Ceilidh for Stonehaven composer Ben

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A Stonehaven music student is close to securing his dream of attending prestigious New York university NYU Steinhardt.

Ben McMillan (28) has been awarded the Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York Scholarship Fund to study in America on completion of his Masters in Vocal Composition course at the University of Aberdeen.

He has set his sights on a career as a film composer and was accepted onto the Masters in Film Composition and Music Technology at NYU Steinhardt, a specialist institution which has produced alumni including Disney’s most prolific composer Alan Menken, who has worked on films including The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, and the composer and producer Mark Ronson.

The scholarship covers Ben’s first year of tuition, however he is now faced with the task of raising the remaining funds needed to pay for his accommodation and living costs.

His family have rallied round, and with the aid of his brothers, he has organised a fundraising ceilidh in Stonehaven Town Hall, to take place on Saturday August 7.

With the date of the ceilidh getting closer, and his flight to New York not soon after, Ben is still looking for sponsorship for the raffle and auction taking place on the night, and is keen for local businesses to get in touch if they have anything that they can contribute. Anyone who can contribute to the auction can contact Ben via email at benjamin_mcmillan@hotmail.co.uk. Tickets for the ceilidh are on sale at Molly Gunnings.

Ben has set up a gofundme page. Www.gofundme.com/vtz7us, where people can contribute to his total. On the page, he states: “Since I can remember I’ve always been making up music on the piano, choosing not to go out and play but to stay in, stay pale and write music. Once I’ve made a career out of composition the hope is to bring what I’ve learnt back to Scotland. I understand there are bigger and greater things in this world that you can give your money to. All I ask is that if you like my story (and my music) then please give as much or as little as you can.