A MUSICIAN is in the running for an award for a series of books of music he created which were originally a Christmas present for his mum.

Donald Thomson is one of six shortlisted for the Best Print Resource at the 2018 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence.

The awards, which take place in the New Year, are dubbed the Oscars of the arts education sector and will see more than 250 industry guests, including teachers, musicians and VIPs, representing the best and brightest in performing arts education.

Donald, who lives in Ormiston, was delighted to be in the running for the award.

He told the Courier: “I am pinching myself at every opportunity, actually.

“These things happen to other people but obviously it has got to happen to somebody.

“Some fairly eminent other people have been nominated.”

The series, Celtic Piano Series: Celebrating the beauty of Scotland, is made up of three books – A Borders Suite, A Hebrides Suite and Scottish Waters.

Donald said: “The first book (A Borders Suite) came from when I had to play at a family wedding in 2011.

“I could not find any music I wanted and I wanted to play something Scottish at the wedding, which was in Innerleithen.

“I could not find anything that fitted the bill and I sat down and wrote a few short pieces for the organ. They went down really well and sat on my desk for a couple of years.

“My dad said [I could] write another few and make a book for my mum for her Christmas.”

From there, Donald has come up with a series which could now potentially win an award.

The three books have been published by EVC Music Publications and go up against five other books for the prize, which will be presented in February.

Within A Borders Suite are lyrical, slow tunes, a quick jig dedicated to a family Border Collie called Brodie, and a depiction of the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall, near Moffat.

The awards ceremony takes place on the opening day of the Music and Drama Education Expo in London at a gala ceremony.

Donald, 49, studied piano at the RSAMD (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) in Glasgow (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and since moving back to Scotland in 2006 has immersed himself in the country’s music, taking inspiration from places he has visited.

As a pianist, he also accompanies the Southside Choir and the Dalkeith Singers.

He added: “I go down for the music expo every year for the big trade fair to show my face.

“Everything in the industry is based in the south and it is worth the effort to go down and meet people face to face.”