Before:

Thank you so much to Thomastik-Infeld Vienna and JDCMF for the generous bursary for the Arpeggione Intermediate course. I have been twice before so I know that I will have a fantastic time. I am really looking forward to it! Thanks again.

And after:

Thank you so much to JDCMF and Thomastik-Infeld Vienna for giving me the bursary to go to Intermediate Arpeggione this year. I had such a wonderful time.

During the course, I played two chamber pieces and four orchestral pieces. We spent almost 10 hours practising our first chamber piece, which for me was Dance Macabre by Saint-Saens. It was fairly difficult, yet extremely fun to play. The coaches focused on our communication as a group so it was very together when we played it in the concerts at the end of the course.

The second chamber piece was a medley of four Beatles songs. I was on the first desk of the octet, and I really enjoyed that because I had never been so senior in the group before; it was an eye opener to learn how to be one of the leaders.

The orchestral pieces were more fun than challenging, as there were quite a few younger children on the course as well; however, the orchestra was always enjoyable to play in, as it had a lovely atmosphere and everyone was so nice. We played a Spanish dance by Moszkowski, Carmen, arranged by one of the people on the course, the Shostakovich jazz suite and National Express arranged by Steve. I particularly enjoyed National Express because I got to lead the orchestra and it was a very light-hearted piece.

My favourite parts of the course were the concerto and the master class. For the first time, I entered the concerto competition and I played Czardas by Monti. I got into the final, which I was chuffed about. It is always a great experience to play as a soloist as it boosts my confidence and I feel proud to play. I also did a master class with Simon Tandree this year, and I played Clarke's Untitled. I think it is a beautiful piece and he was complimentary about my playing. In the master class, I learned how to perform by using my body to express where the music is going and to make sure the sound fills the space. These suggestions will drastically improve my performance in future.

Thank you so much again for giving me this opportunity.

Samuel


Joan Dickson Chamber Music Fund