RSNO Takeover 2014, Day 1: Artistic Planning

RSNO Takeover is an intensive two-day work experience project which took place at the RSNO Centre on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 June 2014. Susannah Mack and Scott Bathgate, who have been working in the Artistic Planning department describe their experiences on the first day of the programme.

Susannah Mack – Conon Bridge, Ross-shire

Working with Artistic Planning today has been really interesting and enjoyable.  Our main job was to plan the music for the concert we would play on Tuesday night.  We had a list of 10 potential pieces to choose from, each very contrasting and with different limitations, such as ensemble size or length, meaning we couldn't pick Stravinsky's Rite of Spring due to the number of musicians we would have needed. We also had to consider the balance of the programme, for example we couldn't have Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake when we already had excerpts from his Nutcracker Suite. Too much ballet! Other things we had to consider included target audience, venue, the conductor's thoughts and themes.

After finalising the concert programme, we met with the Marketing, Development and Presentation and Operations departments in order to cover all the important details we needed to consider for the concert to be success.

One of our other tasks has been to plan our own hypothetical concert on the theme of Valentine’s Day, which gave us a good idea of the many things which need to be considered when planning orchestral programmes!

For me, a definite highlight has been to see how all the departments work together and all the individual jobs within orchestra management.  I have loved getting the opportunity to work with so many young people, getting to know people from across Scotland, and finding out how much it takes to put on a concert programme.

Scott Bathgate – Edinburgh, Edinburgh City

I thoroughly enjoyed today's session. I learned through taking the artistic planning course, that choosing repertoire for a concert is not as simple as it may seem.

Through my supervisor Manus (RSNO Executive Producer) I learned that there is many things to take into consideration when making a programme for an RSNO concert. These things include audience perception, target audience, finance and cost, promotion and possible themes to be played with throughout the concert for certain events, such as Valentine’s Day concerts. As well as this I learned how to read short hand for orchestration such as "Tmp" standing for timpani. This has helped me fully understand the inner workings of the orchestra and has given me a more broadened understanding of how much effort is put into RSNO concerts and events.

Today we made the programme for tomorrow's concert while taking all these different factors into account. Tomorrow we plan to make another programme from scratch as well as pitch the full structure of the concert to the musicians including presentations of the departments and how the orchestra will manage itself to go on and off stage in a beneficial way. A lovely day and I certainly learned a lot.

Susannah and Scott are part of the RSNO's Takeover scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All views expressed by Takeover participants belong to those of the individual and are not representative of the organisation. For more information, visit the RSNO website

RSNO Takeover 2014, Day 1: Development

RSNO Takeover is an intensive two-day work experience project which took place at the RSNO Centre on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 June 2014.Eva Ferry and Kelsa Lee Mcdonald, who have been working in the External Relations (Development) department describe their experiences on the first day of the programme.

Eva Ferry – Mount Florida, Glasgow

Today I was introduced to the development team who gave us an insight to what development means, the work that the team do and how this contributes to the overall event. It was interesting to learn about the different tasks which have to be completed and we got a chance to organise and deal with some of these issues. I worked with the logistics side of things later on in the day which was useful to grasp an idea of what needs to be done before the final event. It was a good learning experience and has increased my interest in this area.

Kelsa Lee Mcdonald – Cowdenbeath, Fife

Today I was working in the development department of the RSNO. I was working with two other girls and a group of women who taught us about life in the development and marketing sections. Through brainstorming and group work we planned tomorrow's concert and I worked with two women to write and deliver a pitch which asked Innocent Drinks for headline sponsorship for the concert. We also attended an Ops [operations] meeting which wasn't the most interesting part of the day, but necessary all the same! Overall it was an enjoyable day and I've gained an insight into what could possibly be my future career.

Eva and Kelsa are part of the RSNO's Takeover scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All views expressed by Takeover participants belong to those of the individual and are not representative of the organisation. For more information, visit the RSNO website.

RSNO Takeover 2014, Day 1: Learning and Engagement

RSNO Takeover is an intensive two-day work experience project which took place at the RSNO Centre on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 June 2014. Cara Stewart, Elizabeth Barke, Jenny Alexander and Nicole Vasey, who have been working in the Learning and Engagement department and describe their experiences on the first day of the programme.

