Stringed Instrument students creations make sweet music at concert

Stringed Instrument Making students recently saw their handcrafted creations put to the test as they were played by professional guitarists including Steve Hicks and Anne Chauraud, at their course end of year show The Luthiers' concert at Websters Theatre in Glasgow. 

Instruments included replica Martin guitars, Irish bouzoukis and Gibson guitars.

Bruno, 37, is enrolled on Glasgow Clyde College’s NC Stringed Musical Instrument Making course – the only qualification of its kind in Scotland, and created two replica Martin guitars.

Bruno said, “This course has been quite a positive experience for me. I have done quite a few academic courses in the past, but this is very practice-based. This is my first-ever foray into woodwork and I’ve enjoyed it a lot.

“Instrument-making appealed to me because I like engineering and art and this is an amalgamation of the two. I did the night classes here at Glasgow Clyde College previously and enrolling on the full-time course felt like a natural progression.

“I want to carry on making instruments once I graduate this summer. I have already started doing repairs and I’m fortunate to have ties in the music scene and will hopefully spread word-of-mouth through them.”

Gill Ryan, who recently won an award at the Trades House of Glasgow Craftex competition, for her bouzouki design, added: “I was interested in woodwork when I was younger and thought I’d give instrument-making a go. I tried to make a couple of banjos at home in my room, but they weren’t brilliant. The course at Glasgow Clyde College is one of the only ones in the UK where you can study this sort of thing. I was living in Cornwall and studying woodwork there. I looked up everywhere in the country where I could learn to make musical instruments and, for one reason or another, I decided to come up to Scotland.

“I love the course. The tutors are great and have so much knowledge. Ideally, once I graduate, I’d like people to buy the instruments I make for lots of money. I will hopefully get to the point where people do want to buy what I make. I would like to continue to make bouzoukis but also mandolins.” 

Paul Hyland, a lecturer on Glasgow Clyde College’s Stringed Musical Instrument Making course, said: “The Luthiers’ Concert provided students like Bruno and Gill, with the opportunity to hear their instruments played by professionals. Most of the makers are musicians themselves, but it’s nice for them to sit back and hear their instruments being played. 

“The professional musicians tested and played the instruments and gave students feedback before playing songs they thought suited that instrument as part of the concert.

Paul and students Oska and Gill, appeared on STV Glasgow on Friday 17 June, following the success of the concert. 



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