Born in 1951, Cecilia McDowall was educated at Edinburgh and London Universities later continuing her studies at Trinity College of Music. The winner of several major composition awards, her music has been described as having a 'freshness, brightness and fidelity' about it, combining flowing melodic lines and occasionally astringent harmony with rhythmic vitality.

Cecilia McDowall has received commissions from leading choirs - including the BBC Singers - ensembles and at festivals nationwide. She was short-listed for the 2005 British Composer Awards in two categories - the Liturgical section and the Making Music Award - and was short-listed for the 2008 British Composer Award in the Making Music category.

Her choral and orchestral music has been recorded by Dutton Epoch, while other works have appeared on Chandos, Deux-Elles, NMC and other labels.