The Glasgow Chamber Orchestra is a charity registered in Scotland No SC022256
The Orchestra is affiliated to Making Music Scotland - Supporting & Championing Voluntary Music
I grew up in Oxford, playing the violin and the trumpet from the ages of 7 and 10 respectively. For some reason, I decided when I was about 5 that I wanted to play these two instruments – I have no idea why, but I’m glad 5-year-old me had good taste! Oxford had a very active county music service, so I had the opportunity to play in youth orchestras and big bands all through my school life. I particularly loved the social side of these youth orchestras, as well as the chance to go on concert tours to various European countries each summer.
I moved to Glasgow in September 2018 after finishing my Undergraduate degree. I was worried that once I was no longer attached to a university I would struggle to find ensembles to play with. However, luckily I met with Dan Markus in my first week here, as he was an old university friend of my parents. He suggested I join GCO, and I’m very happy I did! Soon afterward, I also found a local Big Band in search of trumpet players, so everything has worked out very nicely for me in Glasgow!
I started a Postgraduate course in Composition and Creative Practice at Glasgow University in September, and have really loved properly studying music for the first time. Unfortunately though, it seems I chose the wrong year to study, with the teachers’ strikes in both semesters causing us to lose nearly half our teaching, and now the lockdown leading to cancelled classes as well as cancelled performances of our compositions.
Alongside my studies, outside corona-time, I work as a Classroom Assistant for Early Years Musicianship classes at the RCS and as a teacher for Gymboree childrens’ classes. I love being a part of helping children to experience the joy of making music together, and I’m missing this very much at the moment!
String Biographies 2
After school, I spent a wonderful year working in Primary Schools, one in Oxford and another in Uganda, which were each very different experiences! I then moved up to Edinburgh to study French and English Literature. While there, I made up for not studying music by spending far too much of my time playing it, playing in six different ensembles during my time there. I also spent an Erasmus year living in Montpellier in the South of France, where I joined an orchestra made up of a mixture of university students and amateur musicians.
Unfortunately, school language lessons never involve much musical vocabulary, and I could never quite get my head around the movable Do solfège note system, so I never had much idea what we were being asked to do during rehearsals! It was a fantastic year though, and I certainly miss the climate and the relaxed Montpellierain lifestyle.
Teaching children to play the trumpet in Kibaale Primary School, Uganda
Before playing in the Montpellier Opera House with the Orchestre Symphonique Universitaire de Montpellier
Playing with the Zig-Zag Big Band in the Old Fruitmarket as part of the Glasgow Jazz Festival
I am also part of a small film collective that I set up along with some friends from university. This has been a steep learning curve as, because we are a small group, my role of composing the music for the films also has to extend to recording and mixing the soundtracks, so I’m gradually having to get my head around all of that technology. We premiered our first short in December 2018 and our second will hopefully be finished very soon!
On the set in the Govanhill Baths for our second short film
Fast-forward 14 years: I followed my dad's footsteps and studied Electrical Engineering in Barcelona. In my last year, I had a chance to do my bachelor's thesis abroad, and I picked Edinburgh. It was meant to be a short stay, four months. However, I fell in love with Scotland and its people, and seven-and-a-half years later I'm still here, enjoying the weather! I recently completed my PhD in biomedical imaging at the University of Strathclyde, and last December I started working as a researcher at the University of Glasgow.
Big summer family reunion with my mum and dad, brother, sister and partners!
Hola! For those wondering where my wannabe-Scottish accent comes from, I was born in sunny Mallorca, Spain. My first contact with a violin happened when I was about four. I went along to one of my friend's violin lessons, and after she finished, the teacher asked me "would you like to play as well?". I guess I was too embarrassed to say no! No regrets though!
Shortly after moving to Glasgow in 2016, I was looking for an orchestra that I could join. I found GCO by chance, after a quick Google search. I was struck by the kindness everybody showed from day one, and the high playing standards. I haven't missed a performance since! I must confess that one of my favourite GCO events are the CLIC Sargent concerts!
I joined the viola section of the Glasgow Chamber Orchestra in September 2019. The pressures of work and moving house meant I had hardly played for five years. I was very nervous, particularly having to do an audition! I was welcomed to the orchestra with open arms and have made new friends!
I work as an HR Manager - just about to start a new job on Tuesday moving from food production to food warehousing and distribution, so I'm a key worker in these difficult times. This is me with my team during building renovation works - it was rather noisy so making use of our factory PPE!
Although I studied music at the Royal College of Music, I never pursued music as a career. Here's my graduation year - can you spot me?
Music was never far from my life, however. When I moved back to Scotland from the South East of England, I joined the New Edinburgh Orchestra and played with them for a decade. I played in a few Edinburgh orchestras and string quartets when I lived in and around Edinburgh. I also played quartets, quintets and sextets with Susan Smith from Pitlochry, one of the members of New Edinburgh Orchestra and discovered my viola's brother! What's the chances of finding an instrument by the same maker up here in bonny Scotland!
I also have European musical friends whom I met through Yahoo's Classical Music chat rooms. Although I don't speak French, I've played with some of the Paris orchestras with my Parisian friends and a fellow Scottish violist, playing in some beautiful churches and UNESCO headquarters. I loved playing the Verdi Requiem, the soloists were stunning both in looks and sound :-) :-) :-
My husband and I also enjoy going to live music events, particularly festivals. Mumford & Sons and the Kelburn Garden Party have been particular favourites over the years. I take a yearly pilgrimage to London each summer for Proms in the Park and meet up with some of my London girlfriends for a weekend of dressing up and bubbles.
My dad had a motorhome which unfortunately got stolen a few years ago, we've just invested in a caravan so we can continue our adventures! The motorhome has taken us all over Scotland, we love exploring our beautiful country with our two dogs, enjoying the delights of the local food and drink :-)
To combat the effects of said food and drink, I'm a bit of a reluctant runner. I'm built for comfort, not speed, so class myself as an elite tort0ise. I completed two half marathons toward the end of 2017, but am happy to settle for 5ks and 10ks these days.
Outwith music and work, my husband and I are also self builders. We completed our first self build in Kincardine five years ago, we now have a beautiful plot in Lanark and have recently moved next door to it, so looking forward to starting the build once social distancing has eased.
I also like to craft sew, quilting and pictures. When I was made redundant during the 2008 crash, I invested in a Singer Sewing machine and subscribed to a partwork magazine to improve my skills. A few babies have now had my quilts :-)
And at the heart of my home are my three boys, the furbabies Blu and Guinness, and hubby Graham.
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