Once inked, a Scott Macmillan biography is at once out of date, for he and his passion for creating music have already moved on to a new composition, arrangement commission, collaboration, performance, musical directing live or in the studio, conducting, teaching, or as a clinician. Driven by his need to be creative Macmillan seeks opportunities in all aspects of music making. That love has inspired exploration into genres from rock to blues, classical to choral, Celtic to jazz, as well as modern and avant-garde.
Music has taken Macmillan to places, like Carnegie Hall in New York, to perform his much loved ode to our world’s oceans “Celtic Mass for the Sea”, with his partner and librettist Jennyfer Brickenden. He has performed in the British Isles and Germany, the US and has crossed Canada many times to conduct orchestras, perform, make television and radio shows and sound tracks for films. Yet the many who seek out his talents know that Nova Scotia, the home of his birth, is where to find him.
A musical treasure, Macmillan has played a significant role expanding audiences for Atlantic Canadian music both nationally and internationally for over 30 years. Acknowledged by Rita MacNeil as an integral contributor to her success, Scott has played an equally pivotal role in the rise of the Rankin Family Band, Symphony Nova Scotia’s Maritime Pops programming and the Nova Scotia Mass Choir.
Ultimately, it’s the connections with people that feed Macmillan, inspiring and motivating his performances and creative talent. “When I create, I think of the people in the audience first and then I think of the musicians”. “It’s the thrill of creating something for people that no one else has done, but when they hear it, they feel like they have heard it before,” enthuses Macmillan. That ethic continues to inspire audiences and musicians to love Scott’s works such as “MacKinnon’s Brook Suite”, “Currents of Sable Island”, “Suite Silver Dart” and “Within Sight of Shore”. Scott has taken his guitar prowess into his myriad of music styles. An animated performer Scott lets loose composing and performing with his12-piece jazz ensemble, “Scott 'n the Rocks”, and in his musically challenging guitar duo with Brian Doyle.
Inspired by his desire to learn and expand his own musical knowledge and how as the best students make the best teachers, Scott has joined the Faculty of Music at Dalhousie University to mentor a new generation of guitarists.
Awards, appointments, commissions and critical reviews all reflect Macmillan’s success establishing his contribution to the music of Nova Scotia and the world. He has shown us, with his live performances and creative works, a great personal legacy of written music, recorded music, and music presented from the grandeur of concert halls to the intimacy living rooms. And while his biography will always be out of date, as he continues to grow and evolve, Scott Macmillan’s musical legacy is lasting and timeless.