Talented Kilmelford pianist Arabella gets scholarship
Star classical music student
Arabella Fyles has ‘grand’ piano talent.
The 12-year-old from Kilmelford, who has been tinkling the ivories since she was three, has just come back from a week-long piano summer school at the prestigious Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester.
The experience was sponsored by Oban Music Society, made possible by a legacy left by the late Elizabeth Graham, known as Bette, of Taynuilt.
Bette left a generous bequest to the society in her will, which meant members could buy a Steinway A piano which now lives in St John’s Cathedral for the benefit of the whole community.
Oban Music Society’s Richard Hess said there was still money from the legacy to offer a bursary and the plan was now for it to become an annual opportunity for a student of classical music, either an instrumentalist or a singer.
‘We decided to offer it to a piano student this year in recognition of our having just bought a magnificent new Steinway piano following our fund raising efforts last year,’ he said.
Arabella, a pupil at Oban High School, is due to take her Grade 5 exam in December - the highest grade is Grade 8.
The young pianist’s first piano was a pink miniature baby grand.
Mum Lucy said Arabella ‘got a bee in her bonnet’ about wanting to play the piano after seeing her Granny play and watching people play it on TV.
Arabella said the summer school was inspiring. ‘It was inspiring to be there with lots of other young pianists and see what I will be able to achieve. I loved all the practise rooms at the school. There were so many different types of pianos to play.’
She has had the same teacher in Oban since she was four and on Sunday September 30 will be performing at Oban PianoFun, an event at Oban Parish Church in Glencruitten Road from 3pm to 4pm.
The musical afternoon, encouraging pianists of all ages and abilities to play in public, is being organised by her teacher Kenn Harrower, who has been a piano tutor in the town for 20 years.
All donations from the event will be given to the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit based in Edinburgh.
Arabella Fyles was the first recipient of a new classical music student bursary from Oban Music Society.