- function: head of music
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Alan joined Creative Scotland as Head of Music in June 2016. After studying English Language and Literature at the University of Edinburgh, he spent more than 25 years in arts journalism. With an initial specialisation in film, he has held the positions of Editor of The List, Associate Editor of Total Film, Reviews Editor of Empire and film critic of The Daily Record. He was also the Artistic Director of the Kirkcaldy Film Festival from its inception until 2016.
As Group Arts Editor across all titles in the Herald & Times Group, he spent the better part of a decade championing the Scottish arts scene in print, particularly music in the Sunday Herald and The National. He instigated the Sunday Herald's cross-genre Top 50 Scottish Albums of the Year list and spent many years on the jury selecting unsigned bands for the T Break at T in the Park. In his early days, Alan played violin with the Central Region Youth Orchestra and Scottish Schools Fiddle Orchestra, sang regularly in end-of-term stage musicals and spent a couple of happy but unproductive years in a teenage rock band after teaching himself guitar.