech and fiddle music in the islands of Orkney and Shetland.

The fiddle is Hannah's main instrument but her further studies took her away from music, as she was set to do a Masters in Ethnology and Folklore at the Elphinstone Institute of the University of Aberdeen. She was presented with her award by Aberdeen Bach Choir President Kate Graham at a ceremony held immediately after her graduation on 5 July 2012.