Deaf precussionist gains honorary degree

Dame Evelyn Glennie celebrates her degree
Dame Evelyn Glennie celebrates her degree

By Cara Sulieman

AMAZING deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie drummed up an honorary degree from Edinburgh Napier University yesterday.

The Aberdonian picked up her Honorary Doctorate of Music alongside hundreds of graduates from the university, and used the scrolls for an impromptu display of her world famous talent.

She was delighted to receive the award, and pleased that she could serve as inspiration to the younger graduands.


Dame Glennie said: “I would like to thank the University for this Honorary Degree.

“Throughout my life, I have strived to push the boundaries of knowledge, innovation and creativity.

“This recognition encourages me to reflect upon what I’ve accomplished so far in my life and, just as I have been inspired by the talent at the University’s School of Music, I hope that students are encouraged by my achievements.”

Coming from a musical background, Evelyn started off playing the mouth organ and clarinet before moving on to percussion instruments.

Bare feet

She became deaf when she was 12, but has said that it doesn’t prevent her from performing as she has trained her body to hear the music.

Performing in bare feet, she feels the rhythm through the floor and performs spectacular shows.

And this isn’t the first time the musician has been recognised for her work – she has a total of 15 previous honorary degrees as well as many lifetime achievement awards.

Evelyn also has her own registered tartan – The Rhythms of Evelyn Glennie.

Her talent has led her to performances with Bjork, Steve Hackett, Fred Firth and The King’s Singers.

And encouraging others is high up on her list of priorities; Evelyn works as a motivational speaker and is one of the founding members of the Music in Education Consortium that aims to get more kids learning music.