Newsletter - Autumn 2014
Meet The Team: Who Are You Holly Griffiths?
How long have you been a member of the BHMA team and what is your role?
I’ve worked at Music & Arts for six and a half years as their Events Coordinator. This means that these days I am lucky enough to work on some of the biggest service events and international tours.
Can you tell us about your first musical memory?
I was born in London and spent my first couple of years of school in Streatham. My first musical memory is when I learnt my first instrument there; the steel pans, which I loved!
Do you play a musical instrument? If so, what is it, when did you first take up a musical instrument and what attracted you to music?
After my brief introduction to music with the steel pans, I learnt to play the recorder at primary school in Lewes. A small group of us at primary school carried on through secondary school and unlike a lot of recorder players we kept it up alongside other instruments as we progressed. I was a big fan of Michala Petri, and listening to how accomplished she was made me realise that the recorder didn’t just have to be an introductory instrument. I now play the trumpet, piano and most recently the ukulele. Music was an intrinsic part of home life as I grew up, and I feel like I was initially attracted to the way you could not only experience it on your own in your own world but also the way you can share a musical experience with those you may have nothing else in common with and work as a team.
What was your first album purchase/first gig?
My first album was Blur, Parklife (on cassette tape) and first gig Cast at the Brighton Centre when I was 13. I realised I’d forgotten my ticket when I got to the entrance that evening so had to travel back to Lewes, climb into my parents’ house through a very small gap in the kitchen window and then find my ticket! Obviously my friends and I were so keen to not miss a minute of the gig, because after all of that I still got back to the Brighton Centre in time for the start of the support!
If you had to choose three records to take any to a desert island what would you choose and why?
Choosing three is going to be difficult, especially as I have decided on the eight tracks for when I actually go on Desert Island Discs a number of times!
Richard Wagner, Procession to the Minster – I first experienced this on a summer school course with East Sussex Brass Band, aged 15, playing repiano cornet. It was the first time I actually got that spine tinging feeling from music when playing in an ensemble myself. It has such an epic and rowsing finale that would definitely inspire me to keep going on any desert island.
Eddy Grant, Gimme Hope Jo’Anna – this was the first vinyl single I bought and it brings back so many great memories of singing along to it with my family. I think on a desert island it would be another a great track to hear when I needed an emotional lift.
The Police, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic – this was number 1 the week I was born (now you can work out my age!) and quite simply a great song!
What is the most challenging part of your working week and what motivates you?
Variety is the spice of life, in my opinion! So working a 9-5, Monday-Friday office job is sometimes a challenge in itself. That’s a pretty easy challenge to have though isn’t it! Working or attending the events we organise and getting to see the positive impact our work has on children and young people across the city continually keeps me motivated.
Could you tell us about one of your recent working highlights?
Part of my job is to organise the tours for two or three orchestras/ensembles each year and last year’s tour to Switzerland with the Brighton Youth Orchestra and Brighton & Hove Youth Big Band was one of my favourites so far; the highlight being our visit to Montreux Jazz Festival. Not only was this an exciting and inspiring experience for me having studied jazz at university, but it was a real honour to see our young musicians enriched by the festival atmosphere, and of course to see them perform on stage at the one of the most famous jazz festivals in the world was fantastic too.
What would be your top tip to any aspiring young musician or a musically related job?
As a musician - never give up, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I remember getting to a stage in my playing when I thought I was supposed to know it all, but now I know that some of the best musicians in the world continue to have lessons and seek support from others throughout their musical lives.
In arts admin – get as much experience as possible. It’s not all about qualifications.