Archives For Graeme McNaught

On Sunday 22nd June, my last day in Scotland, I dragged a friend along to a Big Big Sing workshop, if you sing regularly with other people, you will know how it lifts your spirits.


It was a great session and everybody there seemed to have a great time. Sadly as I wont be in Glasgow during the Commonwealth games I didn’t audition for the choir 🙁 Can you spot us in the picture ?

The concept is such a great idea that I wanted to share it with you. I know that there are similar projects in many different countries and the first time I came across such a scheme was from one of my Australian blog friends who told me all about Sing Australia. I remembered at the time thinking what a great idea so when the chance came along to get involved right here in Glasgow I jumped at the chance.

The Big Big Sing booklet reminds members that specific benefits of singing include:
• Improved concentration
• Endorphins are released
• Improved breathing and posture
• Increases confidence
• A great way to meet new friends


The Big Big Sing aims to inspire thousands of people across the UK to join in and celebrate the Commonwealth Games, held in Glasgow this year, through singing, and to make the soundtrack to the Games. You can learn more at

The Big Big Sing in Glasgow on the 27th July, 2014, will bring together thousands of singers for a day of song and celebration.

Here are a couple copies of the booklets if you are interested in what we got up to a s a group, just click on the pictures to see a larger image.




Later on in the afternoon I went to watch the 10th Scottish International Piano Competition Final. The very first competition was established in 1986 and was won by a teacher at my College called Graeme McNaught.


As my friend Daniel Petrica Ciobanu from Romania had been selected to perform in this years competition I had already watched several of the earlier rounds. Daniel made it to the semi finals along with nine other very talented pianists, selected from a very strong field of 28 competitors from around the world. The semi finalists were :

Mohamed Shams
Beatrice Magnani
Liana Gevgoryan
Daniel Petrica Ciobanu
Jianing Kong
Jonathan Fournel
Dinara Klinton
Ilya Maximov
David Gray
Liana Paniyeva


Daniel Petrica Ciobanu

Each of the four finalists played a concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.  I listened intently, made notes of each performance and how each chosen song made me feel.  From this I selected my four placements and went out to tea as I was catching my train home that same evening.

I was pleasantly impressed with myself when I got the four finalists in the correct order.  My favourite piece was the Brahms played by Jonathan.  The international jury chaired by Aaron Shorr included;  Dimitri Alexeev, Hyoung-Joon Chang, Ian Fountain, Martino Tirimo, Olga Kern, Steve Osborne,  and Wu Ying.

The finalists were :

1st Jonathan Fournel – France
2nd Ilya Maximov – Russia
3rd Jianing Kong – China
4th David Gray – Glasgow/Scotland

The first prize was fabulous including :

The Alexander Stone Memorial Trophy
The Frederick Lamond Gold Medal (gifted by Harry Henderson)
A Bluthner Grand Pianoforte (awarded by the Alfred-Reinhold Stiffung Foundation)
A series of concert engagements with the RNSO (2014-2014 season)
An opportunity to record a CD/DVD with support from the Duet Foundation
And £10,000.

In addition to the above there were prizes awarded to each of the ten semi-finalists.

You can still listen or download the contestants performances from the website