Awards & Scholarships

Awards & Scholarships


The Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award


The Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award is an annual competition named in memory of John Macleod.

Composers aged between 16 & 25 years of age are invited to submit an original piece of music (single movement or suite), 8-10 minutes in length, for either solo clarsach or clarsach and up to 3 other instruments and/or voices.

The award is £500 plus a premiere performance at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival.

The deadline for entries is November 1st in the year of application.

How to Apply and Competition Rules
  1. The entrant must be aged between 16 & 25 years of age to take part. Entrants under 18 years of age must have the permission of their parent or guardian to enter the competition.
  2. The composition must be a single movement or suite, lasting no longer than 10, and no less than 8 minutes, suitable for either:
    • Solo Clarsach / Lever harp
      or
    • Clarsach / Lever harp and up to 3 other instruments and/or voices
  3. The composition should be for the standard-sized clarsach / lever harp: 34 strings with a range from C two octaves below middle C to A three octaves above middle C.  The lever harp is most commonly tuned in E-flat major or A-flat major but can be tuned to any key. Please contact us for further guidance or advice.
  4. The work must be an original composition and the unaided work of the entrant. It must not have been previously performed, published or disseminated in anyway. The copyright of the music shall remain with the composer.
  5. A full score in PDF format and a recording of the composition in MP3 (or similar) format must be submitted together and must match exactly. The composer’s name must not be stated on the score or the MP3 (or similar) file.
  6. The composer must be available to perform their composition at the next Edinburgh International Harp Festival. In the case of a non-harpist submitting a work, it is the composer’s responsibility to find the artist(s) to perform the work at the premiere performance.
  7. The cost of the premiere performance only, including travel costs for musicians involved (limited to travel within the UK), will be met by the Edinburgh International Harp Festival.
  8. All entries must be received by 5pm on the closing date. The judges’ decision will be final.
  9. The successful entrant must also be willing to write a short report on winning the award for publication in The Society’s Annual Report and on its website.
  10. If you have any queries or special requirements, contact the National Office via email office@clarsachsociety.co.uk or telephone +44 (0)131 554 0212.

Scholarship Award


Each year, The Clarsach Society offers a Scholarship Award to encourage promising players at any level who have limited resources, financial or otherwise.

The award will be a fixed sum (up to £300) for use towards the cost of tuition and accommodation at an approved course with a Scottish content, (e.g. Edinburgh International Harp Festival), for a course of private lessons, or instrument hire.

The deadline for entries is November 1st in the year of application.

How to Apply

1. Any member of The Clarsach Society, with the exception of Trustees, can apply:

  • Unsuccessful applicants may re-apply in future years.
  • Successful applicants may not re-apply.

2. The Scholarship is intended to benefit and encourage promising players at any level who have limited resources, financial or otherwise.

3. The award will be a sum fixed by The Society’s Music Committee (up to £300) for use towards the cost of tuition and accommodation at an approved course with a Scottish content (e.g. Edinburgh International Harp Festival), for a course of private lessons, or for instrument hire.

4. Applicants will be given consideration by The Society’s Music Committee and the Scholarship awarded to the candidate(s) considered most deserving. The Committee’s decision shall be final.

5. The applicant must upload an audio recording (MP3 or similar) of music played by the applicant on clarsach. This may be one piece or set of pieces relevant to the applicant’s ability, up to max of 5 minutes in length, and should include some Scottish content.

6. All entries must be submitted with:

  • A completed application form (download below)
  • An audio recording (MP3 or similar) of music played by the applicant on clarsach (see 5).
  • A confidential recommendation written by a sponsor: being a recognised music teacher, who need not be a clarsach teacher but should be a teacher of music or performing musician able to comment on the applicant’s general musical ability.

7. Applications must be submitted by November 1st each year.  The award may then be used during the following calendar year.

8. The successful applicant is required to submit a photograph and a short report on how the award was applied, to be published in The Society’s Annual Report and on its website.

9. Completed application forms, sponsor recommendations and audio files should be emailed privately to office@clarsachsociety.co.uk by the 1st of November of the year of application.

10. If you have any queries or special requirements, contact the National Office via email office@clarsachsociety.co.uk or telephone +44 (0)131 554 0212.