Beyond the Blue Door Part 2
Alexander MacLaren (c/o 2017)
PHD STUDENT IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
"The PhD is about electric cars, and I'm sponsored by a company to do what feels like the best job ever, trying to save the world one gearbox at a time!"
LinkedIn: Alexander Maclaren
I left St. Mary's in 2015, and I am currently doing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College London. The PhD is about electric cars, and I'm sponsored by a company to do what feels like the best job ever, trying to save the world one gearbox at a time!
Music is still a big part of my life, and I sing professionally (chorally) and for fun, solo and in vocal ensembles. I was at SMMS for 9 years P5-S6, as a chorister from 2006 to 2011, and then from S3 as an instrumentalist, studying viola, piano, clarinet and voice.
Amy Donaldson (c/o 2012)
"Music is something I go back to time and again for relaxation and distraction. It is something I will always love and can't imagine being without, even if my skills are not quite what they used to be! "
I attended St Mary's from 2006 - 2013. I was a first study cellist. Since leaving school, I have gone on to study music at King's College London and then worked for a variety of arts organisations in London in administrative roles. 2020 brought challenges for us all and for me included starting a new job in the Civil Service. This has opened up a whole new world to me which I knew nothing about but I'm learning fast!
When I'm not working, I'm usually found in my kitchen baking some form of sweet treat. This was something I often did in my time at school and have great memories of coming back from a weekend at home, armed with my latest creation and catching up with friends over tea and cake. We still do the same today whenever we see each other!
I don't think you can go to St Mary's for 7 years and it not have a profound impact on the rest of your life. For now, music is something I go back to time and again for relaxation and distraction. It is something I will always love and can't imagine being without, even if my skills are not quite what they used to be!
I love performing in unusual places like John Rylands Library (pictured above) - during this late-night Shakespeare event, I led the audience up a neo-gothic staircase to the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet! Although I’m not currently playing professionally, music is still important to me as Community Engagement Officer at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. I believe that it can change communities and lives and I’m thrilled to be doing that with the SCO.
To me, St. Mary’s was a magical time – I made friends for life and most importantly they were as enthusiastic about music as I am.
John Cameron (c/o 1988)
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF MUSIC & HEAD OF KEYBOARD
"Music is the backdrop to everything I do. Where so often it is that life events stick pins into the map of one’s life, performances and shared musical experiences do the same for me."
That unspoken connection with another musician and realising that THIS is what it is all about - the communion between two people, distilled in shared sound. I accompany just about everyone, I teach piano and look much busier than I am. Fondest memory –My three-day stay. I arrived a nervous wreck. Ringing the doorbell at 25 Palmerston Place, it swung open - and I knew I was home.