RSNO Takeover 2014, Day 1: Strings

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.

Niamh Mackaveney, Violin – Tarbert, Argyll
I have really enjoyed my first day working with the RSNO staff and all the other musicians taking part in this fantastic opportunity. We started with a few games to get to know each other and then split off into our departments. I was practicing the orchestra repertoire with the violins, viola and harp. We played through some excerpts from The Nutcracker and I really enjoyed hearing the different parts and playing such a well-known piece. Meanwhile, the Planning department decided on the rest of the pieces, settling on Smetana’s Vltava and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. Our tutor also did a class on vibrato control which I really enjoyed and felt I learned a lot from. I haven’t had many opportunities to play in an orchestra so I’m really looking forward to the rehearsals and the performance tomorrow.
Seona Glen, Violin – Port of Monteith, Stirling
After getting to know each other we began by splitting into departments. I joined Lorna, a first violinist in the RSNO, along with a few other players; a harpist, a viola player, and two violinists including myself. We began rehearsing excerpts from the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky, followed by Smetana’s Vltava and then the Die Fledermaus overture. After lunch we split into groups and Kenneth gave a talk on finance. We finished the day by making our own rough budget for a concert. It was interesting to learn more about what goes on behind all the concerts. The day was a fantastic opportunity to work with professional musicians from the RSNO. I very much look forward to the full orchestral rehearsal and concert tomorrow, as this kind of work experience with such a prestigious orchestra is very rare.
Aimee Clark, Harp – Glasgow
The day started off well with an hour's worth of games to get to know each other, which I thought was a really good idea as I was quite nervous. We were then introduced to our department where we would be for the next two days. Playing the harp meant there wasn’t a lot of parts for me so I also got to do a bit of marketing which I thought was very interesting as I have never really thought about what actually happens behind the scenes. I got to see how they go about selling their ‘product’ and the amount of researching that actually goes into advertising towards a specific age group. After lunch I went back to a sectional rehearsal to prepare for the concert which was a good ending to the day.
Leah Murray, Cello – Callander, Stirling
Today I learned new bowing techniques and went over the music for the concert tomorrow night. The best bit of today was learning the pieces and the least best part was finance. The whole day was amazing!!! And I’d like to do it again and again. And I got to play in tenor clef, which I don’t get to do very often.
Callum Cronin, Double Bass – Callander, Stirling
Day one consisted of getting to know some of the other people attending the RSNO experience. We played games in order to learn names and then got to sing in a four part arrangement of ‘Drunken Sailor’. Following on from that, me and the other bassist Ben met John Clark and spent the first session playing orchestral excerpts and duets as well as discussing different aspects of playing the double bass. We then broke for lunch then returned to our bass sectionals in which we continued not to work on the concert programme but instead spoke about technique and funny stories that John had from his career.
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.