What do we do between seasons every year?
The answer! Plenty.
So it’s the middle of summer and just because we have been a bit quiet on our website, Facebook and Twitter doesn’t mean that nothing is going on behind the scenes. The next seasons’ concerts don’t just happen without a lot of pre-planning, preparation and hours of input by our dedicated, volunteer, committee.
You might have noticed that we have started to update the website with the 2015-16, October to March events, but the planning for that started over a year ago. Which means that right now, while firming up details for the coming season, we are already starting to get the 2016-17 season organised. We thought it might be interesting to give you a picture of what we do between March and October every year and ok, it’s not fulltime work for any of the committee but it does involve giving up lots of personal time as well as dedication and passion to achieve our aim of bringing to Aberdeen the very high standard of chamber music that we have become known for.
- Choosing the groups that we bring to Aberdeen is something that we take great care with to ensure variety, freshness and above all else quality. We always strive towards excellence whilst also doing what we can to promote new talent. We achieve this by considering winners of international competitions, e.g. The Arcadia String Quartet of Romania who won the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet competition in 2012; those being supported by organisations such as the Young Concert Artists Trust (YCAT), e.g. Trio Isimsiz; sometimes something of a totally diverse nature such as this December’s musician, American Jazz Pianist, Rossano Sportiello.
- All this is achieved by the dedication and hard work of our secretary (who has a vast network of contacts) and other committee members who attend national meetings to share ideas and plan tours with other societies across Scotland.
- When planning our programmes we try our best to introduce a wide variety of musical genre ranging from the old and well known to the new and unknown but without repeating ourselves from season to season so that we are always offering fresh programmes to entertain our audiences.
- The musicians often have new composers that they wish to highlight and they may even have had pieces commissioned that we are more than happy to encourage. This year for example in our November concert we will be offering part of the newly commissioned Beethoven Plusseries; 10 new pieces based on 10 of Beethoven’s violin and piano sonatas.
- This event is part of Sound Scotland 2015 during which event more of the pieces will be performed.
- Outreach work:
- Close to our heart is taking music to those who either can’t make it to our monthly concerts or to communities that may not immediately have considered or have had experience of Chamber Music. Being that our musicians are so energetic and passionate about their music it is a joy to behold the pleasure that these informal events impart to these groups whether it be a primary school, residential home or other unusual location. (See National Chamber Music Day below)
- National Chamber Music Day:
- Most years in September we take part in this event supported by Enterprise Music Scotland. In the past we have taken a string quartet to Dobbies Garden Centre and a wind trio to 17 in Belmont Street. This year we are only just making our plans and while we don’t as yet know what kind of chamber music group we are going to have play for us we do now that we will be holding this at The Bon Accord Shopping Centre. Watch out for more news about this!
- Advertising work:
- By the nature of things most of this happens between seasons and can only be achieved once dates, musicians and programmes have all been confirmed so is a major part of the mid season schedule.
- Each new season means preparing, printing and distributing new brochures and posters. Not to mention changing the website so that it is up to date with the up coming season’s details.
- Just recently three of the committee spent an afternoon checking over and finalising the latest drafts of the brochure and poster so that printing can get started in July ready for distributing to subscribers in August and to display around the city in strategic locations.
- This is when our treasurer shares with us the annual financial report; the secretary her report of the last year and plans to date for the coming years; committee members are renewed, enlisted and subscribers can air their views, thoughts and suggestions. The President always expresses gratitude for all the hard work put in by the committee but we mustn’t forget to thank him for having us take over his home for all the committee meetings throughout the year.
- Committee meetings:
- These don’t stop between seasons as it is good for all to get together to keep tabs on planning and to ensure that everything will run smoothly when next we open our doors to our audience.
- Travel and Accommodation:
- We mustn’t forget that our musicians travel from all over the world and are not just local, so we have to make sure that we can find suitable accommodation for them so that their visit to Aberdeen is as hospitable as possible. For this we are extremely grateful to committee and subscribers alike who open up their homes to offer a comfortable stay to our guests while in Aberdeen. Although by all accounts this is usually as much enjoyed by the hosts as it is appreciated by the musicians.