RYO Alumni

Here we feature memories of RYO from some of our alumni.

Elspeth Dutch

Elspeth is Principal Horn of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

“I was a member of RYO from 1996-1998 and loved it! It was a brilliant training ground – playing great music under the excellent guidance of the wonderful Robert Roscoe. There are pieces I play now which I have played numerous times but still bring back very vivid memories of the first rime I played them in RYO. I made some great friendships there too and am still in touch with a lot of my RYO friends.”

Karen Speight

Karen is a British Airways Captain and keen amateur opera singer.

“I loved every minute belonging to the huge family that is RYO. Not only was music was being made but friendships and memories to last a lifetime too. It was a fun and important character building experience for me.”

Ron Colyer

Ron is a Reading-based violin teacher, Alexander Technique teacher, and violinist who has played with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

“I consider myself so lucky and privileged to have lead RYO during my last two years at school. I joined the second violins aged about 13 and worked my way up.  I did not come from a musical family, and in the orchestra I gained confidence, knowledge of the repertoire, and a love and enthusiasm for playing music together which I would not have gained otherwise, and which has never diminished in more than 50 years. I learnt about leadership, teamwork and responsibility, and made wonderful friends, many of whom I still keep up with. I went into the profession with a fantastic foundation from those years, but of course many of my contemporaries went in other directions, benefitting, I’m sure, from the highly transferable skills and experiences they had gained in the orchestra, and I know that many maintained their musical connections and kept a wonderful hobby for themselves.”

Robert Roscoe

Robert is a previous conductor of Reading Youth Orchestra, currently conducting and teaching in and around Berkshire.

“I am absolutely delighted that RYO is still providing opportunities for young musicians to meet socially and make great music together. The twenty one years I spent with the orchestra were a joy and I’m still in contact with many former players.

Quite recently, one former member told me that every time certain pieces come up in their schedule, RYO memories flood back and the love for music instilled at that time remains (after 25 years in the BBC SO!)”