If it hadn’t been for Alannah, I’m not sure I would have made it to the 4pm concert. From helping me tune my instrument, pointing to the music when I got lost and helping me with patches I simply could not play, Alannah supported me every step of the way. She was not alone. Throughout the day, across every instrument section in the orchestra, young people from NOFA were actively supporting, mentoring and coaching the adult Musical Chairs participants.
Music-making can mean many things to different people: for some, it can be a form of art that allows an individual freedom of expression; it may mean playing together in an ensemble to build friendships and provide a sense of belonging; and for others, it can be a way to escape the real world. Ultimately, music has a voice and no matter who we are or where we are from we can all enjoy and appreciate it
As I hand over the role of Chair to my fellow trustee Philip Whalley and return to the back benches as trustee, it seems like a good time to reflect on the past 3 years working alongside Marianna and her small band of dedicated staff members. I can say with all honesty that in my 30 years as an arts professional, I have rarely encountered such a combination of creative vision and entrepreneurial acumen in one person as I have seen in Marianna.