Awards for Young Musicians

Giving talent a chance

An unforgettable day at Maida Vale Studios with the BBC Symphony Orchestra

On Sunday 4 December 105 of our 2016 Award winners travelled from across the UK to meet at BBC Maida Vale Studios for a day of cross-genre music making with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

It was a busy and exciting day with different activities taking place throughout the maze of studios. 40 of our classically trained Award winners took part in a rehearsal and performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No 10 (movement 2) and Bizet’s Habenera from Carmen. Each Award winner sat with and was mentored by a BBC SO musician for the day. The specially created AYM/BBC SO orchestra was conducted by AYM Patron, and Alumus of our Awards programme, Duncan Ward. 

“The BBC SO percussion section were really friendly and encouraging. They gave me opportunities to play the main parts, rather than the less important parts. I’m still buzzing!” Alex (percussion)

Another 50 Award winners, representing a variety of musical genres, worked with BBC SO musicians to devise a brand new cross-genre composition taking inspiration from Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending and Bernstein’s Mambo from West Side Story. The new composition was premiered at the end of the day with different groups of instruments taking the lead in different sections of the piece.

“I learnt a lot about key aspects of composition. I also learnt about what I need to do to be the best musician I can be. I went from nervous to confident about my ideas.” Romola (violin)

15 Award winners with an interest in music technology became radio producers for the day. Splitting into two groups, they spent the morning creating their own AYM radio show, taking on different roles such as producer, presenter, guest etc. The afternoon was spent learning about live sound recording and working with a BBC radio producer to record the final performances by the BBC SO/AYM Orchestra and the creative response group’s composition. These recordings will be made available soon.

“I learnt all about the different sound desks and got to play the part of a radio presenter and an assistant producer. It was amazing to see all the photos of so many amazing stars on the corridor walls and to think that we were in a venue where The Beatles and Bing Crosby have recorded their legendary music.” Florrie

After the final performances to friends and family each Award winner was presented with a personalised certificate to mark their achievement in winning a 2016 AYM Award.

The event was made possible by the hugely generous donation by the BBC of their musicians’ time, as well as the free use of Maida Vale Studios.  We were able to support the travel expenses of families to attend the Awards Day thanks to grants from The Andor Charitable Trust and The Kobler Trust, as well as donations by individual AYM Angels and other donors.  The photographs below were taken by AYM volunteer photographer Adrian Cleverley .  We would like to also thank all the other volunteers who gave their time to help on the day and the BBC Get Involved team for devising a fantastic programme for our young musicians.

Our next Awards Day will be in Manchester in Autumn 2017.  Details to follow in due course.

Side by Side rehearsals

Creative response group

Studio producers

Performance and Awards ceremony