“Even after so many years have passed, and after spending all this time in the music business, my proudest boast is that I once led the cello section in the Brighton Youth Orchestra! Now I have a prouder boast: that I am reconnected with this wonderful band in my role as an encore ambassador. Throughout the years my admiration, respect and affection for this collection of high achieving, young musicians have never ceased. My memories of my time amongst them, from the musicians of 1977 to those playing in the orchestra today, are an important part of my life.
David Gray was conductor when I was in BYO, and his effect on my musical and personal development was profound. David's supply of inspiration was seemingly endless and the trust that he showed us all, both musical and personal, was deeply affecting. When Andy Sherwood was appointed as David's successor some years ago, I was both delighted and relieved. I knew in my heart that this precious organisation was in safe, kind, imaginative and inspirational hands. This has been proven to be true as the years have passed.
As teachers and musicians throughout the UK abandon musical literacy in favour of more facile routes to creativity it is more important than ever to support high quality teaching and structured, individual instrumental and vocal study. Whilst software for composition, recording and sequencing has opened up a universe of sonic possibility that Stockhausen himself could never have imagined, the simple nuts and bolts of reading and writing music married with a good technical foundation on an instrument are where the imagination can be truly set free. This truth should underpin youth music in the 21st century which exists in a more uncertain, although surely far more exciting musical and artistic landscape than has existed since before the Renaissance.”