Open Evening for Parents, Pupils and Teachers - Instrumentalists only

Tuesday October 1st, 6pm to 7.30pm 

Open Day - for Parents, Pupils and Teachers - Instrumentalists and Choristers 

Saturday 26th October, 2pm to 4.20pm 

Booking essential



Tuesday 23 April 2019

Alumni spotlight - Adam Crighton, trombonist (Class of 2014).


Adam joined St Mary’s Music School in 2011 and studied trombone and piano. He went on to study at Guildhall School of Music and Drama from where he has just graduated, winning The Armourers’ & Brasiers’ Prize for Brass. Building on his love of theatre Adam is currently playing trombone in Trevor Nunn’s five star revival of Fiddler on the Roof at the West End's Playhouse Theatre following its sell-out run at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Meanwhile he continues to play independently and his quartet Aeris Brass have just won British Trombone Society Quartet competition 2019. Adam is also a member of Carnyx Brass, directed by John Kenny, and made up of students and young professional brass players who were once members of the brass ensemble at St Mary’s Music School.

Q. How long were you at St Mary’s Music School for?

Three years; I joined in S5 and stayed for S6 and the S6 Extension year.

Q. What were your ambitions when you started here?

Much the same as they are now! To surround myself with like-minded people, and to always try and improve as much as I can.

Q. What was a highlight of your time at St Mary’s?

As a regular opportunity, the brass ensemble (led by John Kenny) was definitely one of the most important and enjoyable parts of my time at St. Mary's. To further emphasize this, the whole group now all live and work as musicians in London, and have done multiple projects together under the name Carnyx Brass.

 As a one-off highlight - performing Mozart's Requiem in the cathedral for the Easter Concert 2013.

St Mary's Music School Brass Ensemble 2013

Q. Why did you choose Guildhall and what has that experience meant for you?

I chose Guildhall because I felt it was the right place for me. Choosing where to further your education is difficult and can't be decided by simply looking at a prospectus and/or website. I was lucky to have spent a lot of time at GSMD throughout my development, so I knew it was the best place for me. I would encourage any pupils approaching audition season to visit the various colleges and universities, have a couple of lessons, and meet some of the students, so they are the most informed they can be.

My experience at Guildhall has been fantastic. I had a lot of ups and downs at the start due to a whole manner of circumstances and the staff and department were extremely supportive to help me through that. The teaching is first class, and there are a lot of good projects each year. In addition, they actively encourage students to diversify and explore many different musical avenues - this was something of utmost importance to me and influenced my decision hugely.

Q. You have just won The Armourers & Brasiers’ Prize for Brass at GSMD.  Tell us more about that.

The Armourers & Brasiers’ Prize for Brass is an annual competition within the brass department at GSMD. It is a solo competition, generally with a preliminary round and then a final round. We had the prelim back in February and the final was last week.

Q. How did the position at Fiddler on the Roof come about? What is the role and how long for?

I was asked to be a part of Fiddler by the theatre that is was housed in, (the Menier Chocolate Factory), from November to March as I had worked for them on a run of the show Barnum last year. I was contracted for three months, and then, off the back of a sold-out run and very good reviews the show got a transfer to London's West End, where we started in mid-March, with more or less the whole original company staying with it.

My role is primarily a trombonist in the band, however during one scene I am one of five band members to go on stage and be the on-stage band!

Tickets are currently available until the end of September so I will be there until at least then!

Adam Crighton on the stage of Fiddler on the Roof

Q. Was this something you had always wanted to do?

Theatre work is certainly something I've wanted to do for a long time. I have a lot of musical interests, however, and like to constantly be keeping variety in what I do. Theatre is perfect for this, as it's quite easy to 'dep' out a show to do other work.

Q. What was it like playing for Fiddler the first time and how does it feel now?

Fiddler has been a favourite musical of mine for years, so it's wonderful to have the chance to be a part of it now. It really emphasizes how fortunate I feel to be doing what I love doing as a job.

Q. How has your experience at St Mary’s Music School helped you in your achievements to date?

At St. Mary's I was provided with top class teaching across a large scale of musical elements e.g. Individual lessons, brass ensemble, monthly jazz days, aural, orchestra. This meant that when I left I had a good amount of experience across a lot of different things, which naturally all help each other and make you a more rounded musician. In addition, from day one at St. Mary's I was surrounded by musicians my age who were more developed and experienced than me. This was where I feel most improvement happened, as you play with your friends regularly and all bounce off each other's strengths and weaknesses.

