MEET OUR MUSICIANS

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The inspiration and emergence of the Scottish Freelancers Ensemble during the Covid-19 lockdown of the last year has been a shining light of positivity for me and all those involved during such a scary and dark time of freelance work cancellations and uncertainty. As a freelance Cellist in Scotland, I have been immensely fortunate to have worked over many years with Katrina in the Scottish Ballet orchestra and with Alice as a freelance Cellist together for freelance work with the BBC SSO. It was a true honour and privilege to have been asked to be part of this Ensemble amidst the many other friends and colleagues who I have worked with over the years, and the strength of character and determination that has been collectively evident in the development of this ensemble has been a power of hope and inspiration for the future of freelance musicians going forward as we come out of the lockdown which has deprived us all of so much. The creative ideas, projects and new opportunities they are developing for the ensemble are an example of their deep passion for the future of freelance musicians of all genres and it is simply a privilege to be a part of. 

Rosie - Cellist, Scottish Freelancers Ensemble

I am so grateful to Alice and Katrina for setting up the Scottish Freelancers Ensemble. Joining SFE in 2020 gave me an opportunity to stay connected with fellow freelancers who, like me, had all lost up to a year’s worth of work overnight. By having the opportunity to continue creating music together and giving online concerts, we were able to raise awareness for the lack of support offered to freelance musicians. Having these projects to work towards really helped to give me a sense of purpose and allowed me to enjoy playing with others at a time where everything felt very uncertain. It’s been illuminating to discover, work on and share music from under-represented composers, and I’m so proud that we, as Scotland’s freelancers, are showing just how diverse classical programming can and should be. I feel honoured to be a part of this wonderful group, and I can’t wait to see where the future takes us!

Abigail - Violinist, Scottish Freelancers Ensemble

Scottish Freelancers Ensemble has been a source of tremendous optimism during these challenging times, It encourages collaboration and camaraderie and showcases the creativity and passion for which Scotland’s orchestral performers are known!

Feargus - Violinist, Scottish Freelancers Ensemble

I was absolutely delighted to be asked to play with the SFE during the 2020 lockdown. Having spent my time alone working on various projects - and feeling more isolated by the day - it was a welcome invitation to be part of a like-minded community of freelance players who, I imagine, were all feeing the same way. The full-time orchestral players had job security but we had been left to our own devices, and so it was a welcome focus to have recordings or concerts to prepare for...and to enjoy watching our performances and debrief together via video calls afterwards. To add to this performance and community aspect of the ensemble, I was delighted to be introduced to such incredible music by under-represented composers thanks to the thorough research and careful programming choices of SFE founders Alice and Katrina. Their determination and commitment to sharing music out-with the popular string repertoire has been the driving force of this group and I'm thrilled to be associated with its forward-thinking ethos. 

Seonaid - Violinist, Scottish Freelancers Ensemble

With everything cancelled, at times it’s been incredibly difficult to even take the violin out of its case. SFE has given me a reason to do so and something to look forward to, as well as providing a sense of community and solidarity. It’s been great to play and hear works by composers who rarely, or never, get heard, as well as new works. It’s such a pleasure to be able to do this with wonderful friends and colleagues. 

Kirstin - Violinist, Scottish Freelancers Ensemble

I am honoured to be a member of SFE. It’s a light at the end of a very long tunnel. These wonderful players are not only colleagues but part of my musical family.  I’ve missed making music together this past year but the fact we’ve been able to produce concerts online has been a lifesaver. 

Maggie - Violist, Scottish Freelancers Ensemble

This past year of lock down has taken it's toll on so many aspects of my life, but one thing that has been very inspirational and has kept my motivation to practice up has been the Scottish Freelancers Ensemble. Doing such varied and interesting programs each month has been brilliant and it has been great to see everyone all making music together despite such strange circumstances. I am blown away by the hard work and dedication put in by Alice and Katrina to provide a creative outlet for all their friends and colleges and their willingness to innovate and start something so fresh has been incredible to witness and be a small part of.  

 

On a more personal note the SFE has been a real lifeline for me in the midst of the pandemic. I have two small children and homeschooling them has been exhausting and very draining, but having the creative outlet of performing and recording with SFE has helped me find some time for myself when I can go into a room, shut the door and make music. This is something I would not have done without the support and organisation of Alice and Katrina, as making time to do something you love and something that gives you joy can often be the bottom of a very long to do list! Because of these monthly concerts and remote recordings, I was able to enjoy music with my friends and colleagues and I cannot wait for the day when we can all be together in a room, playing wonderful music again. 

Charlotte - Violist, Scottish Freelancers Ensemble

 

It has been so wonderful being part of the SFE over the past year. One of the hardest things over lockdown has been not seeing colleagues and friends. Being part of the SFE has made me feel connected to them as we prepared our recordings. “Seeing” everyone on the screen, playing fantastic music together has helped keep me positive and I can’t wait to finally be able to do just that in person! I am so grateful to Katrina, Alice & the team who have worked so hard creating and developing this project. You  have made a very real and positive difference. 

May - Double Bassist, Scottish Freelancers Ensemble