Through New Eyes: Life at the BSO (Part III)

Rachel, Leah, Holly, Richard & Becky from the North Somerset Music Hub continue their behind-the-scenes, access-all-areas tour of the BSO as they learn about careers in the arts…

Day 3

This morning we had another session with BSO Community Musician Andy experimenting with sound beams and synthesizers. We also used a 36/8 piece of music to improvise around, something that sounded very cool.

After a coach trip with the friendly BSO supporters, we made it to London for the Orchestra’s Prom. A tour of the Royal College of Music by Amelia was a treat, and again we learnt much more than we expected to. Roger Wright, the Controller of Radio 3 and Director of the Proms, showed us the ‘bull run’ onto the stage during our backstage tour of the Royal Albert Hall, and offered us lots of career advice. From our box seats we finally got to watch the orchestra and yet again they blew our minds – how can they be THAT GOOD?! We loved seeing how much they enjoyed playing to the Promenaders. Soloist Sunwook Kim had to give an encore due to huge audience demand! We’re heading home to North Somerset now full of fresh ideas, confidence, love for music, and a shopping list for our Music Service boss! 

The BSO enjoy themselves at the Royal Albert Hall

The BSO enjoy themselves at the Royal Albert Hall

At the end of our time with the BSO

This whole experience has been fab; such an eye opener. It’s made us
more confident about choosing a career in music. The options are so
diverse! Everyone here has been so warm and friendly, they couldn’t do
enough for us. We’ve been amazed by the people, the place and the whole atmosphere of joy in music that we’ve experienced here.


Though New Eyes: Life at the BSO (Part 2)

Rachel, Leah, Holly, Richard & Becky from the North Somerset Music Hub continue their behind-the-scenes, access-all-areas tour of the BSO as they learn about careers in the arts…

Day 2

The morning began with a session from Andy Baker, BSO Community Musician. By playing games, like copying someone’s arms movements whilst answering questions, we improved our communication and concentration skills. We also played a game based on the Dorian mode with hand chimes, then finished off by doing some improvisation on our instruments and discussing how we could apply everything we’d learnt to real life music jobs, including teaching.

Next we met Hannah from the Development team who told us about the in-kind corporate relationships BSO has with companies such as Hotel du Vin and Mercedes Benz of Poole, as well as commercial fundraising through sponsorship opportunities and the important role individuals play when donating money to the Orchestra. The BSO also operates a Membership programme which offers people benefits like meeting musicians and attending open rehearsals.

After lunch we went into the Orchestra’s rehearsal and saw the Janáček. Wow! The trumpet army at the back of the hall were incredible and sent shivers down our spines! It was such a buzz!

A huge brass section rehearses for the BSO Prom

A huge brass section rehearses for the BSO Prom

We talked to Anthony, Head of Marketing, about how marketing strategies are chosen for particular concerts based on popularity, programme, location and much more. It was also fascinating to hear about his wide and varied career, from working with fireworks to managing Orchestras, which shows how different backgrounds to arts jobs can be.

Then we met the Chief Executive of the Orchestra, Dougie Scarfe. He emphasised how working for the BSO was really enjoyable (everyone else said that too!) and it was interesting to see how young he was! Dougie talked about how important private companies were in supporting the orchestra financially. He was very inspirational discussing his vision for a safe future for the Orchestra. We really hope that we’ve given him some inspiration too by showing how valid it is for the Orchestra to run these taster experiences for young aspiring musicians. We could be the future of the BSO?!

Dear Mark… (head of service at the North Somerset Music Hub),
Our experience here has enabled us to see things we would like in North Somerset. These include:
•       more microphones for better quality
•       more advertising – using the orchestra to help out – making posters and promo videos!
•       let us use hand chimes regularly (serious fun!!)
•       Lasers!! Fireworks!!
•       Hand signed Elgar scores (we’re jealous of BSO’s)

Roll on day 3!

Through New Eyes: Life at the BSO

Our access-all-areas team..!

Our access-all-areas team..!

Hello! We are Rachel, Leah, Holly, Richard & Becky from the North Somerset Music Hub. We are all 17/18 years of age and interested in learning about careers in music.

We’re on an access-all-areas tour of the BSO for the next few days…

Day 1

After a warm welcome from Nick, Lucy and Andy from the BSO’s Education team, we watched the Orchestra rehearsing Janáček’s Sinfonietta that the Orchestra are performing for their prom. The entertainment options for the brass section were endless: chess, crosswords, solitaire, or watching the cricket! We would like to suggest an entertainment package for the back row (maybe introduce Candy Crush!). The pencils which were produced surprised us: everyone had one and used it!

After lunch we met some orchestral players who shared the same instrument for some handy hints and tips, then saw the rehearsal for the Beethoven Piano Concerto in C minor played by Sunwook Kim. He was incredible, but it was also interesting to see the difference between rehearsals as there was far more playing through of movements than earlier in the Janáček. We started to get agitated as we wanted to play ourselves…

Dear Mark (head of North Somerset Music Service),
    Today we have found some more work for you… we would like North Somerset to:

  • Start a Conducting competition – that’s how Kirill started his career!
  • Make an app! Entertainment for musicians when they aren’t needed in rehearsals – this will pay for new stands, pencils and our annual tour!

We also met with Heather Duncan, Head of Concerts and Programming, who used to be a professional cellist. She told us how important it is to gain experience in different aspects of the arts industry as it can really help you to find work. We then learnt about how the programmes for each concert are formed, and how the programme must be interesting for the musicians as well as the audience!

Finally we met Principal Conductor Kirill Karabits and Young Conductor in Association Maxime Tortelier. Kirill said that he started off by organising events at his school and then going to competitions. They certainly help to keep you motivated!

Maxime is on a Young Conductor’s programme at the BSO, which he said is a good way of getting experience, which for a conductor is so important. We were impressed by both their enthusiasm and dedication towards the BSO… roll on day 2!

Kirill Karabits and the BSO in rehearsal

Kirill Karabits and the BSO rehearse the Janacek ahead of their Prom this week.