New players welcomed to the BSO…

Tammy Thorn, BSO Principal Bassoon

Tammy Thorn, BSO Principal Bassoon

After a busy time shortlisting and holding live auditions for Cello, Viola and 1st and 2nd Violin positions over the summer months, the BSO welcomed a number of new faces that eagerly started their trials this season.

The BSO is also pleased to welcome Tammy Thorn, former Britten-Pears Orchestra Principal Bassoon, to her new position as BSO Principal Bassoon. Tammy was drawn to music from an early age and has been making music since the age of five together with her older brother and sisters.

Tammy started her bassoon studies at the Trinity College of Music Junior Department with Susan Eversden and subsequently studied at the Royal College of Music Junior Department with Nicholas Hunka. She was also Principal Bassoon with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

Winning the John Lill Award in the Essex Young Musician Competition and the Essex Rotary Club Young Musician Award in 2008, Tammy was also awarded a Foundation Scholarship by the Royal College of Music in the same year. Tammy represented the College at concerts throughout the UK and in Europe.

Whilst studying in London she formed the Rose Trio with her sisters Becky and Suzy and together they started to explore the mixed reed repertoire, winning the Royal Over-Seas League Ensemble Prize in 2010 and making their debut at the Wigmore Hall in June 2011.

Tammy has performed with most of the major orchestras in the UK and Ireland. She said of her appointment with the BSO: “After being on trial with the Orchestra for almost two years, it was a huge relief to be offered the position! I already felt very much at home so being able to relax into the job was a lovely feeling!”

Why did you decide to become a musician?
I come from a very musical family and rather than actually deciding to be a musician, I ended up following all of my siblings through youth orchestras and music college and becoming one without really noticing!

What’s the best thing about being a musician?
I’ve loved being able to travel and see new places, and I’ve always known I wouldn’t cope with a routine or ‘normal’ job! Every day is different.

What’s the one performance from your career that sticks in your mind?
Performing The Rite of Spring in the BBC Proms with the Aldeburgh World Orchestra in 2012. We’d spent the best part of a month living and rehearsing in Aldeburgh, with concerts in the UK, Amsterdam and Germany. The BBC Prom at the Royal Albert Hall was the last thing that the Orchestra did together and although it was a pretty stressful concert for me, it has to be one of the best.

What work do you enjoy playing above all else and why?
I love playing pretty much anything by Stravinsky! The Rite of Spring has to be my favourite (mainly because it’s the only occasion a bassoonist enjoys a bit of glory!).

What are your interests outside of music?
Outside of music, my other great love is horses. I share a fabulous horse called Donald, compete regularly in Dressage and showing, and I have recently started learning to play Polo!


BSO Family Orchestra

The BSO Family Orchestra, run by BSO Associate Sam Mason and part of the Resonate strand of BSO Participate, has been meeting once a month since September and aims to get families of all ages and musical ability to get together and create music in a fun and relaxed setting. Sam tells us of the story so far…

“Something rather special has been happening over the last four months in Kinson Community Centre.

The BSO Family Orchestra have made Kinson their home and have been meeting one Sunday a month to devise new pieces of music, develop musical skills and have fun, playing as part of a mixed ensemble.

Family Orchestra 2 - Kinson

The Family Orchestra in full swing during October. As you can see, a huge variety of instruments are in action, creating an amazing sound!

We started as quite a nervous and rather shy bunch, but over the last four sessions have grown into what I think is a very special, unique and flourishing ensemble.

We’ve created music in numerous ways i.e. based on the rhythms of our names, on reflection of the seasons with our tune “Don’t Eat The Conkers“, restricting ourselves to using just 5 notes and finishing 2015 with the classic, soon to be Number 1 Christmas hit,  “Mince Pie“!

Our primary aim in the Family Orchestra is to have fun and to enjoy making music. We have a mixture of players, non players, beginners, adults and children and it is such a joy to all find a common musical ground, play together and have such fun doing it. As a leader of the Family Orchestra I have loved watching the group interact and develop their skills and am really excited to see us grow even further in 2016.

I’d like to wish all our Family Orchestra members a very Happy Christmas and we all look forward to seeing you in the New Year and of course if any new members would like to come along and see what we get up to over Kinson way, we look forward to welcoming you too.”

Samantha Mason – BSO Associate

The next BSO Family Orchestra session is at Kinson Community Centre on Sunday 3rd January, 10am-12pm. Please contact Ben Jennings on 01202 644717 or to join.