 

Cara Stewart – Airdrie, North Lanarkshire

I have really enjoyed my first day of the Takeover, especially working with the department I’m in. In my first session I learned different music and drama games to play with primary children at a workshop. In the second session my group planned the structure of the workshop we will be running with primary children tomorrow morning and afternoon. I also learned about making a budget and met a lot of new people.

Elizabeth Barke – Inverness, Highland

We looked at games and songs we could do with children introducing them to music. We then put a running order together for a workshop we will be presenting at a local school. I really enjoyed the finance talk we had in the afternoon because it made me more aware of the different things the RSNO have to spend money on. I’m looking forward to another great day tomorrow.

Jenny Alexander – Blackwood, South Lanarkshire

As part of my work experience with the RSNO I’ve been working with 3 other girls in the Learning and Engagement department. Our task for the two days was to create workshops, which included games and songs, and then to present them to a local primary school. Throughout the first day we played different games as icebreakers which was a really effective and enjoyable way to get to know the other young people I have been working with. The games and songs we came up with were very fun and will be useful to use in workshops outwith the work experience. I’ve really enjoyed my first day and hope the second goes just as well.

Nicole Vasey – Dundee, Dundee City

Today when I came in we started off with a few ice breaker games where we got to know each other a bit more, we played a game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" where I won! Then we were sorted into our groups where I was in the Learning and Engagement team. We met two of the ladies who were in charge called Christine and Heather, who were very welcoming. I met three other girls called Elizabeth, Cara and Jennifer who were all very friendly and a great bunch of people to be with.

Our day went like this: firstly we planned and spoke about the workshops we are taking to a primary school tomorrow and started off with a few games that we could run with the pupils. We then learnt a few songs also and planned a lesson to take along with us. Then we went and had lunch and came back where we wrote down our plan for the workshop. Later on we then attended a 1 hour meeting on finance and budget within the RSNO, which was interesting however not my cup of tea (too much maths). Overall I have had a great day and am very excited about going to the school tomorrow!

Cara, Elizabeth, Jenny and Nicole are part of the RSNO's Takeover scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All views expressed by Takeover participants belong to those of the individual and are not representative of the organisation. For more information, visit the RSNO website

RSNO Takeover 2014, Day 1: Marketing

RSNO Takeover is an intensive two-day work experience project which took place at the RSNO Centre on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 June 2014. Alice Bowman, Ally Scott, Charly Stakim and Farisai Mukonoweshuro, who have been working with the RSNO's External Relations (Marketing and Development) department describe their experiences on the first day of the programme.

Alice Bowman – Blairgowrie, Perth and Kinross

The highlight of today would have to be when we first came in and started to meet new people. We had played a number of games to get everyone involved.

We moved into our groups and we all shared why we were here and what we wanted to get out of this experience which was really good because loads of us had the same perspective on it. We got to work in teams and brainstorm about the marketing side of putting a concert on. We got to find out what age group we would be aiming for and how it would affect a business.

After lunch the marketing, development and planning department joined up and had an ops [operations] meeting about how we were getting on and about the plans that we had come up with.

After the meeting we all departed and did different activities. I joined up with the development department to decide how we were going to promote the concert and the designs of the invitations, poster and programme. I really enjoyed that part because it was a bit of creativeness and how it would be in a business and it showed how much time and effort a business actually puts into make sure that their promoting the product accordingly and that it will draw people’s attention to the event going on. We also had to think about what colours we wanted it include.

Ally Scott – Thornliebank, Glasgow

Today was the first day of the RSNO Takeover where I am part of the marketing department. It has been an interesting day; I have learned a lot about events management and advertising. I've met so many new people who have similar interests as myself, as well as people who come from completely different backgrounds. Personally, I found this made the experience more enjoyable because I was able to speak to a variety of people about possible jobs and the skills I will need for certain careers in the future. I think I could peruse a job in advertising, specifically social media because this is the area I feel I was strongest in today. Altogether, I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience and I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Charly Stakim – Coylton, Ayrshire

Today has been FANTASTIC! Starting in the morning with team-building games just so we could all get to know each other (my favourite was "Elephant and Mouse") then getting split into our teams!

My team was marketing where I met everybody and we discussed what Marketing was really all about. I learned a lot and we discussed everything from putting a message across to the John Lewis Christmas Advert. We then heard stories of how people got into their job and what advice they could give us. Then we got the programme through and spoke about target audiences and even considered celebrity presenters. After lunch we got to talk about the press and we learned how to write a press release. I got a chance to interview one of the RSNO musicians and the Director of Learning and Engagement about the RSNO Takeover.

