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Thomas Donnelly


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Meet Thomas Donnelly


Hello everyone, my name is Thomas Donnelly and I am a composer from Newcastle, UK.

My first introduction to music was at seven or eight years old when I picked up my dad’s guitar and started to strum along to Beatles classics. At High School I was fortunate to meet an excellent teacher who gave me a formal introduction to classical music, and this was a turning point in my life because it gave me the confidence to begin composing my own music.

When I was nineteen, I moved to Glasgow to start my studies at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where I had the opportunity to meet like-minded contemporaries and have my music performed by good musicians. During this period I realised that it was melody, harmony and orchestration that I had a particular fascination for. In 2018 I had my music performed by one of Scotland’s leading chamber ensembles, Red Note at PLUG festival. In 2019 I won the runner up prize for the Dinah Wolfe Memorial Award with my sketches for orchestra. I was then commissioned to collaborate with published poet, Alison Lock, as part of Leeds Lieder Festival. And outside of my studies, I wrote and performed songs with alternative rock/pop band, Stolen Years.

Currently, I am working on the score for a social realist drama, titled Lead Me Here, which will premiere at Newcastle Comedy Festival this coming July. The film tells the story of an older man who, after discovering the death of someone from his past, sets out on a pilgrimage back to his hometown where he is persuaded by a friend to finally face his fears.

I am excited to participate in the GEMs summer programme 2024 and hear my music performed by a full-sized symphony orchestra for the first time.

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