In part one of this article, get to know some of our new Youth Advisory Council members, as they share their 'Picks for Positivity’ and facts about themselves.
We are thrilled to announce that in March 2021, we appointed nineteen young people aged 16-24, to our new Youth Advisory Council. Over the last few months, they have been getting to know one another via online introduction sessions.
To date, they have had the opportunity to get to know some of our musicians and Board members and learn about the various departments of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
The purpose of the council is to incorporate young voices into the SCO; to contribute advice and ideas to the main Board and on the SCO's strategic plans; to advise SCO Board, staff and musicians on content for young people in particular; to organise an event/series of events and to act as ambassadors for the SCO.
Discovering new music is always exciting and I am particularly interested in music that pushes genre boundaries or blurs the line between genres.
What is your main hobby or activity outside of education?
Anthony W: As a composer I enjoy collaborating and working with other musicians to create music and to work on mutual projects. I love improvising on the Piano and enjoy listening to music whilst I work. Outside music, I like cycling, walking and travelling around Scotland. In April 2020, I co-founded (alongside my friend Harvey) a new mixed international virtual choir called ‘Vox Ex Animo’. One of our projects, We Will Never Walk Alone, received a radio play on BBC Radio Lancashire last year.
Gemma R: Aside from school, which I have just left as of May 2021, my main hobby is playing the Cello. This is something I am deeply passionate about and am working to make a career in.
Alex K: I am really interested in Linguistics. As well as studying it at University, I spend a lot of my free time researching the linguistic history of Scotland, as this really fascinates me.
Stephanie H: My main hobby is music! I play the Clarsach and the French Horn and love making music by myself and with others. Discovering new music is always exciting and I am particularly interested in music that pushes genre boundaries or blurs the line between genres. I am a bit of a self-confessed music nerd, and I am known to get a bit excited over an interesting chord progression!
Calum B: I spend my time gaming, singing, playing drums and writing songs.
Jakub Z: My hobby outside of music is sport (mountain biking, football, endurance sports), keeping physically active and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits.
Ben A: My interests straddle the arts – I play the Piano, enjoy film photography and discovering great cinema. I’m quite a spontaneous person and struggle to settle on one at a time!
I tend to seek influence from outside of the musical world, which I bring back into my composing.
What is your musical influence?
Ben A: Growing up alongside classical music I have always connected to András Schiff’s interpretations of Bach and Beethoven but I am also a fan of artists who transform the usual experience of music – Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea come to mind in particular.
Jakub Z: I tend to seek influence from outside of the musical world which I then bring back into my composing and performing music. I am also influenced by listening to many different musical genres and by folk music and culture of my home country Poland.
Stephanie H: My musical influence is mainly Scottish folk music, but I love to mix this with other types of music. I enjoy playing music that uses more unusual techniques or presenting traditional tunes in a way that is unexpected. For example, I have experimented with using technology as part of my performance, contrasting old music with modern effects.
Anthony W: I was very much brought up with Classical music, especially the works of Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart (to name a few). I enjoy listening to a wide variety of music, but especially film music and simple and expressive piano pieces by Ludovico Einaudi.
Calum B: I like to listen to music from the 1960s and 1970s.
Gemma R: I am heavily influenced by cellists such as Jacqueline Du Pré and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, though I like to believe the punk rock of my early teenage years made its mark on me too!
Alex K: I wouldn’t really say that I have a favourite genre of music per se, but I’m going to have to say that my favourite music to play is Mozart- I think it’s really fun and a good way to practice technique.
I always feel better having music next to me, so I have the radio on and my film music Spotify playlist on repeat!
Picks for Positivity: upbeat arts, podcasts and lifestyle recommendations.
Gemma R: Haydn's Cello Concerto in C major, 1st movement; it is such an energetic, joyful piece that you can’t not feel inspired! Dvořák Cello Concerto by Jacqueline Du Pré is incredible, for its sheer energy and enthusiasm
Alex K: I definitely recommend the shows Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Good Place. I’d also recommend the book Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.
Ben A: I recommend Latin Jazz music and the film Amélie. I also find travel accounts on Instagram, especially based in the Swiss Alps, inspiring!
Stephanie H: An album that I’ve been enjoying listening to is The Harpweaver by Maeve Gilchrist, a Clarsach player and composer. It’s a really beautiful, atmospheric album featuring a range of folk-inspired tunes. Over lockdown, I have enjoyed spending time with my labradoodle Jess, which makes me very happy! A film I have recently enjoyed watching is the Disney film Soul which has an amazing soundtrack!
Jakub Z: I recommend a podcast called Rich Roll, staying active and spending time with friends and family.
Anthony W: Over lockdown I have been privileged to collaborate with many musicians from across the world. Staying connected with friends and family was key for me over the past year. I always feel better having music next to me, so I have the radio on and my film music Spotify playlist on repeat! During the past year I have also found more time to connect with nature and to go for regular walks and visit the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh.
Concert Reviews from our Youth Advisory Council
19 October 2021On behalf of our Youth Advisory Council, Alexander Boyd-Bench reviews 'Thomas Zehetmair' at The Queen's Hall.
Concert Reviews from our Youth Advisory Council
7 October 2021Steph Humphreys from our Youth Advisory Council reviews our Autumn 21 Season Opener at Usher Hall.
New Stories - Year Two
30 August 2021We hear from our New Stories composers Gillian Walker, Electra Perivolaris and Georgina MacDonell Finlayson and mentor Anna Clyne.