We also learned about Social Networking and how to get more people to attend the event (even though it's only open to family and friends).

Farisai Mukonoweshuro – Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire

This experience has been a once in a lifetime opportunity. It's given me a real feel of what working in PR is really like. I've had the chance to face problems and challenges with a team, brainstorm new ideas right on the spot and use team working skills. I've also had the opportunity to us my own initiative. Some tasks involved creating and writing a press release, interviewing students as well as the some of the department Directors of the RSNO.

Alice, Ally, Charly and Farisai are part of the RSNO's Takeover scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All views expressed by Takeover participants belong to those of the individual and are not representative of the organisation. For more information, visit the RSNO website

RSNO Takeover 2014, Day 1: Presentation and Operations

RSNO Takeover is an intensive two-day work experience project which took place at the RSNO Centre on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 June 2014. Thomas Kinney-Nicol, who has been working in the Presentation and Operations department, describes his experiences on the first day of the programme.

Thomas Kinney-Nicol – Balloch, Stilringshire

We started the day off in a large circle of 50 or more people, playing various games to make us feel more comfortable and to allow some time to get to know everyone. Before long I was in the office of Presentations and Operations department learning how everything worked. We started off by looking at the musicians contracted to work at the RSNO and who would be playing in the orchestra for the concert, which was happening on the Tuesday night. We filled out a sheet which confirmed every musician, and then took to the job of filling in the blanks; this meant getting in contact with a few freelance musicians to see if they would be willing to play with the RSNO.

After finding out the programme [repertoire] for the concert we attended an Operations meeting; this involved finding out more details regarding hall layout and the overall presentation of the concert. We finalised the list of musicians and paid a visit to the library to ensure that we had got the correct number of musicians that matched the orchestration of the pieces.

Thomas is part of the RSNO's Takeover scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All views expressed by Takeover participants belong to those of the individual and are not representative of the organisation. For more information, visit the RSNO website.

RSNO Takeover 2014, Day 2: Artistic Planning

RSNO Takeover is an intensive two-day work experience project which took place at the RSNO Centre on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 June 2014. Susannah Mack, who has been working in the Artistic Planning department describes her experience of the second day of the programme.

Susannah Mack – Highland

It’s the end of a fantastic couple of days with the RSNO Artistic Planning team. Our concert tonight will be an accumulation of all the work carried out by myself and 38 other young people from all over Scotland. The best bit for me was working together with everybody so that the concert will run as smoothly as possible and with maximum impact.

The whole atmosphere during the RSNO Takeover has been industrious creative and fun and it’s obvious that everyone has clearly had a good, fulfilling time.

Susannah is part of the RSNO's Takeover scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All views expressed by Takeover participants belong to those of the individual and are not representative of the organisation. For more information, visit the RSNO website.

RSNO Takeover 2014, Day 1: Woodwind

RSNO Takeover is an intensive two-day work experience project which took place at the RSNO Centre on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 June 2014. The young people who have been working with the RSNO's musicians describe their experiences on the first day of the programme.

Rebecca Smith, Flute – Linlithgow, West Lothian

After getting to know everyone this morning and having a rapid run through of the music, work experience is going very well! It is great to see young people taking over each department and really learning what goes into the RSNO’s concerts. Our concert tomorrow night includes brilliant music which is fun to play and listen to. Well done to all involved.

Hilde Metzger, Flute – Edinburgh

Even though I was quite nervous when I turned up, some games with the whole group soon made me more comfortable. I was allocated to play my flute in the orchestra so with two other flautists and RSNO Principal Piccolo Janet we started tackling the challenging music with some technical exercises in between. I feel that I have learnt more in these few hours than I have in the last half year of lessons.

We then spent an hour learning about the ‘interesting’ world of finance and budgeting. I was astounded by the costs of a single concert.

I enjoyed the whole day and loved the fact that I got to meet other people with an interest in classical music.

Natalie Brayshaw, Flute – Fort William, Highland

Today I took part in the first day of the RSNO Takeover project, which involves a number of young people coming into various departments of the orchestra and experiencing what is involved in working there.

Firstly we were introduced to each other through a variety of (slightly chaotic!) games, before splitting up into our different departments. As a musician, I joined two other flautists to work on our playing with Janet Richardson, RSNO Principal Piccolo. We began by rehearsing selections from The Nutcracker Suite before moving onto technique which was very interesting, and beneficial to our overall playing.

