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Kenneth McColl

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Kenneth McColl

Songwriting, Musical Theatre, Contemporary Guitar
MA in Music

Kenneth had his guitar lesson at age 5, moving onto studying classical technique around 3 years later.   He was also involved in a public singing performance for the first time around the same point.  Music and performance were to be part of his life from that moment on.  A few years later he would sit his Higher Music in guitar and keyboards at the age of 16. He went on to University and, although his preference was to study contemporary music, options in that area were limited at that time so he opted to focus on his love of languages while playing and writing for Perfectly Legal, the band he had formed with close friends at University.  They wrote, recorded and played original material around the Glasgow circuit for approximately 6 years, before finally parting ways at the end of 1999. 

It was also during this time that Kenneth spent an academic year living and studying in Zaragoza, Spain, where he would deepen and develop his love for Latin styles and rhythms in both writing and performing.

He continued to work on developing his own style as a singer/songwriter, presenting, promoting and playing at a series of successful cabaret events around Glasgow’s then developing coffee shop circuit.  It was around the same time that he began to look back to acting, completing his HND in Acting and Performance in 2004.  He spent the following 12 years working as an actor, director, singer, and musical director.  He appeared, among others, as a panto dame in Cinderella for Platform Arts, as a Bodyguard in Dani’s House for CBBC and as a worried father in Reverie Films’ award-winning A Calm Sea Sways.  He has directed and performed in the Edinburgh Fringe and has even musically directed a schools’ tour of The Lion King.

In 2016, he had the opportunity to travel to China to teach and direct musical theatre under Ross Leadbeater (Only Men Aloud, Classical Brit Awards, Ivor Novello’s Gay’s the Word) and Ian Kellgren (Royal Court Theatre, Durham Theatre Company, Liverpool Playhouse).  Paired with an actress and choreographer, they were one of 4 pairs of professionals, placed in schools all over China to prepare 90+ children for a large scale production in Beijing. 

The Chinese experience had a profound effect on him, so he returned in November of 2016 intent on further study in music, enrolling at the University of the West of Scotland, to study songwriting under Davie Scott (Pearlfishers, BBC Scotland).  

Kenneth recently completed his MA in Music (Songwriting), coinciding with the release of his first solo album Welcome to the Contents of My Head.  His album is the culmination of a personal journey, as well as substantial research, into the benefits of music for our mental and physical health. 

Kenneth also has more than 20 years’ teaching experience of guitar, from beginner to conservatoire preparation.  He has been a part of a team of artists working in Blantyre, Malawi, leading a week's intensive training for teachers and childcare professionals in one of Africa's poorest countries. He has run singing workshops for carers and sufferers of dementia and most recently, he spent 4 months assisting Carol Laula in running songwriting workshops for young carers in the Onthank area of Kilmarnock.