Luke and friends at the London Music Fund Playing Day in June 2018 © Paul Cochrane

Guest interview: Luke, London Music Fund Scholar of the Month

London Music Fund (LMF) is an independent charity with the Mayor of London as Patron. The organisation’s vision is that every child who demonstrates significant musical ability, enthusiasm and commitment to learning an instrument is given the opportunity to develop their potential. LMF provides four-year scholarships for young musicians.

Recently, LMF interviewed 11-year-old Luke from Sutton Music Service. Luke is London Music Fund’s October Scholar of the Month and is in the final year of his Scholarship. He recently took his Grade 4 French horn exam and as a keen football fan he especially enjoyed playing Nessun Dorma, as it was played at a previous world cup!

According to his French horn teacher, Luke has a good range and technique and exhibits a keen sense of enjoyment of the pieces he is playing. Luke’s Mentor from Sutton Music Service told us: ‘Luke is a valued member of the Sutton Youth Symphonic Band and is currently one of seven horn players within this band! He shows huge potential at a young age – I look forward to seeing where the next year shall take him. Well done Luke!’

LMF is really proud of the hard work Luke has put into his four year Scholarship and we hope he enjoys his final year with the London Music Fund!

Why did you decide to play the French horn?

I went to see my older sister playing her trombone in the Sutton Training Band.  I saw a tuba for the first time in my life and wanted to play it.  I was only 5 and it was bigger than me. Lewis, my mentor in Sutton, who showed me a shiny French horn, and said perhaps one day I could play that when my fingers could reach the valves.  I had a try right then, and they reached, so I started lessons that term.

Has your music taken you to some cool places? If so, where?

Yes.  Last summer, I played at the Royal Festival Hall.  I loved it as we played in such a large auditorium where all our pieces sounded even better than they had before. I’ve been able to go to several residential weekends at High Ashurst, where we learn pieces in two days and then perform to our families on the Sunday. This year, it really was cool: there was snow on the ground!  We were still able to do lots of team building activities, play games and watch films.

Luke with Yolanda Brown at London Music Fund
Luke with Yolanda Brown at London Music Fund’s Scholars’ Awards Day in September 2015

What music do you like playing the most?

My favourite band piece is Moment for Morricone because we had a French horn solo in it! On my own, my favourite piece is 633 Squadron.

If you could perform alongside someone If famous who would it be? Or what musician do you look up to?

I admire musicians who compose and play.  It would be great to play in a band with George Ezra.

Has the Scholarship enabled you to have new opportunities?

Yes. I had played at school and at the Sutton bands before, but the Scholarship Playing Days are really enjoyable. Its great working with the musicians and other Scholars there. I love the improvisation and the ways we come together to create music. My favourite was at the [London] City Hall.

What advice would you give scholars who have just started their scholarship?

Stick with your instrument. You can enjoy making music and making new friends.

Header photo: Luke with friends at London Music Fund’s Playing Day, June 2018 © Paul Cochrane

This interview first appeared on the London Music Fund website and is re-published with permission.

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