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!
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 inbiomedical imaging at the University of Strathclyde, and last December I started working as a researcher at the University of Glasgow.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!
Rosie Wilson (violin)
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.
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.
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!
Teaching children to play the trumpet in Kibaale Primary School, Uganda
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!
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
Playing with the Zig-Zag Big Band in the Old Fruitmarket as part of the Glasgow Jazz Festival
Before playing in the Montpellier Opera House with the Orchestre Symphonique Universitaire de Montpellier (Rosie is on the left)
Louise Fotheringham (viola)
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!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!
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?
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.
Jan Anderson (cello)
I was fortunate to have several years in RSAMD Junior Department before moving on to full time study there. I loved every minute and every single subject as a full timer but my favourite was Harmony & Counterpoint. Post grad teacher training followed at Moray House. My fearless cycling in and around Edinburgh led to many a near miss especially when the city’s iconic double decker buses were involved. No cycle lanes or helmets then. Many years of Local Authority teaching followed – Secondary, Primary, Nursery, Special Needs Education, Saturday Music Centres – it has all been a great adventure.Very much missing orchestral playing after graduating, my friend Anne Armour arranged for me to audition with Sam Bor for her Orchestra - the GCO! During all these years the GCO its friendships, music making and adventures have been absolutely central, and still are.
Now, having graduated to retirement, and to the joys of grandparenthood, it is absolutely true that there aren’t enough hours in the day! For a bit of down time I enjoy escaping with anything involving needle and thread, or paper and inks - while listening to a good audio book.
I began piano lessons at the age of 8. A few years later, for some reason that I don’t remember, (and still can’t understand!) I turned down the opportunity to learn cello. However shortly after that I visited my big sister at West Linton music camp and thought it all looked terrific fun - luckily when I went to secondary school there was a space for me in an after school cello class. As a pupil at the next West Linton music camp, from the first play through of Dvorak Slavonic Dance in D minor, I was hooked on the magic of being part of an orchestra - and am still hooked!
Marjorie Rycroft (cello)
I joined the cello section of GCO in 2009 following my retirement from the University of Glasgow where I was Professor of Music. I was delighted to meet up with fellow Ayr Academy FPs (Stewart McCreath, Eric Owen and Gill McLean) and former GU Music students (Anne Armour, Mary Hempsey, Wendy Dougan and Morag Greig).I grew up in a musical family and learned to play piano first of all. The cello came only later – largely because I realised my younger brother, a violinist, was having so much fun playing in orchestras. Leaving school, I went up to St Andrews University to read Modern Languages with the intention of taking an Honours degree in German. Unfortunately, or fortunately as it turned out, the German Professor refused me entry to his Honours class and advised me “to content myself with an Ordinary degree”. I was devastated, but it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me. I completed my Ordinary degree and then transferred into the Honours Music class at Aberdeen.
In the course of my Aberdeen PhD I spent a year in Munich in order to study at first hand the manuscripts of Christian Cannabich, a Mannheim composer. This could have been a rather solitary existence, so I registered for courses at the Ludwig Maximilian Universität, one of which gave me the opportunity to learn viola da gamba and medieval fiddle – all the more valuable as I was the only student taking that course.When it came to earning a living, first of all there were almost three years teaching music at Dollar Academy. Then in 1975 I moved to Glasgow to take up a lectureship in the University’s Music Department and met my husband David, a violinist in the University Orchestra and member of the Chemistry Department. During this time, I contributed to the University’s musical activities as performer and conductor of the University Choral Society and Orchestra. A particular conducting highlight was the gala performance in 2001 to celebrate the University’s 550th anniversary: Verdi’s Requiem was performed in the Bute Hall by a large chorus and orchestra comprising students, staff, alumni and a quartet of student singers (including a promising Karen Cargill) from the (then) RSAMD. But also worth mentioning is my very first Choral Society concert as conductor, a performance in 1978 of Haydn’s Paukenmesse, with an orchestra including David in the first violins, Michael Hall on viola, Wendy and Susie in the double reeds, and one double bass player, a certain John Lunn (of Hamish Macbeth, Downton Abbey and Belgravia fame).From 1976-98 I was a member and latterly Associate Director of the Scottish Early Music Consort, playing baroque cello, viols of all sizes and medieval fiddle. The Consort’s ground-breaking programmes covered a huge range of hitherto unknown repertoire from medieval and renaissance music through to new commissions by Judith Weir and Tan Dun. There were international tours to Europe, the USA and Israel, CD recordings and the opportunity to perform large-scale theatrical works, the most memorable of which was the Mayfest 1990 production of The Feast of the Pheasant, performed in collaboration with French singers and Italian dancers in the Tramway.Following two stints as Head of Department totalling eight years I was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 1998 and began a 10-year research project on the Scottish and Welsh folksong arrangements that Haydn composed for George Thomson. Having published Urtexteditions of the songs in two large volumes for the collected edition of Joseph Haydn Werke, I was keen to encourage performance of them and soon found myself involved in a unique concert and recording project with Scottish and Austrian musicians – Lorna Anderson (soprano), Jamie MacDougall (tenor) and Haydn Trio Eisenstadt. Between 2002 and 2009 David and I had the pleasure of making annual visits to Vienna and Eisenstadt for concerts and recordings. By 2008, all of Haydn’s 429 folksong arrangements had been recorded in the Haydnsaal of the Esterhàzy Palace, Eisenstadt, and in January 2009 the first complete recorded edition of the composer’s 429 folksong arrangements (18 CDs of music plus a CD containing essays and song texts on the Brilliant Classics label, 93769) was released to coincide with the bicentenary of Haydn’s death and the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns’s birth.
Since retiring I have been able to return to cello playing. I particularly enjoy playing chamber music in quartets and piano trios, that often involve David. Every September for the past 35 years we have been going to Appin for a weekend of chamber music with like-minded friends, now with Tansy and family among them.
Aside from our musical activities we both enjoy walking, especially in the Alps where we have done some scenic long-distance walks, going on other holidays from time to time, and visiting our son Alastair (a professional horn player) and Anna, daughter Gillian (a professional cellist with ENO) and Jeremy, and our grandchildren (5 in total), all of whom live in Kent within half an hour of each other.