We continued sectional rehearsal after lunch, before attending a budgeting and finance session, in which we learned about the costs involved in producing a concert: from music hire to paying the musicians. This showed a side to these concerts which we hadn’t considered before and was very interesting. Roll on tomorrow!

Valerie Barr, Clarinet – Wishaw, North Lanarkshire

As a musician, it has been really interesting to see some of the things that go on behind the scenes at the RSNO centre. I didn’t realise that there were so many departments and different things to think about when running an orchestra. It was also great working with professional musicians from the RSNO to get our playing up to scratch for the concert tomorrow, and I am really excited to play with the orchestra! Splitting up into groups and talking to other like-minded people to try and work out a budget for a typical RSNO concert was interesting and insightful – none of us realised how much thought (and money) goes into the concerts.

Beth Beattie, Bassoon – Aberdeen 

Today’s been an interesting day. It’s been great finding out about all of the different areas of RSNO and what they all do. I particularly enjoyed the bassoon sectionals with RSNO Principal Bassoon David Hubbard – the repertoire is familiar but David has opened my eyes to viewing the pieces in a completely different light.

It has been great meeting so many other people my age who all have interests in music one way of another and I’ve made a few new good friends! The staff were lovely too and are clearly very enthusiastic about what they do.

All in all it’s been a fantastic day and I can’t wait until tomorrow!

Sarah Mckay, Clarinet – East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire

Today I learned how to get along with people through getting to know you games and how to work together by playing to everyone’s strengths and weaknesses whilst in rehearsals.

Today, my high point would be getting to know people in rehearsals and “getting it”. It's really rewarding when you can play something really difficult after not being able to do it. I did a happy dance. Also we did some really fun games at the start which was a rather fun way of getting to know people, especially when I didn’t know many before. Low point: transposing semi-quavers in my head. It was soul destroying and I wish I had my own clarinet in C. Life would be so much easier. Cry, cry, going home to practice my mental transposing now.

Andrew Vettriano, Bassoon – East Renfrewshire

The first day started with some group games which were great fun and they allowed us to get to know each other. We then split up to do our separate activities. For me this was a sectional rehearsal with Dave Hubbard, RSNO Principal Bassoon. The pieces we had to play were quite challenging but we worked through them over the course of the day.

After the music, we had a session of budgeting and finance. This was very interesting as we learned about the expenses of an orchestra and got to form our own budget for a performance at the Royal Concert Hall.

Overall the day was very enjoyable and I learned lots. The techniques and tips form the sectionals have improved my playing and will help me in the future. The budgeting session was also fascinating and opened my eyes to something I had known very little about. I would have to say that my favourite part of the day were the activities in the morning, especially the singing!

All the young musicians are part of the RSNO's Takeover scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All views expressed by Takeover participants belong to those of the individual and are not representative of the organisation. For more information, visit the RSNO website.

RSNO Takeover 2014, Day 2: Conducting

RSNO Takeover is an intensive two-day work experience project which took place at the RSNO Centre on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 June 2014. Isla Ratcliffe and Alice Guse, who have been working with RSNO Assistant Conductor Jean-Claude Picard, describe their experiences on the second day of the programme.

Isla Ratcliffe – Edinburgh

The second day was even better than the first! Alice and I had another session with Jean-Claude in the morning in which we went over and consolidated what we had practised at home. After lunch, we had a full orchestra rehearsal. We first of all watched Jean-Claude conduct the Die Fledermaus Overture. Then it was over to us to conduct the orchestra! It was daunting at first – I felt quite overwhelmed having a whole orchestra in front of me which included professional musicians. But they were very supportive and I really enjoyed it. So excited for the concert tonight!

Alice Guse – Glasgow

Today was again very informative and fun, we started off working with Jean-Claude looking more into how we should conduct all the parts. Then we had our first experience of conducting the full orchestra, which although it was very nerve racking, we had Jean-Claude there to help and the orchestra were very inviting, so it was a lot of fun. Then all the departments came together to go through how the concert would run tonight, so that all felt comfortable what everyone was doing. At the moment I am quite nervous but still very excited and I can’t believe it will all be over in a few hours!

Alice and Isla are part of the RSNO's Takeover scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All views expressed by Takeover participants belong to those of the individual and are not representative of the organisation. For more information, visit the RSNO website.