Q. What would you say to any prospective pupils about joining St Mary’s Music School?

St. Mary's gives you a brilliant opportunity to finish your general schooling while focussing on music to a very high level. It is therefore both a perfect stepping stone to those wanting to go on to study music, and also a chance for students who are unsure of their future to experience high-level music study without cutting ties with their standard education.

Adam Crighton holding the award for his quartet Aeris Brass by the British Trombone Society


Read all our latest news


6 August 2019

Pupils celebrate with outstanding exam results

Pupils and staff at St Mary’s Music School are celebrating as the results for the SQA Examinations were published today.  The pass rates, National 5 – 100%, Higher – 98% and Advanced Higher – 97% are exceptional with 73% of all presentations resulting in a Grade A award.

Read More >


23 April 2019

Alumni spotlight - Adam Crighton, trombonist (Class of 2014).

Former pupil Adam Crighton has recently graduated from Guildhall winning The Armourers and Brasiers Prize for Brass. He is currently playing in the orchestra for Trevor Nunn's five star revival of Fiddler on the Roof at the Playhouse Theatre in the West End.

Read More >


18 April 2019

Deadline approaches for Piano Summer School

As the deadline for applications to the residential Piano Summer School approaches on May 20th 2019, pianists aged 13 to 19 are encouraged to apply. 

Read More >


17 April 2019

A packed house for the Spring Concert

The whole school came together in the beautiful surroundings of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral for a concert of two halves, split between 'A Portrait of Purcell' and Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No 3 in B minor, Op 61

Read More >


22 March 2019

A superlative evening to celebrate the arrival of the new Steinway

The evening of 28th February was a special moment in the history of St Mary’s Music School when staff, pupils, donors, alumni and friends gathered to celebrate the addition of the new Steinway Model B piano to the School’s fleet of instruments.

Read More >


19 March 2019

A weekend snapshot of life at St Mary's Music School

From performing at the Royal National College of Music Chamber Music Festival to our Choristers recording a CD with Delphian Records - it has been a busy weekend for St Mary's Music School pupils. 

Read More >


14 March 2019

LSO celebrate Haitink at 90 with two former pupils Carol Ella and Malcolm Johnston

St Mary's Music School alumni celebrate 'Haitink at 90' as part of the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, London. 

Read More >


14 February 2019

'On Being a Musician' - latest film released

In the fourth in a series of popular short films, Scotland’s national music school pupils share what music means to them.

Read More >


11 February 2019

Winner of Lord Clyde Concerto Competition Announced

After superb performances by 18 students, the prestigious Lord Clyde Memorial Prize Concerto Competition drew to a close on Friday.

Read More >


30 January 2019

Francois Leleux Masterclass

World renowned oboist and conductor, François Leleux captivated pupils and guests with a two hour masterclass. 

Read More >


24 January 2019

A superb start to the Spring term

The Spring term began with two high profile performances - one at Scottish Parliament and the other at St Andrew's and St George's in Edinbugh. 

Read More >


22 January 2019

Flagship gift for Scotland’s national music school

A very special gift arrives from Germany as a  new Steinway Model B joins the St Mary's Music School fleet. 

Read More >


5 December 2018

SCO String Academy

The SCO String Academy, in partnership with St Mary’s Music School, is a new free opportunity for musicians, taking place over a series of three Sunday afternoons.

Read More >


26 November 2018

Whatever the Season

New animated film set to Vivaldi's Largo from The Four Seasons

Read More >


22 November 2018

Guitar day with world renowned guitarist Craig Ogden

We are delighted to be holding the first St Mary's Music School Guitar Day with guitarist Craig Ogden.

Read More >


21 November 2018

Be a Chorister Day

We welcome Primary pupils who enjoy singing for a special opportunity to participate alongside the award-winning Choristers of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral.

Read More >


24 October 2018

Debussy Festival at St Cecilia's

Staff member James Willshire will curate a mini-festival celebrating Debussy on 1st & 2nd December.

Read More >


1 October 2018

Head of Jazz wins Double Bass prize

Andrew Robb, Head of Jazz, wins at the European Society of Bassists 2018

Read More >


17 September 2018

The Note campaign is launched

The Note campaign calls for everyone to support the plan for the school's move to the old Royal High School.

