I’m delighted to thank the JDCMF for their support, enabling me to attend the inspiring Aboyne Cello festival for the second time.

The week consisted of two main chamber ensembles; the student chamber ensemble and the ‘Giant Cello Ensemble’ where a varied group of students and older enthusiasts joined in to play the final concert.

The student chamber group consisted of conservatoire students and younger cellists working towards conservatoire level. We arrived a couple of days early for pre course rehearsals in order to play an opening concert. This helped so much because we could dedicate all of our time on playing in an ensemble together before the lessons began. We played Elgar’s Serenade for Strings, Gordon Jacob’s ‘Cello Octet’, Grieg’s Holberg Suite and Barber’s Adagio for strings. The Cello Octet was especially helpful for counting skills, because each of us had our own individual parts.

The ‘Giant Cello Ensemble’, where everyone came together to play the final concert helped me to listen more sympathetically, because the group were so varied in ability. Playing together as an ensemble helped to expand my communication and listening skills. It was so inspiring to play with such fantastic cellists, and to watch first class professional ensembles in concert including the Bingham String quartet and a cello trio made up of our fantastic teachers; Rebecca Gilliver, James Halsey and Philip Higham.

Had it not been for the generous financial support of the JDCMF, I wouldn’t have been able to attend such an inspiring, enlivening week. Thank you so much.


Joan Dickson Chamber Music Fund