RSNO Takeover 2014, Day 2: Learning and Engagement

RSNO Takeover is an intensive two-day work experience project which took place at the RSNO Centre on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 June 2014. Cara Stewart, Jenny Alexander and Elizabeth Barke, who have been working in the Learning and Engagement department describe their experiences on the second day of the programme.

Cara Stewart – Airdrie, North Lanarkshire

Today myself and the rest of the Learning and Engagement team went to a local primary school to carry out the two workshops we worked on yesterday. We had a workshop with the theme of animals for Primary 2 and 3 and a workshop with the theme of commonwealth for Primary 5 and 6. Every class was completely different, some classes a lot harder to work with than others due to behaviour. We received feedback sheets from each of the classes and all comments were positive, the children particularly enjoyed making an advert for the commonwealth games. I have really enjoyed my time in this department and I have learned lots of new skills that will be very useful in the future.

Elizabeth Barke – Highlands

We went to Glasgow Gaelic School to present our workshops to the classes. The classes were of a varied ability which was good as it allowed us to use the different skills we had learnt the previous day – for example different ways to get the classes to be quiet. When the school's day was finished we came back over to the RSNO base and prepared our presentation for the concert later that night. I have loved working with the Learning and Engagement team. I have really enjoyed learning new skills that I will hopefully benefit from later on in life.

Jenny Alexander – Blackwood, South Lanarkshire

For the second day of work experience in the Learning and Engagement department we had to go into the Gaelic primary school and present the workshops we had planned on the previous day. We had classes of P2, P3, P5 and P6. For the two younger years, we decided on an animals theme and for the two older years the Commonwealth Games as it is relevant to them so close to the start of the games in Glasgow. The classes were all varied in age, ability, language (as for many their first language is Gaelic, especially the young years) as well as behaviour and mannerisms. However although these variations were at points in the day challenging, they all proved to be extremely effective and useful in developing each of our skills in presenting our workshops throughout the day, and I can safely say I am looking forward to using these skills to organise and present workshops of my own back at school. The feedback we received from the pupils and the teachers from today were all extremely positive and encouraging – the pupils particularly like the drama and songs we came up with. Over the two days’ work experience I have learned a range of new skills which I look forward to using and developing further as well as making many new friends that I hope I will maintain contact with.

Cara, Elizabeth and Jenny are part of the RSNO's Takeover scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All views expressed by Takeover participants belong to those of the individual and are not representative of the organisation. For more information, visit the RSNO website.

RSNO Takeover 2014, Day 2: Musicians

RSNO Takeover is an intensive two-day work experience project which took place at the RSNO Centre on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 June 2014. The young people who have been working with the RSNO's musicians describe their experiences on the second day of the programme.

Valerie Barr – Wishaw, North Lanarkshire

Today, the young musicians got the chance to play with the professionals. It felt fantastic to be part of a big strong sound and to learn from such inspirational musicians who have great experience of working in the industry. There was a family atmosphere within the orchestra which made everyone feel welcome and included. I hope that the concert sounds as good as the rehearsals!

Seona Glen – Port of Mentieth, Stirling

This morning began with an update where every group heard about what others had been doing the following day. My group (violins, viola and harp) then had a short sectional rehearsal followed by a samba workshop. This was quite different to what I had experienced the previous day, and was a great way of relieving tension and focussing on playing in an ensemble without being tied down to concentrating on difficult notes. For me, the highlight of the day came after lunch with a full orchestral rehearsal with the RSNO. I was delighted to have this opportunity as I would love one day to play in a professional orchestra. I found it an inspiring experience to play alongside the musicians and be carried along by their playing. I’m very excited for the concert tonight!

Rebecca Smith – Linlithgow, West Lothian

We’ve had an amazing two days working with the RSNO! This morning some of the musicians took part in a really useful wind sectional rehearsal. After lunch, we were lucky enough to play in the RSNO orchestra with all the musicians! It was an amazing experience. I loved playing in a professional orchestra in an informal, supportive setting. I found it very interesting to play with the young conductors. I hadn’t realised how much of a difference can be made to the sound of the orchestra by a different conductor. Thank you to the flute section for being so supportive and helpful!

All the young musicians are part of the RSNO's Takeover scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All views expressed by Takeover participants belong to those of the individual and are not representative of the organisation. For more information, visit the RSNO website.