Highland Young Musicians

Back in May I was approached by Norman Bolton from the Highland Council and the Highland Youth Arts Hub to write a piece about the impact of music development delivered through local authority, both in regards to participant and tutor experience. I knew Stacey Toner, Project Manager of the HYAH through various HYAH meetups and my writing experiences. She approached me knowing I was keen to expand my writing skills.

In an attempt to capture what kind of work is delivered and how people benefit from it, I have interviewed Antony Hook, a participant in music classes, and Mark Reynolds, a tutor of music classes.  At first, I was not aware of Highland Young Musicians so I have learned a bit more about it and after reading this I hope you understand just a bit more about what goes on through the music development work being delivered across Highland.  I’d like to thank both Mark and Antony for participating in conversation with me.

Antony really gave me a better understanding of how the Highland Council have helped him grow musically,

“The input that the council has is absolutely fantastic. Through the opportunities they offer, you are able to grow as a musician and a person.  Absolutely anybody who as any interest in music will greatly benefit from the opportunity provided by the council as it’s simply a life changing experience. Without the opportunity the council offer I wouldn’t be where I am today. They allowed me to learn about music, improve my abilities, make friends, and most importantly have fun doing so.

We have developed a really good teacher/student relationship and Mark has encouraged me to further expand my musical experiences and grow as a musician. He has introduced me to other musicians who I have also learned a great deal from”

Mark also expressed how helpful the Highland Council have been in offering more musical experiences,

“The Highland Council has been an excellent employer offering me great freedom within my role to encourage all the band activities as well as numerous CPD opportunities. For example, allowing me time off to teach at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as well as playing professionally with the Royal Scottish national Orchestra and the World Brass Ensemble. Our Music Development Officer, Normand Bolton, has a great working relationship with the whole team and is very keen to encourage CPD on as wide a level as possible.

My whole life has been transformed by music basically from the first day I started playing the tuba.

I have travelled to 4 continents playing with some of the world’s greatest musicians, having composers write music for me and the groups I am involved in and that passion and excitement for music and learning is something that I hope I can transfer onto the pupils I teach and the bands that I conduct. Antony has just won the Highland Young Musician of the Year as well as passing his Trinity Grade 8 exam with distinction so his career is going from strength to strength and I wish him all the very best in the future when he starts at the Royal Conservatoire in September.”

You can really tell the Council has impacted and shaped both their lives in massive way. And thanks to the Councils help Antony and many others will go on to pursue a career in the music industry. Both Antony and Marks words have moved me, as they are very passionate when they speak about what they do, and have even made me consider picking up an instrument because I now there’s a massive variety of support and opportunities available.

To find out more about the Instrumental Service or the Highland Youth Arts Hub, visit www.highland-young-musicians.com or www.hyah.co.uk

My names Sarah Cairney, I live in Nairn and I’m 15 years old. I’m one of the ten participants in “What’s your Story?” to find out more about my writing, visit www.thestoryis.co.uk or www.hyah.co.uk