Thursday 11 February 2016

What is it like to be a member of Britten Sinfonia Academy?

Britten Sinfonia Academy (BSA) is now recruiting for young musicians to join them for a fifth year of exciting musical adventures. Whether you have heard the name before, know someone who has been or is a member of BSA or are completely new to us, you might be wondering about what being a member of BSA is like. To answer this, we hand over to current and past BSA members to tell you exactly why you should apply to be part of BSA 2016 – 17.

Remember the application deadline is fast approaching on Monday 29 February.


Instrument: Trombone
Katy, BSA Year 1, 2012
BSA history: Joined BSA in its first year, September 2012 and left in July 2015
Fondest memory: The residential week combining BSA and AYM in the summer; sitting on the beach absolutely knackered after a solid day of rehearsals. It sums up how we felt every Sunday night after BSA weekends, exhausted but very very happy. 

Katy, BSA Year 3, 2014

What Katy learnt through BSA:
Musically, BSA greatly improved my confidence and taught me a lot about playing as a group. But, for me it is the friends I made that have had the biggest effect; having left BSA last year I still see the friends I made in the orchestra and I think the connection that is formed between the players both musically and personally is really special. You don't have to want to do music as a career to enjoy it, work hard at it and be good at it. 
What Katy is up to now: I'm studying Biochemistry at Sheffield University and I love it! Music is still a massive part of my life, and I hope it always will be.

Alex, BSA Year 1, 2012

Alex, BSA Year 2, 2012


BSA history: Joined BSA in its first year, September 2012 and left in July 2015
How Alex would describe BSA: Being part of BSA is like being part of a family; everyone is valued and everyone is pushed beyond the boundaries to get the most out of the music. BSA is a place where you can thrive musically and feel like part of a community.
What Alex learnt through BSA: BSA taught me how to get the most out of every piece of music, and how important the most mundane of notes could be. I also learnt how to work as an ensemble much better than beforehand through the musical interaction between every instrument.
What Alex is up to now: I am studying Geography, English and Maths in sixth form and I have a place to study Geography at Oxford with a choral scholarship from this October. I hope to work in something to do with sustainability and conservation but still doing as much singing and playing as possible!


Instrument: Violin
BSA history: Joined BSA this year, 2015
BSA in three words: Fun, exciting, inspiring!
What being a member of BSA means to Siân: It means so much to me to be a member of BSA! It is so special to be able to play in such a great chamber orchestra and really enriching to play a range of different styles of music. I have gained a lot of confidence in my playing. In BSA you get to play alongside and learn from friendly and inspiring musicians from Britten Sinfonia and you get to play exciting and varied music to a high level with other keen young players!
What Siân has learnt at BSA: I have learnt so much from playing in various ensembles - usually without a conductor - and listening to the different parts. I am also more able to independently understand the music, whether fingerings and bowings or expression.

Lucy and Siân, BSA Year 4 – rehearsing Vivaldi with Nicola Benedetti


Instrument: Violin and viola
BSA history: Joined BSA in its third year, 2014 and is still a member
BSA in three words: Inspirational, challenging and engaging
What being a member of BSA means to Lucy: It means having a fantastic opportunity to learn music I never would elsewhere and play in venues with people I would never have the chance to elsewhere
What Lucy has learnt through BSA: I have learnt to appreciate many more styles of music and unusual techniques for creating music.
Lucy’s plans for the future: I hope to continue playing music as a hobby, hopefully joining an orchestra or playing for choirs


Instrument: Cello
BSA history: Joined BSA in 2014 and is currently a member
BSA described in three words: Inspiring, immersive, challenging
What Gabriel has learnt in BSA: I've learnt more about what it would be like to be a professional musician. I've also learnt to listen more carefully to myself and others when playing in ensemble.
How Gabriel would describe BSA to a new applicant: We have great fun, make good friends and in the process we cover a wide range of repertoire. We're treated like professional musicians, given real responsibility and expected to step up to the mark. Since being in BSA my musical skills and confidence have developed hugely.

Gabriel performing alongside Nicola Benedetti on the Barbican stage, BSA Year 4

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