Young Ambassadors at the Big Highland Residency: Elizabeth Barke

One of the Highlands' Young Ambassadors, Elizabeth Barke reviews RSNO's Big Highland Residency

Every year the RSNO holds a residency in Scotland and this year it was held in the Highlands. Overall the residency ran for 9 months with lots of different concerts and activities for all ages.
My involvement with the Big highland residency started in September when the members of the RSNO came to the highland regional youth orchestra rehearsals and worked with us for our programme for November. Working along side members of the RSNO was great as we could see how they tackled a piece of music and they gave us loads of useful tips. I was working with Janet Richardson the principle piccolo of the RSNO. This was great for me as I only recently started the piccolo so it was very inspirational to see the piccolo being played to that standard. The musicians from the RSNO then can back later on in the year to help us with a our March programme.
As part of the big highland residency the RSNO held workshops in highland schools. I was lucky to attend an improvisation workshop with my school's big band. The workshop was taken by the principle trombone player Dávur Juul Magnussen. It was such a great experience for myself and the rest of the band. We learnt to react off each others improvisation and really work well together as a band. I also hope to be attending a conducting workshop with Jean Claude Picard run by the RSNO in the near future.
As well as these workshops in schools, the RSNO held more activities for all ages such as a tea dance in Kingussie and a singing project with boys in primary 7 and secondary 1.
To end the Big Highland Residency the RSNO were in concert on the 4rth of April with a spectacular performance of Vaughan Williams Fifth symphony alongside Berlioz Helios overture and Stravinsky's ballet music Pulcinella. I was lucky enough to interview cellist Ruth Rowlands and bassoonist David Hubbard as part of the pre-concert talk. Myself and two other young ambassadors were able to ask them about their experience of the highland residency and also general questions about being in the RSNO. After we had asked them our questions they then went on to ask us questions about being young ambassadors and our involvement in the Big Highland Residency. I really enjoyed the concert and it was also great to spend some time with the other young ambassadors.
The next day was a collaboration "come sing, come play" day with the RSNO this was a chance for musicians to play and sing alongside the RSNO. The day was run through workshops in sections run by members of the RSNO. At midday the RSNO baroque ensemble performed in Inverness town house. At the end of the day there was a performance of the collaboration day work of Vivaldi's Gloria, Sing by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber and some traditional songs Johnnie Cope and Will Ye No Come Back Again. The Big Highland Residency 2014 has been a wonderful success  engaging more people in classical music and giving wonderful experiences to people of all ages including myself.
Elizabeth Barke
Elizabeth is part of the RSNO's Young Ambassador scheme, arranged by the Learning and Engagement Department. All views expressed by Young Ambassadors belong to those of the individual and are not representative of the organisation. For more information, visit theRSNO website
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