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Fund to support young Highland musicians backed by UK entertainment boss

By Ali Morrison

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John Preston
John Preston

A NEW fund to support young musicians and those interested in entering the music industry has been created in memory of a pioneering industry giant.

The John Preston Memorial Fund will support a five-year programme managed by Highlands-based the Liam Colgan Music Fund, in association with the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Mr Preston, former chairman of BMG Entertainment, died suddenly in 2017 after a short illness and his widow Roz said: “As one of the top executives in the UK music industry, John’s career was dedicated to discovering and supporting young musical talent.

“Over a 25-year career he worked with many well-known artists, including Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, David Bowie, Take That, Whitney Houston and many more too numerous to mention. He took particular pleasure in seeing young talent thrive and achieve success.

Roz Preston
Roz Preston

“I’m really grateful to the Liam Colgan Music Fund for helping me to establish a programme of awards in his name.

“To acknowledge outstanding talent and achievement was something important to him and he would be delighted to be supporting the University of the Highlands and Islands students too.”

Iain Clark, former drummer with Uriah Heep and chairman of the Liam Colgan Music Fund, said: “I worked with John some years ago when he was chairman of one of the European pioneers in digital music distribution companies.

“I am certain he would be excited to see us helping young musicians and others with ambitions to get into the music industry, particularly those who live in the more remote areas. Our awards will be open to all musicians and songwriters, between the ages of 16 and 30, living in the Highlands and Islands, and will showcase some of the wonderful musical ability there is here.”


Liam Colgan, from Inverness, graduated with a BA (Hons) in popular musical performance at Perth College UHI but sadly passed away, aged 29, during a stag trip to Hamburg in 2018.

For more information on the awards, visit www.liamcolganmusicfund.com

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