Gavin Higgins becomes Awards for Young Musicians Patron 

We’re delighted to announce that award winning composer and AYM Alumnus Gavin Higgins has joined our growing roster of AYM Patrons. Gavin is currently the Composer-in-Association with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and his work has been commissioned by some of the UK’s leading festivals, including four commissions for the BBC Proms. On this new role he says:

“It’s a big honour and an opportunity to just make a bit more noise about music education, because I just think it’s just so important. It’s not even about people who want to be musicians. I think every kid should have access to it. And increasingly, as we all know, that’s just not happening.”

On this announcement Hester Cockcroft, AYM’s Chief Executive says:

“We’re delighted Gavin has joined our amazing line up of Patrons. What a role model for the aspiring young composers we’re supporting! We’re very proud to have assisted Gavin in his early musical journey and look forward to seeing where his stellar career will take him next!”

Gavin was one of AYM’s earliest beneficiaries and he describes his new role with the organisation as something of a “full circle moment.” AYM helped Gavin purchase a French Horn when he had to transition to the instrument as a condition of receiving a full scholarship to study at Chetham’s School of music. Gavin reflects on this time:

“I couldn’t afford my own, so I was playing on the school horn for a long time. It was bashed up, it was dented, there were holes in it, which I had to put Blue Tack in, the water key was broken, I had to put elastic bands around it, and it got to the point where I just needed my own instrument.”

Gavin would eventually leave the horn behind to carve out a name for himself as a composer. He’s been receiving rave reviews for his latest composition, a Horn Concerto currently performed by fellow AYM Alumnus Ben Goldscheider. Described as ‘an immediate hit’ [the Times] it will soon be conducted by another AYM Alumnus and Patron, Duncan Ward. Gavin’s musical journey hasn’t been without its challenges and those experiences informed his decision to become a Patron of AYM.

“There have been various points where I’ve almost stopped composing because I need to earn some money. I’m glad I’ve persevered because things are good at the moment but If someone has talent they shouldn’t be forced into a decisions between doing the thing they’re good at or not, simply because their parents aren’t rich. It doesn’t feel right or fair.”

For more on AYM you can revisit our My Musical Journey project, made as part of our 20th Anniversary celebrations. Click here to view it. 

We’re looking forward to working with Gavin in this new role and excited to make this announcement in the lead up to the inaugural Arts for Impact campaign! Any donation made to AYM from 12 noon on Tuesday 19 March to 12 noon on Tuesday 26 March will be doubled until we reach our fundraising target of £10,000.  

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