Read More >


5 September 2018

Anonymous artist leaves gift to the School

The school has received the gift of a paper sculpture from Edinburgh’s Anonymous Sculptor.

Read More >


21 August 2018

Helen Macleod 1980 - 2018

Obituary: Helen Macleod, harp player, former pupil and former instrumental teacher

Read More >


14 August 2018

‘Moving movie’ supports the Perfect Harmony campaign

Watch our short film about bringing together two of Scotland’s national treasures in Perfect Harmony.

Read More >


28 June 2018

Salvador Sanchez wins Directors' Recital Prize

Eighteen year old pianist from Spain wins following a closely contested competition.

Read More >


20 June 2018

Nicola Benedetti and Steven Isserlis feature in new film.

The film showcases two musically gifted youngsters who have studied at St Mary’s Music School.

Read More >


13 June 2018

The Minute Waltz: Take a Minute       

Take a Minute to show support for St Mary’s Music School

Read More >


7 June 2018

Juniors in June - the Castles Series

Junior Instrumentalists play at the Palace of Holyrood House

Read More >


21 May 2018

Edinburgh Masterclass Series 2018: Violin Masterclass

Renowned violinist Renaud Capuçon delivered an exceptional masterclass for pupils and guests

Read More >


18 May 2018

James Willshire plays at the Edinburgh Society of Musicans

Keyboard staff member, James Willshire, gave a recital of Litolff, Debussy and Liszt

Read More >


15 May 2018

Scottish Awards for New Music

Will Conway receives a Scottish Award for New Music for The Last Island, recorded by the Hebrides Ensemble

Read More >


14 May 2018

Steven Osborne Piano Recital in the Chapel

Vice-President Steven Osborne plays Berg op.1 and Prokofiev 7th Sonata

Read More >


12 May 2018

Rachmaninov Etudes-tableaux, played by Steven Osborne

Hyperion release of Rachmaninov Etudes-tableaux played by Steven Osborne due shortly

Read More >


5 May 2018

Simon Smith Lunchtime Concert      

Simon Smith played Stuart Macrae's Piano Sonata for pupils and staff.

Read More >


1 May 2018

The Minute Waltz: Animated film by Domenica More Gordon

New short animated film in support of the proposed move by the school to the former Royal High School building.

Read More >


30 April 2018

Young musicians participate in annual Nigel Murray Masterclass

One hundred and fifty young musicians attended the Masterclass given by the Fitzwilliam String Quartet.

Read More >


24 March 2018

MacMillan's Stabat Mater to be streamed live from Rome

MacMillan's Stabat Mater to be streamed live from Rome

Read More >


22 March 2018

Rachmaninov at the Edinburgh Society of Musicians

On Wednesday 21st March, the Keyboard Department put on a programme of Rachmaninov

Read More >


11 February 2018

Winterplay: Young Musicians' Showcase

Outstanding students from St Mary’s Music School performed an hour’s programme of chamber music.

Read More >


9 January 2018

Sir James MacMillan shares composing expertise.

Leading Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan shares his composing expertise in a new film.

Read More >


1 December 2017

Pupils Bring Advice of Famous Composer to Life

Pupils have brought the advice of a famous composer to life in a series of four short films.

Read More >


15 December 2015

Royal High School Preservation Trust unveils plans for iconic Thomas Hamilton building

The Trust hopes to move St Mary’s Music School into the historic Thomas Hamilton building on Calton Hill

Read More >


26 November 2015

Royal High School Proposed Move

Statement from William Gray Muir and Dr Kenneth Taylor in light of the City of Edinburgh’s decision to reject plans for a hotel on the Calton Hill site.

Read More >


2 November 2015

Royal High School Preservation Trust statement

Royal High School Preservation Trust makes statement of intent to Edinburgh Council

Read More >


Instrumental Learning

Choir School

Saturday Music Classes


St Mary’s Music School is one of the nine specialist Music and Dance Schools the UK (and the only one in Scotland)  funded by the UK Government and providing the finest training in Britain. It is a co-educational, non-denominational specialist music school, offering a world class standard of music and academic education to musically gifted children aged 9-19 years. It is also the Choir School of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. It attracts day and boarding pupils from across Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Europe and internationally. 

Learn more > 

 Sign-up to hear about the latest news and events


St Mary's Music School Trust Ltd, Registered No: 54504
St Mary's Music School Trust Limited is a charity No. SC014611
Registered Office: Coates Hall, 25 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 5EL.