Gillian grew up in Glasgow and took up the bassoon aged 10. Less than one year later she was accepted into the National Children’s Orchestra of Scotland and this led to playing in many youth and amateur orchestras such as the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Edinburgh Youth Orchestra, West of Scotland School’s Symphony Orchestra, Amicus Orchestra and the Heisenberg Ensemble.
After four years in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s junior department, Gillian went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree and was offered a scholarship to continue her studies on the MMus programme, where she has now completed her first year. In her time at RCS, Gillian has studied with Janet Bloxwich (Principal Bassoon, Orchestra of Scottish Opera), David Hubbard (Principal Bassoon, Royal Scottish National Orchestra) and Peter Whelan (Principal Bassoon, Scottish Chamber Orchestra).
A keen orchestral player during her time at the RCS, Gillian has played Principal Bassoon in the Conservatoire’s Symphony, Opera and Chamber Orchestras. She has also enjoyed playing with smaller ensembles such as Stevenson Winds and in the exciting contemporary music festival, Plug. In her third year she won a place on the highly coveted RSNO/RCS Mentoring Scheme and has been involved in several side-by-side schemes with the BBC SSO. Gillian has also played with the prestigious Young Musician’s Symphony Orchestra on several occasions.
Gillian is a grateful recipient of scholarships from the Dewar Arts Awards, Musician’s Benevolent Fund, Wolfson Trust, and Craxton Memorial Trust.