2017 Festival Masterclasses & Young People’s Recital

During August, our 2017 Festival delivered 10 stunning concert performances by international artists including pianists, a clarinettist, violinist, cellist, vocalists, a quartet and a performance of Bizet’s opera – The Pearl Fishers. While these highly talented and inspiring artists were in the region, we arranged for them to provide free masterclasses with local young musicians.

“Hi Narelle and Simon, my daughter Jessica had a masterclass with you today at the Buccleuch hotel. Just wanted to say that she has come out of it joyous! I have to say she didn’t want to go. However she says it was the best lesson ever and is very excited about piano now. What an inspiration for her to have been with someone who plays piano professionally. She doesn’t want to rub out his pencil lines in her book because they are from a professional. So thankful for the opportunity so thank you and I hope Simon Callaghan enjoyed the lessons too so he will come back which she would love.”

On the last weekend of the Festival we also hosted a Young People’s Recital, which is an opportunity for the young musicians to perform on a world class stage in a supportive environment. Many of the younger musicians find it daunting to perform but were encouraged by the reception and appreciation demonstrated by the audience. This year’s Young Person’s Recital also featured one local talented musician’s compositions, which were arranged especially for the occasion and performed by one of our Festival’s international pianists. 

We received the following email from the mother of one of the participants who took part in our masterclasses as well as the Young People’s Recital and we have included it here as it demonstrates the significant positive impact we are able to achieve with the support for this work.

“Hi Narelle, I just wanted to send a thank you through to you and Alex regarding this year’s Masterclasses which Catriona took part in and tell you how much they have helped her and had an impact in her learning.
During her session with Nicky, he gave lots of great technical advice on how to progress her voice and at the end of the session exchanged mobile numbers with us. He has kept in touch over the last couple of months and has been looking for a teacher for Catriona to help her progress on from Grade 8 to prepare for Conservatoire when she finishes school. He has been able to get (a highly regarded vocal teacher from outside the region) to take Catriona for monthly lessons, she had her first session with her last night and she had given her a great deal to work on to improve her technique. It was very encouraging. It’s about a 90 minute drive but it is really well worth it.
We wanted to let you know because it really is wonderful what you do for young musicians, Catriona got a lot out of the concert she performed in and having Simon as an accompanist. It gave her much more confidence to know that she could sing with someone professional playing for her, who she didn’t know or who she is already comfortable with. Having the help and advice from Nicky has been great as Catriona really wants to have a career in Classical Singing/Opera and having someone impartial assess you and help you progress is so important.
She has also been given the opportunity to apply for Scottish Opera Connect Company and is working towards an audition in March.
I would just like to thank you for all the work you do with young musicians, the connections and experience you have given to Catriona have been wonderful and are helping her.”


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