Dalkeith High’s Songwriting pupils get a masterclass

Ryan Hunter backstage at T in the Park with Jake Bugg
Ryan Hunter backstage at T in the Park with Jake Bugg

Two music pupils from Dalkeith High School were recently selected for a creative masterclass in Glasgow with five top songwriters.

Ryan Hunter and James McQueen (both 16) headed west with their music teacher Nadine Milne for the STUC songwriting showcase.

The five established songwriters from a mix of genres judged the youngsters’ work, giving them invaluable feedback on their songs and the songwriting process.

They included folk singer Rab Noakes, Dave Hook from hip-hop band Stanley Odd and Jerry Dammers – the chief songwriter in the Specials.

Ryan Hunter, son of Pathhead’s singing butcher Iain Hunter, was delighted to have been part of the initiative.

He said: It felt really good. It was good to have other people hear our songs, and great to get some feedback from other songwriters.

“We just went into the room and our songs were played. After my song was played I was given feedback.

“It was good to hear my song being commented on by experienced musicians.

“It was just a good thing to be part of. It was really great to be in a room with songwriters – the judges and the other young people taking part.”

Read more on this in the January 9 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.