St Andrews Scottish Songbook

St Andrews Voices and the University of St Andrews’ Laidlaw Music Centre invited composers born in, or living/studying in, Scotland to send proposals for contributions to the St Andrews Scottish Songbook in December 2020. 




St Andrews Voices, Scotland’s Festival of the Voice, intends to publish a new Scottish Song Book at its 2022 edition to mark VisitScotland’s Year of Scottish Stories. The songbook will consist of 24 settings for voice and piano of existing (text + melody) Scottish traditional songs. The project seeks to


  • Provide a new body of art song repertoire for voice and piano based on traditional Scottish songs.

  • Honour the legacy of former St Andrews Professor of Music Cedric Thorpe Davie and others such as George McPhee, George McVicar and Frank Spedding in bringing traditional Scottish songs to a wider public through their celebrated collections.

  • Present a collection of songs representing a broad survey of traditions, dialects and geographical areas, including the Gaelic tradition, in new, creative arrangements.

  • Provide an opportunity for composers of all ages to creatively engage with the cultural legacy of traditional Scottish songs and to have their work published, performed and recorded.

  • Provide selected young/student composers with mentoring during the composition process.

  • Promote and revitalise the public performance of art song in Scotland.


The Collection


The St Andrews Scottish Songbook will consist of 24 songs. The first six of these have been commissioned from a group of Scottish and/or Scottish-based composers:


  • Sir James MacMillan (world-renowned composer)

  • Ailie Robertson (traditional harpist, Composer in Residence at Glyndebourne, commissions from the BBC Proms, London Philharmonic Orchestra)

  • Tom David Wilson (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, St Mary’s Music School)

  • Mary Ann Kennedy (celebrated performer, composer, broadcaster and champion of Gaelic song)

  • Alasdair Nicolson (Artistic Director, St Magnus International Festival, compositions performed by leading ensembles throughout the world)

  • Eddie McGuire (versatile and celebrated Scottish composer whose work encompasses classical and folk traditions)


The composers of the remaining 18 songs will be chosen from the December 2020 call for proposals.


What are the key dates?


17 October, 2020: Online launch event, opening of the call for proposals

31 December, 2020: Deadline for proposal submissions

By 31 January, 2021: successful composers to be informed

1 October, 2021: deadline for submission of final song

Date tbc in October, 2022: launch of St Andrews Scottish Songbook and recording, during St Andrews Voices




Should you require more information, or to submit your proposal, please email us at