“I continually strive to become a better flute player and musician than I was last week or last month. I know I will be on this journey for the rest of my life.”

This week (Tuesday 30 November – Tuesday 7 December) AYM are taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge.  We’re sharing seven stories of what music means to seven young musicians we’ve supported. By the end of the week the theme of these stories will have spelled BIG GIVE. Today, on day six, our theme is the letter “V” and we’d like to introduce you to 18 year old flautist Cliodhna who is about to venture on to new musical horizons.  

“I remember the first time I played in an orchestra as being one of the most exciting and terrifying moments of my life. I was ten years old, the youngest member (by more than five years) of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Junior Orchestra’s flute section. It was my first time ever being away from home and everyone else was so much older than me that I was forced to improve very quickly!

After making it through the nerves of not knowing anybody and being so young, I realised how much I enjoyed the rehearsals, making new friends and most of all the thrilling performances. The adrenalin rush was the most exciting and invigorating feeling I had ever experienced. Since then my life goal has been to pursue a career in music – hopefully playing in an orchestra with the same feeling I had so many years ago.” 

After spending half of her life at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh, a specialist music school, thinking about the next steps and where in the world they’ll take her is a significant decision for Cliodhna. She says: 

“I have been immersed in a musical environment at St Mary’s Music School since I was nine years old. I love the amount of music I am exposed to every day.” 

Currently, Cliodhna is busy preparing for her auditions, hoping to study at a conservatoire in London. She then aims to study music as a postgraduate abroad, maybe in New York or Berlin. One thing is certain: 

“I am determined to pursue a career as a professional musician.” 

As well as focusing on her auditions, Cliodhna is continuing to study. This year she’s concentrating on music and her flute lessons with Lis Dooner and Katherine Bryan. Both are a strong influence on Cliodhna and she aspires to follow Katherine’s career path of solo work, teaching and holding a principal flute position, preferably with the London Symphony Orchestra! 
If you would like to support more young musicians like Cliodhna so they can venture upon their own musical journeys, please donate this week during the Big Give Christmas Challenge. We’re raising £70,000 to support talented young musicians through our Awards programme. Donations made during the Big Give Christmas Challenge can be doubled, meaning your donation will have twice its impact! 

If you have any questions about fundraising, feel free to get in touch with AYM’s Development Manager, Sanpreet Janjua

Tel: 0300 302 3422

Email: [email protected]

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