TKFO Young Soloist Platform Prize
(Financially supported by the Kidderminster Town Council)
As a part of The Kidderminster Festival Orchestra’s efforts to encourage and enable young and gifted Graduate Instrumentalists, we have decided to inaugurate the TKFO Young Soloist Platform Prize.
This innovative and forward looking scheme will present a young soloist with the opportunity to perform a concerto, or other similar work, on stage with TKFO at one of our concerts. The young musician, with the support of their referee, will be chosen by audition (which may be waived, depending on the circumstances) and the musical needs of the orchestra in its programme planning. The soloist will also receive a financial gift towards the cost of their studies (music, reeds, books, etc).
The auditioned soloist winner will join the orchestra on stage to deliver, live, their performance as an integral part of the concert programme. The fist winner of this prize was Gayle Hearn.
Amongst TKFO musicians, many of whom perform nationally and internationally, there is an extremely supportive attitude in the encouragement of those in the infancy of establishing their career.
Gayle Hearn started learning the oboe at age 13 whilst at high school, and after falling in love with the tone of the instrument she joined the Junior Department at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2012 under the teaching of Stephen West.
In 2014, after successfully gaining a scholarship place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama for her undergraduate, she has been fortunate enough to study under John Anderson, Alan Garner, Catriona McKinnon, Amy McKean and Sarah Jayne Porsmoguer.
Gayle has enjoyed a varied performance career so far, having played with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and British Sinfonietta, as well as the National Musical Theatre Orchestra of Wales. Her love for chamber music is flourishing, regularly performing with Weston Winds in and around Wales as well as a tour with Pascal Gallois in France, for The Quiberon Music Festival. In addition, Weston Winds recently won The Wind Plus Quintet Competition in 2017. She was also Principal Cor Anglais with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, which involved an orchestral tour to China and playing in the 2015 BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
At the time of winning the Soloist Platform Prize, Gayle was in the first year of her Masters in Orchestra Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with the support of The John Macintyre Memorial Trust Scholarship. Here she hopes to further develop, and inspire others with her love of music.