Thanks to a bursary sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld Vienna I was able to go to the Intermediate
Arpeggione course during the Easter holidays. I’m so glad I was able to go.
I really enjoyed the chamber group playing which we did a lot of, from small chamber groups of 2 – 6
children, to orchestras with all the children on the course playing together. A highlight for me was to
be in the Chamber A quartet, and we played Chanson Triste (Tschaikovsky) and Funeral March of a
Marionette (Gounod). We performed the latter in the 2 concerts that we gave – the first was in the
afternoon of the last day in the beautiful barn in Suffolk, and the second performance was in the
Hampstead Garden Suburb Free Church in London.
In another group of 16 violas that I was in, we played Por Una Cabeza (Gardel) and in the orchestra
we played Tambourin (Rameau), a Beatles Medley (arr. Jacky Woods) and Take 5 (a jazz
arrangement), as well as a concerto with the viola competition winner as a soloist.
When the tutors came round to help my quartet, there was a lot of emphasis on playing ‘off the
string’ which I think I have improved on a lot, and I also feel much more confident playing the viola
now – it really helped being in the chamber groups with all the other players.
Apart from playing our violas, we did lots of other fun activities on the course including making our
own pencil-holder boxes and an Easter egg hunt, and some games that we played during the party
on Wednesday. The food was very tasty and the other children were all very nice.
I am very pleased to have received, through JDCMF, the Thomastik bursary to go on my first
Arpeggione course. Thank you very much!
James (13)

Joan Dickson Chamber Music Fund