UHI students receive awards in memory of one of the most influential figures in the UK music industry

Jamie Mayes and Emma Howie are UHI’s latest recipients of a John Preston Music Award. The awards support emerging talent within the music industry, and each receive £500.

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Emma Howie and Jamie Mayes

The John Preston Music Awards are donated by the Liam Colgan Music Fund (LCMF) on behalf of John Preston’s widow, Roz, who established a memorial fund in his memory.  Roz said:

“Throughout his distinguished career in the UK music industry, John was committed to finding and supporting emerging talent, both on the business and creative side of the music industry. He would be honoured that these two awards for music students and graduates at UHI have been established in his name. I’m delighted that they will enable music students to further their studies and move forward in their chosen careers in the music business.”

Emma Howie, from Glasgow is this year’s winner of the John Preston Music Business Award, in recognition of her academic achievements. She graduated from UHI Perth in 2023 with a BA (Hons) Music Business. She said:

“This award was such a pleasant surprise and serves as a source of motivation and encouragement for my professional pursuits. I am committed to making the most of this award and using it to propel myself forward in my chosen field, which I hope to be surrounding music and film, such as music sync.”

“I couldn’t be more grateful to be a recipient of this award. Thank you to my lecturers for their encouragement and support throughout my years at UHI and for recognising my efforts. And of course, a heartfelt thank you to John Preston’s widow, Roz Preston and the Liam Colgan Fund. I am honoured to receive an award in memory of such a remarkable music industry professional."

Jamie Mayes, the winner of the John Preston Music Travel Award, is a BA (Hons) Music Business student at UHI Perth and is using his £500 prize to attend The Great Escape conference in Brighton this May.  He said:

“I am honoured to be this year’s recipient and I would like to thank everyone involved. Attending this conference will give me the opportunity to network with my peers in the industry, whilst also gaining more knowledge and information that will help my career prospects. I will be able to attend keynotes, talks and networking events, along with getting to see some of the world’s best upcoming artists.”

Richard Smernicki Programme Leader: BA (Hons) Music Business said:

“This generous financial support is greatly appreciated. The funds are instrumental in allowing our students to achieve their full potential by attending international music industry events and plays a pivotal role in their career development. We are extremely grateful to Roz Preston and the Liam Colgan Music Fund for their continuing support, and the positive outcomes this has for the recipients of the awards.”

The Liam Colgan Music Fund is a long-standing UHI donor, supporting young music students across the Highlands and Islands in a range of ways. Iain Clark, Chairman of the LCMF, said:

“We are honoured to have helped to set up this memorial fund in John’s name with UHI. John rose to the very top of the UK music industry, as chairman of BMG as well as the British Phonographic Industry, the trade body for the UK music industry. He was one of the kindest, most decent and honourable people I ever met in the music business and, after working together, we went on to become good friends. He would have been thrilled and excited by the talents and ambitions displayed by Jamie and Emma so early in their careers.”

Applications for the 2024/25 John Preston Music Awards are open until Sunday, 31 October 2024.

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