Ta­lented Kilmelford pi­anist Ara­bella gets schol­ar­ship

The Oban Times - - DISTRICT NEWS -

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.

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